First Things First
i) Bought a local Sim card for my mobile from Orange.
ii) Renewed our Metro Navigo pass for the month of April at an automatic kiosk (€60) without incident, even though it was two years since we last used the pass.
iii) Renewed our Friends of the Louvre year pass (€55 p/pp ; note normal single entry is €12), from their office in the underground passage leading from the central information desk to the Carrousel shopping plaza. The pass is available to all and allows entry to the Louvre through the short queue at the main entrance, at the Port de Lyon entrance, the gate in the Richelieu Passage (for groups and pass-holders) or via the passage on the lower floor of the Carrousel shopping mall on Rue de Rivoli at the Tuileries end of the Louvre (for pass and ticket holders, note: tickets can be bought from the tobacco shop, shop 34, and there is a direct passage from the metro palais royal musee louvre).
Both the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay can have very long queues, particularly for those without a prepaid ticket. Tickets can be bought in advance from FNAC, Carrefour, and the national tourist places.
We use the pass the Louvre pass a few times a week for an hour or so to view a section at a time.
Note: The three major Paris museums coordinate their exhibitions, with the Louvre displaying the early epochs up to the mid 1800’s, the Musée d’ Orsay, from mid 1800’s to 1930’s and the Museum Pompedeu for modern art. Of course, there is some overlap between the epochs.
Spent a couple of hours at the Musée de l ‘Orangerie to see the Monet exhibition which included two panoramas of Monet’s large works that surround the walls of two circular rooms. Downstairs was a sizeable exhibition of impressionist and post impressionist paintings. Took the hour English tour (10 participants) which explained the technique of the impressionists.
Next Day walked to the Musée d’Orsay without tickets, ignoring my own advice, and the queue was horrendous, so walked back to our apartment. Purchased tickets from FNAC and returned the next day to the Musée d’Orsay only to find a small queue for those without tickets and no queue for ticket holders. C’est la vie! Took the 1.5 hour English tour at 11:30 with eight participants. It turned out very instructive, concentrating on the works that influenced the evolution of the impressionist style through the period mid 1800’s through to the 1930’s.