All good things must come to an end, or so we’ve been told. Actually both Sylvia and I are ready to head home, as we are about done with sightseeing. I hope it hasn’t seemed like we are not pleased with our time in Paris, but neither of us have been feeling that well, and that hasn’t helped matters any.
There are numerous sites to see in Paris, and we have not had time to see all of them, but we saw a lot, and I figure that just means we’ll have to come back some time.
This morning we made plans to see the Church of the Sacred Heart, or Sacre Coeur. It is a Cathedral built in 1899-1914 and is obviously a great attraction today. Along with several thousand of our close friends we trekked up the hill to see the Church.
We arrived just before the Mass was about to be celebrated, so we decided to sit down and take in the whole experience. The service was obviously in French, but I understand enough to get the gist of where they are in the Bible while they’re reading, and some of the recitations are the same as I grew up with in the Lutheran Church and I recognized them right away. Sylvia wasn’t able to keep track of where they were, but used the time to observe, reflect and pray during the 45 minute service.
It must be strange for the parishioners to be involved in a service while several hundred people are milling around and taking pictures while they are worshipping. They have signs all over indicating that picture taking is forbidden, and they have attendants trying their best to stop people, but it was a losing battle. There was one young man seated a few rows in front of us that had a very long Selfie Stick that he must have just gotten and wanted to try out…. 40 or 50 times…in all different directions. I thought seriously about shoving that stick where the sun doesn’t shine, but I think that’s the wrong attitude to have when I’m in Church.
After the service we wandered the rest of the church before taking the stairs down the hill and running the gauntlet of vendors and restaurants back to the Metro Station.
After a great lunch at a Creperie we headed back to see what we could explore. Contessa had left a comment that the Musee De L’Orangerie was one of her favourites, so we thought we’d give it a try. We’re glad we did. They display paintings from such artists as Renoir, Cezanne, Matisse and many others including Picasso before he went all Cubist.
And yes, this is by Picasso.
And others who seemed to be rather disconnected with reality.
The highlight of the museum had to be Monet’s Waterlily Murals though. They had 8 paintings in 2 different rooms. I never realized just how large these paintings were until we were standing next to them.
The panoramic feature on my phone doesn’t do it justice unfortunately.
After we left the L’Orangerie we wandered across the river to the Hotel D’Invalides, which originally was a hospital for injured soldiers and is now a museum for the Army of France.
There are a huge amount of weapons on display, from knives and axes to muskets and carbines. Some of the long rifles used back in the 1700’s were up to 12 feet long. They also displayed a number of uniforms through the years, including those worn by the Cavalry.
All in all, we had a great last day in Paris. The weather was the best we’d seen since we left Nice, and we found it to be too warm to wear our jackets for the first time in over a week.
We’ve seen a lot in France, missed out on seeing a whole lot more, but really did enjoy ourselves. Time to go home though and rest our tootsies for a while.