Well, i was told by a friend from church and the internet that on every first Sunday of any month most museums in Paris are free! I did some research before i headed to Musee De Orsay with my kid that Sunday morning, i even missed church ;something i never do. The website did confirm that it was free on the first Sundays of the month but it didn’t say anything about May 1.
This was the first time alone with my kid in Paris because my husband had to work.I was taking a risk that day. Horrible thoughts came to my mind. What if we get lost, robbed or molested out there. After all, those things i have read about this city couldn’t be wrong. Strangers probably lurk in the dark planning to attack us. No matter what negative thoughts i had and even though something inside me told me to go to church first and then to the museum after,i didn’t listen. My husband dropped us off in front of the Musee in a hurry because the traffic didn’t stop coming or honking at us. My kid and i headed happily towards the entrance. Once i got close enough to the door i realized the place looked deserted and there were no lines anywhere. The small yellow sign on the glass door read” Museum closed Today” . What in the world was i supposed to do then? My husband had given me tickets to take the RER to go back home but i didn’t want to go back yet; not then knowing that i had missed church which is very important to me. I didn’t know that on May 1 almost everything closes in France because they celebrate something similar to Labor Day. My kid was cold, the wind was freezing even though it was sunny. Maybe because it was still early morning. After i explained to my kid what was happening i decided to check out the garden right in front of the Museum. I checked the picture on the map of Paris and it said it was the Tuileries Garden. It was a familiar place and name so we decided to check it out.
We ran across the street and made it to the other side. My kid loved it and she said she wanted to play all day so we started to look around for a kid’s play area.After two hours of playing in the park she wanted ice cream. We walked all over the park, all the way from the side of the Louvre to the street where the Ferris wheel was. She ate her very expensive 5 euro ice cream cone delightfully which i bought her from the ice cream stand behind the Ferris wheel. If you ever go don’t buy it from that stand instead head towards the Louvre where you will find many ice cream stands which have the same ice cream cones for 2 euros! Even though it was still a bit windy the sun shone hotter and brighter than earlier. We went to the Louvre just to check if it was open by any chance but it wasn’t. Since we were hungry we headed towards the McDonalds packed with tourists in front of the Musee De Arts Decoratifs. I was surprised at my French and how much i understood when i ordered and answered all questions correctly. If you ever go to this McDonalds be warned that there is only one restroom downstairs and the wait will most likely be long. After lunch we looked at all the shops that sell things for tourist on that street. I bought a couple of things and then we went back to the garden where we sat in front of the fountain for a while. Later we left the garden and walked around La Seine.
I felt peaceful and contempt. People were sitting at the edge of the river eating,kissing, fishing or just talking. Strangers never say “hi” or “hello” as they walk by nor make eye contact. We felt as if though we were the only ones sitting by La Seine. We took a seat and watched the people ,the boats and talked about the fish in the river. We wondered if there were any, the water was so dirty. After a while we walked back to the Museum Orsay to take the RER at metro underground in front of the Musee.
It was intense! The most intense thing in Paris to me is taking the metro. Somehow i managed to miss 5 trains because i had waited for the one with the right destination name on it. Even though many passed by my destination i didn’t take them. Once we arrived at our destination i lost us underground again and it took a good 30 minutes to get out. Of course next time i will listen to my intuition and i will not miss church for any other thing. I had made a promise before which i shouldn’t have broken. No one attacked us, it didn’t rain and i got us home safe! Heck! I even spoke good french. It was a good day after all.