Day 3 in Paris: Monet and Monuments

I began my Sunday in Paris early, once again around 5:30am. After packing my two little bags and leaving them in a huge, unattended room in the hostel’s ground floor (yes, this made me anxious for the rest of the day), I headed out for breakfast. I intended to eat at L’Avenue, but when I got out of the metro near the restaurant, I walked in the exact opposite direction of the restaurant. Fortunately, this mistake took me down the Champs-Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe! It was barely 8am so the Place Charles de Gaulle was void of its trademark traffic and the whole area was beautifully peaceful.

After lots of photos at the Arc de Triomphe, I headed back in the same direction I came from so I could eat breakfast at L’Avenue. Unfortunately, once I got there, the place was closed! Multiple sources online said that the restaurant opened at 8am, but it was past 8am and when I walked inside, a man working there said the place opened at 9am. Thanks Internet. I plopped myself on a bench outside and decided to wait about 40 minutes for the restaurant to open (luckily L’Avenue had a strong WIFI connection that reached across the street to where I was sitting). Once 9am hit though, the place still was not open. I decided to walk up to the door and check out the menu just to see if this place was worth waiting longer for. Turns out it wasn’t as one item on the menu was a plain avocado… for €26. Annoyed that I spent so long waiting for a restaurant that would bankrupt me, I headed back onto the Champs-Élysées, spotted a Le Pain Quotidien, and ducked in for a yogurt parfait, pain au chocolat, and a mug of hot chocolate.

After my late breakfast, I continued walking down the Champs-Élysées and passed by the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais. I also stopped to take photos in the Place de la Concorde, from where I had views of the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, and the Palais Bourbon.

I am a huge Monet fan and I had never been to the Musée de l’Orangerie before, so I entered the Jardin des Tuileries and popped into the small museum. They offer free admission on the first Sunday of every month so I lucked out by not having to pay. The museum houses eight of Monet’s water lily paintings and they were all beautiful. Being in this museum’s circular rooms engulfed by the water lily paintings reminded me so much of being at Monet’s house in Giverny, which I had visited two years earlier.

The museum also had a collection of paintings by other impressionists and post-impressionists, some well-known artists that I was very familiar with, like Cézanne and Renoir, and others I had never heard of before. I love impressionism so it was great getting to see works by new artists.

The day was still young when I finished at the museum so I walked through the Jardin des Tuileries and sat down for a bit to soak up some vitamin D. I eventually collected my stuff from the hostel and shuffled into a café for a late lunch/early dinner. I then headed to the airport incredibly early, thus ending my whirlwind weekend in Paris.

Read about Day 1 in Paris here

Read about Day 3 in Paris here

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