Monday, May 16, 2011

Nuit des Musées

Musée Rodin at dusk
One evening every May France hosts a free museum night.  With so many to choose from, we finally we decided on the Rodin at dusk followed by a visit to the Archaeological crypt at Notre Dame.

I had a hard time concentrating on the sculptures because the roses were so captivating.

The flowers in Paris have been blooming since April but the roses have only recently made their debut. 

I had been to the Rodin before during the depths of early March, but it felt like an entirely different museum in the middle of rose bloom May.

As you can see, Invalide (Napoleon's tomb), sits magnificently the background.

After the roses, the museum itself also captured my full attention.  Such an exquisite old Parisian villa (once the Hotel Brion). 

I loved everything about the Rodin at twilight.  The entire experience was even more poignant than usual with the light playing off of the sculptures, gardens  and surrounding monuments.

And last, but not least of course, some favorite sculptures.

If you can't make it to Paris, there is another museum in Philadelphia that houses the largest Rodin collection outside of Paris.

After a pleasant stroll through the Rodin, it was off to Notre Dame.  Feeling a little adventuresome, we decided to take a city bike.

Probably not our best decision to try out the bike rental for the first time at night, as you can imagine, the city roadways were not designed with pedalers in mind. 

For 2 Euro you can rent a bike for 24 hours and return it to any of the racks scattered around town (we promptly downloaded the Velib app once home which includes a map with the locations of the bike racks in each arrondisment).  I especially loved the basket and the headlight, which is light and motion sensor activated. 

After a few wrong turns, we had a pleasant detour down Rue Jacob, my favorite street in the 6th.  It has the best shops and cute restaurants. 

photo courtesy of photo eye candy

Finally, we arrived at Notre Dame, which is always a breathtaking sight at night.

Unfortunately, for a reason spelled out clearly in French (still unknown to me) the Archaeological Crypt is no longer participating in Nuit des Musées.

But don't worry, a crepe stand nearby quickly erased any memory of the Crypt closure misfortune.

Adventured out, we said bonne nuit to the city lights and headed home.

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