Our ship pulled into Paris at around 6:00 p.m. Some had pre-arranged to leave the ship as soon as we pulled up. Others like us, remained on and enjoyed the remainder of the ship.
The next morning was rather sad for all of us. We had gotten fond of the crew and had to say our good-byes. Parting was bittersweet because the crew are on contract. Some were nearing the ends of their contract, however, Reka, was going to be assigned to a different location and hadn’t been notified yet.
This is the year of a milestone anniversary for us and my wife reserved two nights at the Peninsula in Paris. Pulling up in our cab, I felt like we were in a movie. Two members of the staff dressed in black suits greeted us and immediately took our bags. We were warmly greeted and I thought to myself, “this is what it is like to be a celebrity, of course without the paparazzi.”
We left the hotel, purchased metro passes and set our sights for the Musée D’Orsay. After a transfer, there was a very short ride (3 stops) to our train stop. I had forgotten how many flights of stairs are in metro stations and determined that this is how Parisians remain thin.
The Musée D’Orsay is built in a train station that was built between 1898 and 1900. It was on my bucket list because the museum houses the largest collection of impressionist and post-Impressionist masterpieces in the world.
Our cousins were on a day package tour and took a break for lunch in front of the Musée D’Orsay. We had sandwiches at a small shop and the museum and went our separate ways. It turns out that they did their tour in reverse and had already been to the museum.
The line was short and we entered quickly. If you go there, there are one-way escalators on the west and east sides of the museum. We couldn’t find the escalator up and so we climbed five flights of stairs to the top of the exhibit.
We had all day passes on the metro and so I asked my wife if she would be ok with going to another destination. I noticed Montparte on our metro line and she agreed. Unfortunately, it was quite a hike (about 60 steps) to get from the level of the metro station to street level.
From there, we found the funicular and rode it to the top. Our all day metro passes covered this ride as well.
The fourth and fifth floor had an amazing collection of impressionist paintings. I was surprised that they weren’t as protected as the Mona Lisa is in the Louvre. The lower floor are reserved for many of the sculptures.
After coming back to our hotel, we were pretty wiped out. Two things made it an easy decision for dinner – 1) it had just started to rain and 2) the hotel reservation came with a $100 credit. Can you say “room service?” For dinner, we enjoyed veal chops and pasta with a bolognese sauce. The hotel gave us a bottle of champagne and a decadent tiramisu mousse cake.