Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Walk 4: Of Art, War, and World's Fairs: Invalides, Musée Rodin, and Tour Eiffel

This was one of those walks that ended up spreading across several days due to intense laziness and incredibly poor timing. When I set out with Rebecca and Hanna on a windy morning, none of us were really in the mood for a walk, but we did get some pretty amazing pictures as we crossed Pont Alexandre III, a bridge symbolizing the friendship of France and Russia.

We got a little lost along the way, but eventually found Invalides (Hanna had already been to the Musée Rodin, so Rebecca and I saved it for another day). Unfortunately, it was about to close. End of walk attempt #1.

Rebecca and I went the next Tuesday with Courtney to the Musée Rodin, which was pretty incredible, given that it was a 300 year old Rococo home where Rodin actually lived in the early 1900s. This was the first time I had a chance to see Rodin’s work in person, and I was fascinated by the way his bronzes captured people in complicated poses.

The Musée also gave us an opportunity to see “The Kiss” and to take a classic pose in front of “The Thinker.”

Thinking we would be able to finish the walk, we headed to Invalides, only to discover that it was closed for a special event. End of walk attempt # 2.

Walk attempt #3: Rebecca and I were determined to get the walk done, so we spent a lovely morning that same weekend heading yet again to Invalides. Lucky for us, it was actually open (and not just to VIPs), and we even got in free with our magical art passes. Although we saw Napoleon’s tomb, which was just a little extravagant, and the armor of various French kings, my favorite part of the museum was definitely the WWI and WWII exhibits. It was a 20th century history major’s dream come true. I loved seeing the dummies paratroopers dropped to distract German troops on D-day and the uniforms of soldiers from around the world, and I was particularly moved to see the clothing, uniforms, and personal belongings of Holocaust victims. I must have been really caught up in this part of the museum, because I didn’t actually take any pictures.

Since the weather was gorgeous, we finished up the walk at the Eiffel Tower. Confession: I lived in Paris for more two months before actually going to the Eiffel Tower. Even though I had seen it from a distance, seeing it up close was a whole new experience. It’s huge! I was tempted to go to the top, but I think I’ll save it for one of my last days in Paris.

1 comment:

  1. Those kissing people look kind of naked. After spending all this time in art museums, are you any more comfortable with the all the nude statuary? I mean, I know it's art and all, but sometimes it's still a little weird.


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