Apologies! Long time, no word from Morgan!
So this post will probably be paired with another in the sorta of near future… Basically they will revolve around days on my choir’s tour of Spain and France from early June 2012. And by days I mean museum trips, and by Spain I mean Barcelona. I’m lucky enough to have gone on two tours during my school career (they run every other year) and I thought I’d try something a little different this trip.
You know how cameras are a travel essential? Well, I didn’t bring mine, instead I opted for a flip camera to take videos if I had to had to had to (sometimes there are those moments- but are there?) The last trip I wasn’t obsessed with taking pictures of every possible thing, but if I have that option I automatically rely on it to capture moments and memories (and for me it’s of course never done that job as well as I would like it to). So! While there were times when I would ask to borrow a friend’s camera for a shot that’s making me fidget, I did a pretty good job taking in sights with my eyes vs. a lens.
Both have a lot of merit. One thing I love about having a good camera is that you see things differently. You think in angles and lighting and focus and composition, foliage and statues, food stalls and architecture. One think I love about foregoing a camera is that you see things differently too. You look to look and blend more easily into the background, sitting in the corner chair of the café and meandering through a farmer’s market.
Anywhos. On our last full day, it was Sunday in Paris. To be honest, a part of me was grateful all the stores would be closed unlike my peers- besides, Sunday is a fantastic museum day. We had all morning into the early afternoon to explore before meeting back at the hotel to prepare for our last concert. After hearing a friend’s description of the Rodin Museum (you can browse through some of the collection online!), I knew that was my goal for the morning.
Lucky for me, the two friends that went along with me were very good with a map and we found the small museum tucked away on a quiet street. Before entering the garden we walked around an indoor exhibit of his work with marble. One of my favorites was this bust of Diana:
(so this one time I was Athena in a camp play…and I love, love, love archery…so yah)
It was a beautiful exhibit. I’m walking around in this state of calm awe and completely ecstatic. It was awesome. It was awesome before we even went out into the gardens and I can’t even fully describe (nor do the photos below, but this was indeed a place where I needed to obsessively take pictures of flowers and statues alternating the focus obvs) what a WOW moment this was. It was so pristine and so well laid out- you could see The Thinker from numerous points, the Eiffel Tower, and the roof of Les Invalides. The garden was honestly a piece of art itself.
Here’s the description of the garden that I’m quoting from placards placed along a pathway around the edge of the garden-
A WILD GARDEN
This garden that, in the latter half of the 18th century, had been one of the most beautiful in Paris, was relandscaped at the end of the 19th century, a good part of it transformed into kitchen garden, orchard, or pasture, while several small shrines dotted the lanes lined with trees that had grown substantially. Since the nuns’ departure, Nature had taken over again in the abondoned, untended park. “Indeed, Rodin loves, with a distinct affection, the Biron garden where Nature creates all its grass, all its leaves, and all its fruit as she sees fit. There is an arch of trees that springs up like the nave of a church; and its all organized in great majesty, with solemnity and splendor,: Gustave Coquiot recalled. For his own pleasure, Rodin had placed a few antiques in this garden that had reverted to its wild state, and his works blended with those of his collection. Rodin liked to meditate there. “So he went out in the park of the Hôtel Biron,” Paul Gsell remembers, “with his dog, Dora, who was a German shepard and who growled all the time, revealing her sharp fangs and black gums[…]. The sculptor, his forehead shaded by a large, black, velvet beret, poked a path through the dense vegetation that had invaded this vast garden, converting it into a sort of virgin forest. The lanes where the sisters of the Sacred Heart and their pupils had once strolled disappeared beneath wild grasses. The borders of the boxwood, no longer trimmed, escaped into intractable arborescences.”
I could have spent the whole day there. I’m glad I picked up a poster at the gift shop for the dorm room-
Artsy AND Thoughtful
Also picked up a ring (obbbbsessed with rings and well- I had held out from purchasing any rings on the trip and was glad I had been unconsciously holding out for this one). Inscribed on it is “une vie à plein bord…” which means “a life filled to the brim,” plus on the inside there’s Rodin’s signature (as seen above)!!
It was a wonderful, wonderful visit followed by a successful first use of the subway (including a legit convo ‘en français’ with two super kind and helpful security patrollers…) and more funness…possibly for another time.
Till next time-