When we woke up this morning the forecast was cooler weather and rain. Top that with free admission to museums the first Sunday of the month, and today was musée day!

We started the morning taking the metro to Musée du Louvre. Now you can spend days in the Louvre, but we decided we would only hit the highlights so we could check out the other museums Paris has to offer.

We decided to start with the Italian Renaissance paintings. It was fun to see the actual masterpieces after having viewed them in textbooks. After the Italian Renaissance, we hit up the French paintings. I mean, when in France… From the French paintings we went to the apartments to see where Louis XIV and Napoleon III lived when it was Louvre Palace (Palais du Louvre). These were seriously ornate apartments, especially Napoleon’s!

To reach our next musée we walked through the Tuileries Garden…in the pouring rain. Drenched but ready to see more, we reached Musée de l’Orangerie. This museum houses eight Water Lily murals by Claude Monet. Monet is probably one of my favorites; I just love his work. Sitting in l’Orangerie staring at these works made me feel like I was there…I could almost hear the crickets and bullfrogs.

This one was my favorite!

Claude Monet, The Water Lilies – Setting Sun, 1920–1926, Musée de l’Orangerie
Claude Monet, The Water Lilies – Setting Sun, 1920–1926, Musée de l’Orangerie

The museum also contains works by Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Henri Rousseau, among others.

From Musée de l’Orangerie, we walked over the river to check out Musée d’Orsay. But before getting in line we decided an afternoon snack and drink were in order. Hello thé and crêpe! By the time we finished up the museum was no longer open to new visitors. So, we decided an adventure was in order! On our way to the metro for our next stop, we decided to detour for a ride on the Roue de Paris to get a unique view of the Louvre and other landmarks!

After going round and round on the grande roue, several metro changes and a bit of a hike, we reached our destination–the Sacré Cœur Basilica. Sacré Cœur offers an incredible view of the city. It’s definitely a must see if you are in Paris! We stopped for a delicious dinner in a hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant before heading back to the hotel!

Southern Exhilaration: Sacré Cœur Basilica | Paris, France

Southern Exhilaration: Paris from Sacré Cœur Basilica | Paris, France

Versailles is on tap for tomorrow!!