I had forgotten about the Latin Quarter ‘s Saturday market, but we are lucky and come across it anyway.
It’s fun to see what is available and to watch the local Parisians doing their shopping. It almost makes me wish we were staying in an apartment so I could cook!
Continuing along, we come to a flower market overflowing with hydrangeas in the most amazing colors I have ever seen.
I wish I could bring some home, but that isn’t possible. (Can you imagine me trying to fit one into the overhead bin and then sneak it past the ag inspectors?)
Do I know of anyone in Paris who might like one?
No. I don’t. Bummer. They are so lovely it’s tempting to buy one to share.
There are no other people around here this morning. So I’m a little surprised when one of the shop keepers grumbles at me as I admire the plants and take a few pictures, complaining that everyone admires them and wants to take pictures, but no one remembers that I’m here to make money.
I guess it is time to move along.
It is lovely here, with shops and apartments lining the street along the river. Of course, I’m especially impressed by the number of tiny garden centers tucked in amid the galleries, restaurants, and apartment entrances.
And then we reach the Louvre.
At this early hour, the courtyards are empty except for a few joggers and a pair of rather inept Romany girls running a scam. Despite them, the courtyard is peaceful and a little otherworldly.
The Louvre is also overwhelmingly large, which becomes apparent as we enter the main courtyard, punctuated by green-tinged fountains and I.M. Pei’s crystal pyramids.
I know the pyramidal entrance was controversial when first constructed and I’ve always thought it seemed dumb, but now, standing here, I see that it is somehow works.
The clean lines and transparent material are a great foil for the elaborate French Renaissance building. Scattered throughout the courtyard, they break up the space without obscuring the original structure. It’s a bit of whimsy in an otherwise formal and serious space. . . and my friend Jeff says that they sparkle in the sun, shooting bits of colored light across the building’s façade. I’ll be looking forward to seeing that some day!
The museum opens in a few minutes. At this early hour there really is no line. We could change our plans and spend the day here. . . but the d’Orsay beckons.
So we continue on, past the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel (originally topped by the golden horses taken from St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice) . . .
. . . and on into the Tuileries garden.
However, our walk through the vast yards, manicured trees, and sculpture both traditional and modern is brief, as the d’Orsay still beckons from across the Seine.
Time to see some Impressionist paintings.
Next post: Impressions of the Musée d’Orsay