Sunday, April 29, 2012

Unexpected Sun

Since the weather forecast was for rain, we chose today to go to the Museum of Decorative Arts. Only that, because we picked up tickets for a concert tonight. So, just one "thing". then home for an easy afternoon, then out for dinner and a show.

La Musée des Artes Décoratif

This is an independent museum housed in one section of the same complex as the Louvre. The guide said it opened at 10 and we were on time, only in fact it opens at 11 on Sundays. So with an hour to kill we descended into La Carrousel du Louvre. The Louvre is a vast rambling W-shaped complex of stone palaces. That's above ground. Below ground, come to find out, that area (roughly 6 by 3 city blocks?) has a huge parking garage, a bus garage, and an up-scale shopping mall, the Carrousel. People in the know queue to buy Louvre tickets down there, out of the weather. Here are some waiting in the center court, which is the bottom side of the smaller glass pyramid.

Here there are also cafes, an Apple store, a Swarovsky crystal store, etc. While down here we took the opportunity to buy tickets for Versailles.

Back up to the M. of D. A. which basically stores and documents styles of furniture and all other household objects from the 17th century to the 1990s . We walked through about half of it in 2 and 1/2 hours. The audio guide, which was free, was simple and worked well, and we saw and learned about many beautiful things. There were rooms and rooms of beautiful things. Here are a couple of them.

Art Deco armoire.

"Carp" vase from the 1860s(?).


While going around inside we'd caught glimpses of a brilliantly sunny day out the windows. Back outside at 1pm for a quick snack and a juice we found that yes, the overcast had broken up into highly photogenic puffy clouds with bright sun between. Quick, photograph something! But what? It was too late in the day to get in line for the Eiffel tower, but we could shoot the tower from the Allée de Cygnes, "Swan Alley," a long thin island that runs down the middle of the Seine south of the Tower. We photographed its bottom end from Pont Mirabeau, in the rain, yesterday.

Studying the metro map showed we could step into a station just down the block here, and emerge over there, so we did.

And here's the view, the Eiffel Tower against just about the perfect sky.

(Go to The Gallery, jump to the last page, click on this image, click the little file-folder icon that pops out, and you'll have a 1600x2300 pixel version.)

This is the double-decker Bir Hakeim bridge.

Metro #6 train heads uptown.

Bir Hakeim was a battle site in Libya in WWII, at which the Free French held off a much larger force of Germans and Italians for 16 days, and there is a memorial to this. The bridge also features monumental sculptures signifying the dignity of labor, of which this is one.

Nothing signifies "labor" like the complete absence of appropriate safety clothing.

We strolled 1/2 mile to the end of the Allée.

There one finds that down-sized replica of Lady Liberty that we saw from a distance yesterday.

After which, to home to rest up for the evening activities. Hey, who are we kidding? Home so Marian can update the Stanford Women's Basketball website and David can process pictures. Anyway, all about our evening out tomorrow.

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