One of the new experiences on my to-do list for 2012 was go right to the top of the Eiffel Tower, I’ve stood at the bottom looking up on several occasions but have always wimped out. I was in Paris last week and still have not been to the top of the Eiffel Tower, though I did stand underneath it.
This failure isn’t entirely my fault. On Wednesday the top was closed and as they’d also closed three out of four of the lifts as well we’d have had to queue for an hour or so just to get the second floor (I damn well wasn’t using the stairs). So we went to the Musée Marmottan instead which, all things considered, was a much, much more rewarding thing to do.
The Musée Marmottan is now one of my favourite museums in the world. It’s a former hunting lodge and it’s full of Impressionist paintings, including the Monet of Le Havre which was called ‘Impression’ and gave its name to the movement. The original part of the house is furnished and you wander through elegant rooms gawping at what’s hung on the walls, next to mirrors, above tables, in corners – wonderful things by Monet, Caillebotte, Pissaro, Renoir… One or two of the rooms literally took my breath away. And there’s an extension with the pictures that are too big to hang in a normal house, I have a feeling that as Monet got better known and could afford more paint and bigger canvases his horizons expanded, several of his waterlilies, the Japanese bridge at Giverny, landscapes.
Last, but not least, the Marmottan also has a great gift shop, (the Louvre didn’t even have an adequate range of postcards), full of inexpensive fun things to take back as small presents. For instance I bought my husband a Monet pencil and Monet himself to rub out any mistakes.
We knew the top of the Eiffel Tower would be open on Thursday, our last day, so we headed back there. I doubt we’d have had any problems with the queues on account of this:
The Tower is there, behind the building on the right…
We decided to go to the Musée Rodin instead which turned out not to be a particularly good move. We knew that most of the garden was closed as there was a big sign outside but didn’t realise until I’d bought our quite expensive entrance tickets that the Hotel Biron which has the majority of Rodin’s sculptures in it was also shut for renovation. The temporary exhibition of Rodin’s drawings was not an adequate consolation prize.
Rodin’s sculptures thrill me to the core and I’d really wanted my daughter to see them and understand what I get so excited about. I was in danger of becoming seriously grumpy until she bought me a present,saying that perhaps we could use it in book group meetings to aid intelligent discussion. Le Penseur was one of the few things we actually managed to see. In fact she’d seen enough to put going back to the Musée Rodin on the top of her list when she goes back to Paris (in equal place with going back to the Monet’s at the Muséé Marmottan).
And I didn’t get to see the Berthe Morrisot’s at the Musée Marmottan either, which we also on my to-see list, as they’d been closed off to prepare for an exhibition. Three failures in a three day trip is quite some strike rate…but that’s what you get for going when (most) of the tourists aren’t there. It was a fabulous stay though, full of super things, and the three misses have given us an excellent excuse to go back again.
The Musee Marmottan is one of my favourites, too, Victoria. And do you know the Picasso Museum in the Hotel Sale in the Marais? (Can’t work out how to do accents here, sorry.) I really envy your trip to Paris. I haven’t been there for at least two years. Far too long.
We walked past the Picasso Museum but didn’t go in – had been on our feet for about seven hours by then. That’s down for the next time and I’ll make the gap a little shorter than the last one, my previous trip was when I was pregnant with the daughter who accompanied me this time, 26 years ago.
Such a shame about the Rodin Museum, it’s absolutely phenomenal, glad the closure didn’t put people off ! I have never been to the Musee Marmottan, though I’ve walked past many a time and will be right in there next time thanks to your recommendation! The Monet rubber is so cute.
I so agree about the Rodin museum, I was really looking forward to it. Still it gives me an excuse to go back.
fly in the web said:
I liked the Marmottan immensely…but the Eiffel Tower does not appeal. I had my own.
From my bedroom window i could see his country version…the metal spire of the church at St. Clementin in the Deux Sevres, while great friends lived within sound of the clock he restored at Argenton l’Eglise in the same department.
It was my daughter who wanted to go up, I’d decided that for once I wasn’t going to wimp out and let my companion go to the top while I stayed lower down.
I’ve been searching for photographs of the church at St Clementin, can’t find any – lots of gites to rent though.
I’m going to a bi-lingual literary festival at St Clementin at the end of August. Here’s a link to it. http://www.survivefrance.com/events/st-clementin-literary-festival-30th-of-august-to-the-3rd-of
I saw that on Survive France, it looks very interesting.
You can see a picture of the metal spire of the church on Google maps. Try this link http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&tab=wl or find St Clementin on google maps and use the little man to drop into the map and show you the street view.
I’ve tried and can’t find it; don’t know what I’m doing wrong.
Find St Clementin on Google maps. When you zoom in, move the little man on the top of the zoom button to the map to get a street view. Then you can see the tower.
Found it at last! Thanks!
Glad you found it. Might you make it to St Clementin for the Festival?
I hope so, it looks fun, it is quite a way from here though…
I don’t know the Marmottan but then we’re country bumpkins these days and get to Paris once every 10 years! Time for a visit. One of my favourite museums is the Musée de Cluny, which is a wonderfully eclectic museum that includes the lovely ‘Dame à la Licorne’ tapestries and plenty of other things.
I didn’t know about the Marmottan until I read a book about the Impressionists last year, can’t think why it isn’t better known – perhaps because it isn’t really big enough to take in huge groups.
The Musée de Cluny is one of my favourites too, I took my daughter who hadn’t realised there were six Dame à la Licorne taapestries, she’d only ever seen reproductions of two, and was completely bowled over.
OmbetræKning Af Stole Aalborg said:
You’ve made some decent points there. I looked on the web for additional information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.