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Paris top

The Seine River separates the upscale Right Bank from the bohemian, student-centered Left Bank. Standing among gargoyles on the top of Notre Dame Cathedral, we can get ideas for the day’s agenda! Never fear, it’s a manageable and exciting task.

One day in Paris. Okay. What can we explore that we can’t find anywhere else? You can’t miss the sense of style or bohemian flavor or the cuisine. We’ll get to that. But first, let’s check out a structure that thirty years ago had Parisians aghast and protesting. Today, it’s a landmark of Paris. 24 hours? You can’t miss this one.


For more information on Paris, visit www.paris.org. For information about how to get around Paris, go to www.ratp.fr. You can also check out Rudy Maxa's guide book "SmartTravels.TV Europe" for more tips and information on Europe's Great Cities.


Pompidou Center top

It’s fun to walk from Notre Dame to the Pompidou Center. Imagine this apparition bursting onto the scene in the late 1970s. For starters, it’s inside out. Pipe systems traditionally hidden— electricity and water and ventilation—are a featured design, intricate detail lit up with coded colors! Escalators carry visitors around—their trail blazed bright red. People flock to see the National modern art collection inside. But for this 24 hours in Paris, we’ll settle for the exterior—until next time.


For more information about the Pompidou Center, visit www.cnac-gp.fr.


Stravinsky Fountain top

Right next door, the Stravinsky Fountain accents the museum’s mood —vitality, movement, and fantastic colors dedicated to composer Igor Stravinsky. A natural resting spot, before a stroll to the river.


For more works by one of the sculptors of the Stravinsky Fountain, check out www.karaart.com.


Les Bouquinistes Restaurant top

If you check out the Latin Quarter along the river—in between book stalls you’ll come across cafes and restaurants with menus posted. I like the smaller places, often exquisite cuisine, but informal. Among friends, it’s fun to try a little of everything.


For more information about Les Bouquinistes, visit www.lesbouquinistes.com.


Musée d'Orsay top

From here, it’s an easy walk or a short taxi ride to the excellent Musee D’Orsay. Transformed from the old Paris Train Station into a stunning space, the D’Orsay Museum specializes in art from mid-19th century to World War One.

The Impressionist collection greets visitors with one renowned artist after another. The vitality of Paris was a constant theme among Impressionists, as was changing light and movement. Mavericks of their time, these artists created images with new vision and ambiguity, leaving realistic renderings to the classicists…and the grumbling to their critics.


For more information about the Musée d'Orsay, visit www.musee-orsay.fr.


Rodin Museum top

A short stroll from the D’Orsay, the Rodin Museum honors a contemporary of the Impressionists, sculptor Auguste Rodin. The museum holds great art, including Rodin’s personal collection, but the magic is outside behind the museum in the Rodin Sculpture Garden.

A great sculptor makes cold stone look alive. And Rodin’s bronze statues seem to breathe. He worked seven years on Monument to Balzac, catching perfectly an intense moment. Burghers of Calais re-creates a 14th century event--the city fathers about to turn the keys of Calais over to their English invaders. And Rodin’s most famous, The Thinker, part of his Gates of Hell series, sits strong, natural and more flesh-like than bronze has a right to be.


For more information about the Rodin Museum, visit www.musee-rodin.fr.


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For more information on Paris, visit www.paris.org.

For information about how to get around Paris, go to www.ratp.fr.

For more information about the Musée d'Orsay, visit www.musee-orsay.fr.