Monday, June 15, 2015

Paris Diary part 14

Day 16
22°, sunny.

Lily & I had the day off, so we went to Bois de Vincennes. We started at Château de Vincennes, which is no Versailles, but is a pleasant enough side trip. Parc Floral de Paris is a nice botanical garden near the château.

Lac Daumesnil is on the far western edge of the park and has the Temple d'Amour, which looks a lot like the Temple de la Sibylle at Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. Mostly because they were both designed by the same guy.

Just next to Lac Daumesnil is the Parc Zoologique de Paris. We were undecided whether or not we should support a zoo, but this one has open enclosures and a more natural environment. It was closed for 6 years specifically so they could make it more animal friendly.

The zoo is divided into five regions – Europe, Guyana, Madagascar, Patagonia and the Sahara, with almost 200 different species representing each ecosystem in landscapes that were designed to resemble their natural habitats. Madagascar had an enormous aviary full of birds, reptiles and lemurs. Guyana was full of monkeys and manatees. Europe had wolves and otters. The Sahara section had lions, zebras and a few rhinoceroses. There was a large aviary for all of the birds, and the giraffes had a special maison des girafes. Patagonia had cougars, sea lions and penguins.

After lunch at a café on the Left Bank, drinking ordinary wine, we went to Musée d'Orsay for a quick visit with Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, Pissarro, Degas, Manet, and smaller collections of van Gogh, Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec, Seurat. We saw some of the greatest 19th century works of art, including Bal du moulin de la Galette by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Luncheon on the Grass by Édouard Manet, Arrangement in Grey and Black No.1 by James McNeill Whistler, Portrait of Dr. Gachet by Vincent van Gogh and The Painter's Studio by Gustave Courbet.

All in all, not a bad collection.

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