Rolling with the Punches: Rain and Hail

Trip Start May 12, 2012
Trip End May 29, 2012

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Where I stayed
Hotel La Serre

Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Tuesday, May 15, 2012

We got up as we planned and had breakfast at the bakery on Rue Cler. Erin had an apple turnover, Derek and I had a raisin and almond pastry and Larry had a chocolate pastry.  Then we headed to Sacre Couer, the large church on the highest hill in Paris.  The only structure taller in Paris is the Eiffel Tower.  Sacre Couer means Sacred Heart in French and so the vault over the chancel behind the altar is dominated by a huge mosaic of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  The highlight of this visit was a climb to the top of the dome, 300 steps up after over 100 just to get to the bronze doors of the church.  First you went up a spiral stone staircase, then across part of the roof, and then up another very narrow spiral stone staircase.  The view from the top was magnificent but we could see clouds gathering and thickening.  By the time we got down from our climb it looked like rain and it started very soon after.  We put on our raincoats and waited under some trees.  The rain turned to hail and we had a real downpour.  When it finally let up we headed back to the Metro station and went to the Catacombs

The line for the catacombs was really long.  We stood in it in the rain and wind for about 15 minutes and the line had hardly moved.  So we decided to scratch the catacombs and find a dry place for lunch.  We found a Crepe Place just around the corner.  They made buckwheat crepes with all kinds of fillings.  Mine was mozzarella, cheese, black olives, and tomatoes with basil.  Larry got one with steak (hamburger), potatoes, cheese and a fried egg on top.  I can't remember what Erin or Derek had but we all enjoyed our meal and getting warm and dry.  When we left the rain was letting up a little so we headed for the Metro. 

It wasn’t long at all that we were getting off at the Musee D’Orsay, an art gallery with a lot of Impressionistic and Art Nouveau Paintings.  The line was long there too so we walked to the Rpdin Museum and got a ticket.  It was nice when we got there so we toured the gardens first to look at "The Thinker" and many other sculptures placed throughout the grounds.  Then it started to rain and then it started to hail again so we went indoors to see the rest of the collection.  There were a lot of the plaster casts used to make the finished statues, of bronze, I think.  When we left there we returned to the Orsay by a different route and there was still a long line.

We waited for over 30 minutes to get in which gave us only 1 hours to view the exhibits.  I never saw so many Van Gogh’s, Cezanne’s, Gaughin’s, Monet’s, Manet’s, Renoir’s, Degas’, Seurat’s, and Toulouse-Lautrec’s all in one place.   There was a lot that we had to just walk by quickly in order to see as much as we could.  We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside and I forgot to take one of the outside but it was a beautiful building and recently redone display space.  I wished we had more time but my feet were killing me.  We got right back on the Metro and came to Rue Cler for a sit down and something to drink.  We stopped at a Bar and Brasserie and each had two drinks.  For the second round the waitress brought us some complimentary black olives which mostly I ate.  We had a great conversation about former and future vacations.  We got crepes from the place right beside our hotel and they were great.  Then we went to our rooms to take showers, blog, and go to sleep.
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Michele Croce on

Your photos are awesome, great camera, you'll have to let me know what you are using....

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