Saturday, September 24th–Paris

A late morning; back to Orange for a last top up; a walk down to and along the Seine to the Musee d'Orsay; a Seine-side piano player; lunch at d'Orsay; walking back home and finding a Paris sweatshirt; laundry pick up; some packing before dinner at the Cidrerie du Marais

Grand Hotel Malher



It's only 9:30 PM and I'm already mostly packed for my departure for home early Monday morning. I had to sort my clean laundry out anyway and it was easier to just pack all the clothes and most of the stuff I won't need between now and then. I'm keeping my laptop and all the zip lock bags with all my electronics–cables, power adapters, clocks, etc–out until I finish packing tomorrow night and Monday morning.

I had thought of going to both the Musee d'Orsay and the Richelieu wing of the Louvre today and that would have taken probably about four to five hours so I wasn't in a real hurry to get moving this morning. I woke up about 8:30 AM, skipped breakfast again, and just hung out reading and relaxing until 10 when I got up, showered, and got dressed. It was a very pleasant morning.

My first stop was at the Orange phone branch right on the corner to top up my French smart phone one last time. (I checked on Verizon, my home cell phone company's Web page and it looks like I can't put a US SIM in the Samsung phone I bought in London but that's actually OK. I can leave it in the downstairs bedroom since it will connect to my home wifi just fine so I can use it for that and keep using the Kindle reader app as well.)

I then went across to the corner by the Franprix and down a familiar path to the Pont Marie, across the Ile Saint-Louis to the Pont de la Tournelle and across it to the Left Bank and then walked down the Seine side all the way to the Musee d'Orsay. As I was approaching Notre Dame I thought I could hear a piano which might be coming from one of the buildings along the street but when I got right there I found a guy playing an old upright piano from which he'd removed the front panels. He was pretty good, playing jazz piano, so I stopped to listen for a few songs before moving on.

Last night I mentioned that the Technoparade was going on today and that I hadn't been able to find any information about an actual parade route but did see a list of various venues such as along the Seine by the Louvre. I decided I wasn't interested in stopping when I noticed that the music was so loud I could hear it from several blocks away as I approached the Louvre–I like a lot of techno and other electronic music but not when it's played so loudly I'd need hearing protection.

It was about 1 PM when I got to the Musee d'Orsay so I wanted to have lunch in one of its two cafes/restaurants. I found the layout of the Musee a bit confusing, especially finding the elevators. I went through each room on the ground floor, down one side then up the other and back down the middle before I eventually found the elevator and went up to the fifth floor where the restaurant and the Impressionist collection are located. I don't think I saw the restaurant when I was there two years ago but it's beautifully done and I had a very nice chicken pot pie and dessert before seeing the Impressionists which as usual I greatly enjoyed. I then worked my way down from floor to floor, enjoying the small decorative arts collections on the fourth and third floors and on down to the amazing collection on the amazing ground floor of the old railway terminal. Like with the Petit Palace, Arts et Metiers and the Cluny part of the pleasure of seeing the collections is what has been done with the wonderful buildings housing them.

The music for the Technoparade was still going on as loud as ever when I left the Musee so I decided I'd skip the Louvre and save it for tomorrow. I wanted to check out the Musee de la Legion d'Honneur but it didn't seem to be open so I walked across the footbridge Passerelle Leopold Sedar-Senghor and straight through the Jardin de Tuilleries to the Rue de Rivoli which was pretty damned crowded due to the large amount of mostly younger people at the various Technoparade venues along the Seine. I was getting tired of trying to get past small crowds and groups of people and idiots at crosswalks who made me go around them instead of letting me through. For God's sake you don't have to be a genius to realize the polite thing to do when you see someone in a wheelchair or on crutches or with a cane coming towards you is to not make them go around you when you're obviously more maneuverable than they are.

From the Tuilleries on down to the end of the Louvre nearest the hotel there is a string of souvenir shops, mostly rather small and selling a lot of the same merchandise. I went past two shops that sold very nice zip front sweatshirts but not large enough for me and was becoming resigned to not finding one when a block or so later I went past another shop that had lots of sweatshirts inside including a very nice one in XXL which I got.

The weather today was beautiful. Although in the middle of the afternoon it got up to the upper 70s F, early in the morning it was still quite chilly in the low 60s and when I left it was still only in the upper 60s but when I bought the sweatshirt it was way too warm to wear it so I carried it in a bag all the way to the cleaners where I picked up my clean laundry. I now had two bags to carry and couldn't figure out how to do so and still use my cane so I carried it in whichever hand was carrying the smaller bag with the sweatshirt in it.

I got back here about 6 PM which was still too early for me to feel like having dinner. I also chose to wait and deal with the laundry until after I got back after dinner so I just stretched out to read for a while. I like the small Cidrerie du Marais (I went there in the first couple of days I was here) so I went back for dinner tonight. I had a very good galette topped with scallops and a sauce with leeks followed by their Black Forest dessert crepe accompanied by a small pitcher of their own excellent cider.

I just looked at my written notes for what I thought I might do today and tomorrow and realized that my last concert was at 5 PM today and not tomorrow as I incorrectly remembered–oh well.

My plans for tomorrow are to go to the Louvre one last time for the Richelieu wing which is the only one I haven't been to yet this trip. If I get moving early enough in the morning I think I'll start by going over to the Arab World Institute/Institut du Monde Arabe which is about a fifteen minute walk from here. Then from the AWI to the Louvre it's either another half an hour walk or I could take the Metro from the nearest Metro station to the AWI, Pont Marie.

The forecast for tomorrow is quite a bit cooler, in the 60s F only with a chance of showers which is why I kept my rain jacket out but packed all my sweatshirts. Earlier this evening I ordered another hat/coat rack to hang up all the new hats, caps and sweatshirts I bought on this trip. I didn't buy that many of them, just enough that I can't fit them all on the racks I already have at home. It should arrive sometime Wednesday.

And that's it for today. And it's only 10:30 PM.

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