Discussed in this Episode
- Visitor numbers in Paris museums
- Bus loads of visitors
- Asian visitors are not back in Paris yet
- Manet - Degas expo at the Orsay Museum
- Van Gogh at Auvers-sur-Oise expo at the Orsay Museum
- Matisse and Modigliani at the Orangerie
- Germaine Richier at the Pompidou
- 50th anniversary of the death of Picasso
- Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol at the Fondation Louis Vuitton
- Ramses and the Pharaohs at La Vilette
- Why Paris museums grab all the art
- Avenue de la Bourdonnais
- Rue Saint-Dominique
- Rue Cler
- Aldi store on rue Cler
- Aux Cerises
- La Fontaine de Mars
- L'Auberge Bressane
- Jacquemart-André and Füssli Expo
- Rosa Bonheur in Thomery
- Visiting all the Costcos in France
- The newly renovated Cluny Museum
- BnF Richelieu
- Musée de la Libération de Paris near the Catacombs
- A fun shopping street in Paris called rue Daguerre
[00:00:00] Annie Sargent:
[00:00:16] Annie Sargent: This is Join Us in France, episode 429. Quatre cent vingt-neuf.
[00:00:22] Annie Sargent: Bonjour, I’m Annie Sargent and Join Us in France is the podcast where we talk about France. Everyday life in France. Great places to visit in France, French culture, history, gastronomy and news related to travel to France.
[00:00:38] Today on the podcast
[00:00:38] Annie Sargent: Today, I bring you a conversation with Elyse Rivin of Toulouse Guided Walks about the big events coming up in Paris in 2023. Paris is always a beehive of activity of all sorts, and it’s incredibly busy for people who enjoy art and culture in particular.
[00:00:57] This year, Paris museums are going to put on a wonderful show and that’s what we discuss as well as my visit to Paris in January, 2023.
[00:01:07] Annie Sargent: So I guess it’s my own trip report.
[00:01:10] Podcast supporters
[00:01:10] Annie Sargent: This podcast is supported by donors and listeners who buy my tours and services, including my Itinerary Consult Service, where we discuss your trip and I give you my suggestions for how to make it better, and also my GPS self-guided tours of Paris on the VoiceMap app.
[00:01:28] Annie Sargent: I’ve published six VoiceMap Tours, the newest and also the shortest is called Paris’s Iron Lady, A walking tour from the Trocadero to the Eiffel Tower. And it takes you around the best photo spots around the Eiffel Tower as well as the history of the area, of course. Then there’s Saint Germain des Prés tour, the Latin Quarter tour, le Marais, Montmartre and Ile de la Cité where Paris was born.
[00:01:57] If all you do is walk one of my tours every morning and do all the things I suggest in the tour, you’ll have a fantastic week in Paris. And if you buy all these tours all at once on my website with the podcast listener discount, you’ll be stunned how affordable it is.
[00:02:15] Annie Sargent: Of course you can also buy these tours directly from the VoiceMap app. You can buy them one at a time or do whatever you’d like. The prices vary depending on whether you get the bulk discount or not. But as a podcast listener you are entitled to the discount, so go to JoinUsinFrance.com/boutique/audiotours.
[00:02:35] Annie Sargent: And of course, you can also support this podcast by setting up an itinerary planning session with me. Listen to what Linda Burke had to say about it. “Bonjour Annie, thank you for your recent itinerary review of our trip to the French Riviera and Paris. I enjoyed speaking to you, and it has made planning our trip to France much easier. What a wonderful service. I loved your recommendation to visit Nice, Monaco, Èze and Antibes. The suggestions for restaurants, activities and hiking in the area were perfect. I am also grateful for how you organized our days in Paris. We look forward to staying in the 6th Arrondissement. The itinerary was much more than I expected. I am grateful for your insight and advice. It was a pleasure speaking to you and we will let you know how the trip went, once we return. Sincerely, Linda Burke.”
[00:03:35] Annie Sargent: Thank you so much, Linda.
[00:03:36] Annie Sargent: And of course, there are my wonderful patrons. And again, I want to thank them for supporting the show. It’s wonderful having all these people who I know are fans of the show, and will support it going forward. You can see the rewards that these patrons are entitled to at Patreon.com/joinus P-A-T-R-E-O-N join us, no spaces or dashes.
[00:04:00] New patrons
[00:04:00] Annie Sargent: And a shout out this week to new patrons: Sean Walsh, Tia Steerer, Mary Jones, Don Whitehead, Kyle Bryant and Britney Wolf. Thank you so very much for becoming patrons and making this podcast possible. And if you think, oh, she’s fine, she gets new patrons every week, I don’t need to sign up, do I?
[00:04:23] Annie Sargent: You know, well. That’s the wrong assumption because I welcome new patrons every week, but I never mention the ones that stop being patrons because, you know, that would be tacky.
[00:04:33] Annie Sargent: So once patrons have had their trip, some of them stop supporting the show. You know, it makes sense, right? Then it’s time for new listeners to pitch in, so I hope you’ll do that.
[00:04:45] Annie Sargent: This conversation with Elyse on what’s happening in Paris in 2023 went a little bit long, so there won’t be a magazine part of the podcast today.
[00:04:55] Next week on the podcast
[00:04:55] Annie Sargent: Next week on the podcast, an episode about attending Roland-Garros with Will Weider. The tickets for Roland-Garros are about to open for sale, so I wanted to give you a heads up in case you are going to be in Paris this year between May 28 and June 11th. That’s 2023 of course.
[00:05:15] Annie Sargent: So a lot of timely information about Paris this week on the podcast. So let’s get to it.
[00:05:30] Annie and Elyse – Coming Up in Paris
[00:05:30] Elyse Rivin: Bonjour Elyse. Bonjour Annie.
[00:05:32] Annie Sargent: Today we have a fun program. We’re going to talk about what’s coming up in Paris in 2023. Now, we’re not going to list all of the things because there are so many things in Paris every year, but just the big ones. Okay? The big ones.
[00:05:45] Museums in Paris since the pandemic
[00:05:45] Annie Sargent: I want to start a little bit with a recap of the situation with museums in Paris since the pandemic. Because, you know, the pandemic killed everything, pretty much. But they are coming back. There are more visitors in French museums overall when compared to 2019 already. So in other words, museums are more and more popular in France, people want to get out, they want to enjoy art. And the simplest way to enjoy art obviously is to go to a museum, because we have so many of them.
[00:06:12] Annie Sargent: I’m getting these numbers from an interview with the director of the Orsay and the Orangerie. He did this on RTL radio on January 13th. So this is recent stuff.
[00:06:24] The Louvre had 7.8 million visitors in 2022. That 170% more than in 2021, because obviously, 2021 was a terrible year. Lots of Europeans and Americans are back. Now, 7.8 million is a lot, but it’s still less than before the pandemic in 2019 when the Louvre had 9.6 million visitors. Okay?
[00:06:48] Elyse Rivin: As far as I know, Le Louvre is the most visited art museum in the world, actually. And it’s interesting to listen to those numbers because it’s kind of impressive. 7 million, 8 million, 9 million people. The situation is really much better than it was before, and I’m really happy for the Louvre, and I’m happy for all the museums because places like the Louvre, I don’t know if people realize it, but a lot of the money they get for even keeping the place going comes from the entry fees.
[00:07:20] Elyse Rivin: So it’s really a great thing that the people are really coming back, you know?
[00:07:24] Annie Sargent: Definitely. Yes.
[00:07:26] Centre Pompidou
[00:07:26] Annie Sargent: Okay. So, Centre Pompidou had twice as many visitors in 2022 than in 2021. They had 3 million visitors in 2022, as a matter of fact. Beaubourg has a lot of temporary exhibits, they show movies and do things that attract locals, but they also get more visitors to the permanent collection, which tends to attract the visitors from abroad. And that’s also up from 2021.
[00:07:51] Quai Branly
[00:07:51] Annie Sargent: Quai Branly had 1 million visitors in 2022, so it’s back to the same levels as 2019. That’s probably because it’s so close to the Eiffel Tower, I would guess.
[00:08:03] Elyse Rivin: The Quai Branly is an incredibly wonderful museum that most people don’t go to. This is a very strange thing. It’s an ethological, arts of other parts of the world kind of museum.
[00:08:16] Annie Sargent: Yeah. I think they call it first arts.
[00:08:18] They call it first arts. There’s a whole debate about the correct, politically correct term to use for talking about arts that come from the Americas, and Africa and places like that, that are not necessarily contemporary.
[00:08:29] I’ve been there twice and each time didn’t even manage to get through the entire museum because there’s so much to see. And I just would like to say that if you have already been to Paris and you’ve already gone to Orsay and Le Louvre and all these other places, go there because it’s really a fascinating museum and they sometimes have very interesting shows where they mixuh, modern things with traditional arts and stuff like that. And yes, part of the problem is it’s a little bit out of the way because…
[00:09:02] Annie Sargent: Well, it’s right by the Eiffel Tower.
[00:09:03] Elyse Rivin: I know. But everybody goes to the Eiffel Tower and then they go like, where’s this museum? That seems to be, it’s almost like it’s hidden behind a garden somewhere or something like that.
[00:09:13] Elyse Rivin: You know? Have you been there?
[00:09:14] Annie Sargent: No.
[00:09:15] Elyse Rivin: Ah, you see?
[00:09:19] Annie Sargent: I know. I walked by it so many times this time and I thought, you got to go in. But you know, you can only take so many steps a day. I was right up to 25,000 every day. And when you get to that point, you’re like, no, I’m tired.
[00:09:31] Elyse Rivin: Well, you don’t even have to feel guilty.
[00:09:34] Elyse Rivin: I’m just saying this is what happens is that everybody sort of makes their list of, this is the one I have to see, this is the second one I have to see, and Quai Branly for some reason, it’s on the bottom of the list. And so if you haven’t seen all the others, you don’t go there.
[00:09:48] Annie Sargent: No. Yeah. That’s probably what it is. Okay. But Quai Branly is very popular with French people, so I guess that’s good.
[00:09:54] Annie Sargent: Versailles had a lot of European and American visitors in 2022. And 77% of visitors at Versailles were not French. That’s usually how it works at Versailles, but they’re still about 20% below what they were in 2019. Then that’s because Asian visitors, Chinese visitors in particular, are not back to Versailles because they weren’t able to leave the country.
[00:10:18] Annie Sargent: Now they can leave again, I think that started in January 8th or something, but of course it takes time to plan a trip and go somewhere. So, it’s going to be back to normal within a year, I think, because Versailles attracts so many Chinese visitors. Honestly, they come by the busload.
[00:10:35] I just find that interesting as a statistic that some of the other museums they’re almost back to normal because it’s the Americans are back.
[00:10:43] Annie Sargent: And the French, too.
[00:10:44] Elyse Rivin: And the French or other Europeans in general. But it’s Versailles that it’s still suffering from not having the Chinese back. I just find that as actually interesting as a statistic, you know?
[00:10:56] Annie Sargent: Yeah. And that’s because in Versailles they do what Chinese visitors love, you can come by the busload. They love that. And the buses park really close to the entrance and they, I mean, it’s an eyesore, but they can line up, I don’t no… 50 buses there and they stay for three hours and…. out of there. Chinese tour operators love that. And that’s one of the reasons why there’s not so many Chinese visitors at the Orsay because the Orsay will not accommodate buses. They just say, Nope.
[00:11:30] Annie Sargent: The Louvre does because at the Louvre I don’t know if you pay attention in the back of the Louvre, so the opposite side to where the pyramid is, there’s a big plaza there, like it’s gravel plaza where buses can go in.
[00:11:42] Annie Sargent: And also along the river there’s some places, and they can drop off people and then move somewhere else and come back. So the Louvre accommodates busloads of visitors, obviously the Eiffel Tower also and the buses at the Eiffel Tower Park. If you’re between the river and the Eiffel Tower, you’re facing the Eiffel Tower with the river to your back, it’s on the left, the busloads. Lots and lots of buses. And also the Sacré Coeur. And I have no idea where they park the buses at the Sacré Coeur, but there’s places too because they get tons of Asian visitors that way.
[00:12:16] Elyse Rivin: My guess is that the Sacré Coeur is that they, the buses are down below and they just have the groups walk up, I would guess because you can’t really park right in front of the Sacré Coeur. There’s no spot there.
[00:12:29] Annie Sargent: They might swing by and drop them off and then come back. There’s got to be parking somewhere, but I haven’t seen.
[00:12:35] Annie Sargent: Anyway, it doesn’t matter to our listeners, they don’t care about where the buses park, but that’s a big thing. You know, that’s a big thing. If you don’t have bus parking, then you can’t bring busloads of people.
[00:12:46] Annie Sargent: And so that, that diminishes the number of visitors.
[00:12:50] The City of Paris museums
[00:12:50] Annie Sargent: Alright, let’s move on to… the City of Paris has 14 museums and all of them are back to their 2019 numbers. That’s interesting because the last time all 14 of them were open was 2015. And if you compare 2015 to 2022, they are back to normal. That’s all the city of Paris museums. And also since 2015, several of them, well three of them have been renovated extensively. La Maison de Victor Hugo, the Carnavalet and Palais Galliera which is the fashion museum.
[00:13:21] The Catacombs
[00:13:21] Annie Sargent: Surprisingly, The Catacombs get 600,000 visitors a year, in 2022 that’s how many they got, and that also belongs to the city of Paris. I can’t imagine why so many people want to walk down all those stairs to see bombs, but there you go.
[00:13:35] I think the catacombs is, I’ve never been… you have, right?
[00:13:38] Elyse Rivin: Yes, I have. I would guess it’s the same reason why people like being scared at Halloween. There’s something about going to see something really scary and macabre and I think that there’s a lot of people for some reason associate Paris with the catacombs. I just find that very interesting as a, you know, it’s like, there’s the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Louvre in Paris, and then there’s the Catacombs. There is an association of some kind like that with it. I just find that really interesting that there are that many people that do go. I’m surprised actually, but I think in general, right now, people are so happy to be able to travel and so happy to be out again and able to visit everything, that I think that this is the thing, there’s an influx of people and everybody is just so glad that all these things are open.
[00:14:26] I didn’t know that there were 14 museums that are actually part of the museum system of the City of Paris. I had no idea there were that many. So I have a question for you, I don’t know if you know the answer to that, are most of them free or not?
[00:14:38] Elyse Rivin: Because The Carnavalet is free.
[00:14:41] Annie Sargent: They are all free except for the Catacombs .
[00:14:43] Annie Sargent: They do charge for special exhibits, but the permanent collections are free.
[00:14:48] Annie Sargent: About The Catacombs, I just want to mention that I had a visit of the Musée de la Libération, which is right across the street from The Catacombs, an amazing museum, perhaps I’ll get back to it later in this show.
[00:15:00] Annie Sargent: But the guide there was very adamant that they’re sick and tired of all the people getting into the catacombs and defacing the place. What happens is they get in and they will do, they will have parties and they just paint all over everything and tag and crap, and literally…
[00:15:18] Is this young, is this young students?
[00:15:20] Annie Sargent: Yes. Well, it’s young people. It’s just hip to go in the catacombs. And there’s lots and lots of catacomb-like things in Paris and it’s dangerous and it’s also disrespectful because they’ll go down there with whiskey and paint and stuff they shouldn’t.
[00:15:38] Annie Sargent: All right. let’s get back to my list.
