A rainy day full of wonderful surprises. We took the train this afternoon and went about fifteen minutes west of Paris to the town of Chatou. There we walked along the Seine River towards the bridge that crosses the river to the town of Malmaison. Half way across there is an access road to a large island in the center of the river that is known as the Isle of the Impressionists because in the late nineteenth century they would spend their weekends here painting on this island.
As we descended from the bridge we saw the set up for a large Circus that is taking place in a few days at one end of the island. We were headed towards the other side where there is a famous restaurant that was visited by all of the artists during their weekends. The restaurant was established in 1857 by Alphonse Fournaise and his wife. They also rented boats and had a few rooms that they rented out. Parisians loved to get out into the cooler countryside and enjoyed boating; easily arriving by rail.
Jim was humoring me with going but it turned out he enjoyed it as much if not more than I did. And, this has been the first day since New Years Eve that he has felt like going out for the day. The last luncheon customers were leaving as we arrived. The hostess talked with us and told us where to find the Museum but she thought it might still be closed. She suggested that we might like to come back for a coffee if it was closed.
We tried the door and it didn't open; looked through the windows and were preparing to leave when a lovely young girl opened the door and invited us in. We'd turned the handle the wrong way. Not many photos as I was asked not to take photos inside the museum.
Jim wanted to purchase an umbrella that has the Painting of the Luncheon of the Boating Party on it; but at sixty euros, I thought it a bit expensive. We settled on a postcard of the painting before leaving her a nice tip for inviting us into the Museum. It was truly one of the biggest surprises that we've had due to excellent copies of many and several originals that we had not expected to see in such a small museum. They even had audio guides in English for us to use.
Back on the train and into the city, rain threatened at any moment but held off until after we were safely back in our apartment. Dinner tonight was chicken fillets cooked in butter and wine with slices of fresh mushrooms, baked yams and some mixed vegetables. Most was purchased this morning on my visit to the local grocery store before our trip.
The original painting has been in the Phillips Collection, a Museum in Washington, D.C., for many years.
Hope you enjoy the slideshow: