Impressionists missing; over-the-top car

Tuesday, May 25 – Paris: Our last full day in Paris. We spent the morning at the Musee D’Orsay where, without any warning to people buying tickets to see the art, they’ve closed the Impressionist galleries for renovation. Just a dozen van Goghs lined up in a temporary gallery. Still, we saw some favorites, such as the Rodin portrait of Camille Claudel and her sculpture of a young girl being rejected by an older man. Also some fine Art Nouveau furniture — although one comes away impressed with the quality of similar things at the Met in NYC.

At lunchtime, we had an appointment with a friend of a friend of a friend of Dani’s private banker in order to try to set up a French bank account with a French credit card containing a memory chip: many automated ticket machines and even one motel (Formule Un) require the chip and won’t work with an American credit card. To our great surprise, we were able to set up the account but now need to figure out how to get the card itself from Dani’s address where it must be sent to us whereever we happen to be. But at least we’re 80% there.

We then went to the district for designer fabrics (and every other kind) so that Deb could look for a cotton knit for the Diane von Furstenberg wrap-around she wants to make. She had a great time in the major fabric stores (one was 6 floors of fabric) but our only take-away was a dish towel!

Our last task of the day was to pick up the car we will drive for the next 72 days. I’d been wondering how I could sweet-talk the agent into giving us the car they implicitly promised (a VW Golf; the contract says “Golf or similar” and we’ve been round that barn before). BUT amazingly, they noticed that we were dropping the car off in Pisa and as they had an Alfa Romeo coupe with Italian plates which they wanted to get back in Italy, they offered it to us. Very nice car!!! (Photos tomorrow.) Very difficult drive from l’Etoile to Dani’s (repeat after me: anything on the right, including traffic entering a rotary (!!), has the right-of-way) but we made it.

Sorry it wasn’t much of a day for interesting pictures. But it is strawberry season and we’re doing our part:

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