Bye Bye Montmatre and Paris, Hello Puimisson in Beziers

Man, have we been busy. We’re sitting at our outdoor table on the roof top deck of our centuries old villa in Puimisson near Beziers in Provence. Surrounded by olive groves and  grape vines, it’s a stark contrast to the bustle of Paris.

Yesterday was a triumph of art galleries, metro rail riding and a bit of kitch Paris shopping. Musee d’Orsey was so much better than the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower put together. No queues and amazing artworks. Van Gogh and Gauguin were highlights for me, Cézanne was pretty inspiring as well. Musee D’Orsay was the original railway station of Paris. It was going to be demmolished in 1970 but was saved at the last minute and turned into an art museum. The building itself is truly beautiful. This was Donna’s favourite.

I had sampled a taste of the art history of Paris now and I couldn’t stop. A Cubist retrospective at the Musee de Moderne Art was next. This was my favourite. There was no queue whatsoever, only a dozen people in the whole gallery.  Early Picasso’s and Braque’s along with Legar and Delaunay works, to name a few. Seeing these up close was unreal.

Off to Musee Montmatre and the Dali Exhibition. Not as good as the previous experiences but interesting.

Then I was about to head off by myself to the climax. The Musee Picasso in the city centre when Donna spotted the the guide book that it is closed until 2013 for renovations. I will have to return at a later date to see that.

Donna, Alison and I headed off to the Troubadore Cafe for our final dinner in Paris. I ordered French Onion Soup for starter and Confit of Duck for main. I couldn’t fault either.

Afterwards we wandered the streets. It was Friday night and the town was a buzz. We stopped at the old piano factory (Le Bateau Lavoir) where Picasso

Les Demoiselles d’Avignon

and Braque had created their first Cubist works, including the famous Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.

It had burnt down in 1970, but  the city has rebuilt it. The renovated building looks nice but the original building was a cold run down dive. Back to our apartment for a parting wine and then we started planning and packing for the next leg down to Provence. There is so much to see and do in Paris but it is tiring (for us oldies) trying to fit so much into a short space of time. Air France from Orly airport to Montpellier airport and then an attempt to direct our rental car to Puimisson.

A few more pics.



Dali’s dripping clock and me outside Mussee d’Orsey.










So here we are then, in Puimisson. This is so nice and so ancient. The streets are very narrow. The buildings are very old. It’s completely un-natural to drive on the right hand side of the road, but I managed with the help of a very patient Donna. We are settling down for the night and we are off to the beach tomorrow. I will post some pics of the outside of the building .  It should be in a museum. So much character.  Very nice inside as well, with all the mod cons including Sky TV and the internet.

Bonsoir then.

Some of the Puimisson village from our balcony on the roof





Categories: France, Paris | 4 Comments

Paris in the Springtime with the warm wind in our hair (not Springtime and I’ve got no hair)

We ventured into the city on the Metro on our first night. We got lost. First on the Metro and then in the city. But then we turned a corner and saw a metal Meccano like object in the distance. The excitment of seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time, between the buildings, was amazing. It sent a chill up my spine. It really felt like Paris then. We carried on not knowing where we were until an imposing entrance confronted us. It was the building that now houses the Louvre. It was closed for the night but we entered anyway. I stood in awe. It was the magestic palace in what now houses the Palais Royal Musee du Louvre. I couldn’t wait to see what was inside tomorrow. We slowly retraced our steps back to our apartment in Montmatre and slept well on the first balmy Parisian night.

Day two. We decided to book the open top bus tour around the city to get our bearings and check out more of the sights. It was a good choice. We got earphones to listen to a guided tour of all the landmarks and their history. And there are plenty of them. Deciding where to start was the hardest thing. The Louvre won out. We queued for 30 minutes with hundreds of other tourists then we entered the pyramid. Heading straight for the Mona Lisa gallery was predictable and we joined everybody else looking for La Gioconda. It took a while and it was a bit disappointing really because there were so many people doing the same. We got a quick photo and moved on.

We checked out the Egyptian section, and the French and Italian Sculptures which were amazing and then decided to leave the hoards to it. The complex is huge and you could easily spend two full days exploring. It must have been lunch time because Donna was hungry. The Place de la Concorde is next to the Louvre and we wandered along looking for food. McDonalds appeared and Donna weakened, allowing me to order a Beef Royale Nouveau, up sized with Coca Cola Zero. It didn’t help my diet but it was good.

Day three. Eiffel Tower. Early start to beat the crowds. Unfortunately everybody else had the same idea, and we were the crowds. It was a one hour queue to get to the ticket office. Then another queue to get to the first lift. And then another hour to get to the second lift to the top. It was cool, but by then we were over it and headed straight back down. We ticked that that one off. You can’t come to Paris without going up the Eiffel Tower.

Ooooh, lunch time again.  We jumped back on the Tour Bus and climbed off on the Champs-Élysées. It is lined with boutique shops and lots of cafes. We picked one and ordered crepes, lattes and cocktails. Afterwards we shopped along this iconic stretch and then headed home on the Metro. We’re seasoned underground rail travellers already. The trains roll through every three or four minutes and lots of people climb on and off. It’s strange that nobody speaks or smiles to anyone. It is a regimented routine without emotion. Anyway we have joined the masses and migrate dutifully between venues.

Here’s a few more pics of our day. We’re visiting a travelling Dali Exhibition in Montmatre in the morning and then heading to the Musée d’Orsay. No doubt a cafe for lunch and then we will head out for dinner on our last day in Paris.

Categories: France, Paris | 9 Comments

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