Saturday September 12
This was our first day that was devoid of glorious sunshine. Rain was pouring down. There were only a few more things on Nick’s Wish List of places to visit— the Catacombs, the Paris Sewer Tour, and the Orsay Museum. I voted for the Orsay, and with encouragement from our friends, my vote won.
Before we left, the restaurant from the night before called to say that they had made a little mistake with the bill. The total charge was €174, not outrageous for excellent food for four including wine. Unfortunately, the waitress put the charge through as €1,740. They were working on a way to resolve the situation.
The Orsay was Paris’ first train station, now completely transformed to house art from 1848-1914. All of the other tourists in Paris decided to go there that day, as well! We stood outside in the rain for an hour just to get into the building. We followed the tour of the museum in Rick Steves’ Paris book, which worked out very well for us. Just as I was beginning to need a break, Rick’s book told us to have a snack at the museum’s 5th floor café. My “snack” was a Niçoise salad, one of my favorites. It contains hard-boiled eggs, potatoes, green beans, olives, anchovies, capers, and tuna all arranged like the spokes on a wheel, on a bed of lettuce.
Once fortified, we explored the remainder of the museum. We saw works by Camille Pissarro and mused how great it would have been had Nick been related to him. We know, however, that Nick’s DNA has no evidence to connect him to the artist, who was born on the then Dutch island of St. Thomas to a creole mother and a French father of Portuguese Jewish ancestry.
Back with Agnès and J-M that evening, we decided to compensate for our over-indulgence of the previous night with a “light” dinner of melon, salad, pate, bread, cheese, grapes, and chocolate, and of course, stimulating conversation.