Took a tour with Monique Wells of the “Entrée To Black Paris” blog, http://entreetoblackparis.blogspot.com/ . If you remember we took her and her husband Tom to dinner on Day 5 and she offered to take us on one of her walking tours.
Monique has create a number of interesting walking tours around Paris. Today we took her “Black Paris after World War II” tour. The website http://www.discoverparis.net/african_americans.html has a full list of walking tours they offer.
It is so much fun, and educational, to have a guide as knowledgeable and passionate about a topic as Monique. We wandered the streets of the Latin Quarter for 2 hours as she pointed out historic locations and told us about interesting facts about the black experience in Paris. Did you know the “Latin” quarter is called that due to the Latin language spoken here in the past. The area has strong educational / university roots.
Our tour ended at a corner that had 4 TV trucks parked nearby with cameras out and ready for something. It appeared a strike demonstration was going to take place so we exited quickly after the tour.
But before we left we asked about chocolate… Monique and Tom also know a thing or two about the local gourmet chocolate scene and guided us to some real winners a few blocks away!
After a snack and resting our feet for a while at a local café we were off to the d’Orsay Museum. On Thursdays the entrance fee drops from 8e to 5.50e at 6pm and the museum is open late. We wasted 15 minutes in the museum gift shop but it saved us 5e in entrance fees. I’m not normally one for art museums….I’d rather be at the auto show. But I do understand the importance of the great works of art housed in the museums of Paris. The d’Orsay is located in an old Paris train station that has been beautifully renovated and repurposed.
I’ve seen great works in some of the fine museums in the US before, but for some reason today I was really struck by the Van Gough paintings on exhibit here. It was the way they were displayed, the lighting was such that the dimensions of the paint on the canvas became an important part of the artwork. A dimension you can’t see in a reproduction. It almost brought the art to life.
The museum took about an hour and a half for us to view. Pamela was feeling a little tired so we didn’t linger as long as some visitors might. But several of our Facebook readers had mentioned the great restaurant housed on the 2nd floor of the d’Orsay. And it was great! Pamela says it was her second best meal to date. It was reasonably priced and located in a beautiful space in the old train station. Thanks for that suggestion!!