[00:15:41] Orangerie and Orsay
[00:15:41] Annie Sargent: The Orangerie and Orsay have come back faster than expected after the pandemic. Lots more French people and Europeans in general have gone to these museums in 2022. Asian visitors, Chinese visitors, still not back to the Orangerie and Orsay, obviously.
[00:15:57] Annie Sargent: The Orsay Museum is trying to attract young visitors who live in Paris area, Île-de-France type thing. They have a “salle des fêtes” which I did not know at the Orsay where they hold free activities during school holidays for Paris families. The pandemic,you know, forced Orsay to look at local visitors because they had so many foreign visitors, they just didn’t have to bother, you know, it was not something they cared about.
[00:16:23] They were forced to and they’ve rethought what they were doing to be more enticing for locals. They’ve renovated the queuing process where visitors are brought inside the building instead of, so you queue inside of the building instead of queuing outside of the building.
[00:16:39] And while you wait there, you have access to some of the pieces and some of the history, they use that time to put into context what they’re about to seein the art.
[00:16:50] Annie Sargent: Orsay and Orangerie also advertise in the RER to bring families, you know, local families. They had670,000 visitors for the Munch exhibit, which is the best temporary expo they’ve ever had. Rosa Bonheur was also a great success with 350,000 visitors.
[00:17:13] Edvard Munch
[00:17:13] The Munch was actually the most successful of all the temporary exhibits. That’s really, that’s… that’s incredible to me.
[00:17:20] Annie Sargent: Better than Picasso.
[00:17:22] Elyse Rivin: No. I don’t know how many people really know anything about Munch, I mean he was a depressive Norwegian.
[00:17:28] Annie Sargent: Oh, great.
[00:17:29] Elyse Rivin: No, it’s true. He lived at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. I can’t remember the exact date.
[00:17:36] Most people know one painting by him, it’s called The Scream, where you have a…
[00:17:41] Annie Sargent: I do know that one.
[00:17:42] Elyse Rivin: Right? Every, everybody seems to know that one. I think it’s because it’s been made into t-shirts and posters and things like that. But what’s very interesting to me is that, I don’t know who organized it, I don’t know if it came directly from Norway because most of his work is scattered all over. He was quite successful during his lifetime, but I think it’s just fascinating to me that his work drew that many people. I don’t know, curiously enough, whether it’s because he is more unknown and so people were curious to see what it was like.
[00:18:11] I mean, I know some of his work, I don’t know all of it, he’s an artist that I knew, but he’s not an artist that I know that well, like some of the impressionist artists and stuff like that. So I’m just interested and I am very sorry that I missed the exhibit.
[00:18:23] Annie Sargent: Yeah, I didn’t get to that one either.
[00:18:25] Annie Sargent: I think one of the reasons why there might be so many visitors at those is because professors, okay, so I went to another exhibit where there were a lot of young people there.
[00:18:37] Annie Sargent: I was surprised by the number of young people and listening to the conversations, it was a lot of students that their professors told them to come. And they were getting graded on this. And so, I think probably this depressive guy… He, that’s really what he was, I mean, it was likehis painting is interesting from a painterly point of view. But it’s definitely not what you call happy pretty pictures of flowers, you know.
[00:19:05] Annie Sargent: Okay. Well that’sinteresting. Alright, so let’s see, Orsay they have several goals for 2023. One is to collaborate with museums outside of Paris, Bordeaux, Lyon they want to expand those collaborations. Toulouse, we’ll see if they get to it.
[00:19:21] Let’s see.
[00:19:21] The Orsay Museum wants your to buy your tickets with their App
[00:19:21] Annie Sargent: They also want people to book their tickets online with the app. So, keep in mind that, you know, if you show up, if you didn’t book your ticket for the Orsay ahead of time, and you’re right there in front of it, you can still buy the ticket from the app rather than line up.
[00:19:41] Annie Sargent: Okay. And it’s true as well at the Eiffel Tower, they have QR codes everywhere that you can flash with your phone that take you directly to where you can buy a ticket. No need to queue, they don’t want anymore queues. Okay?
[00:19:54] Does that mean that if you don’t use the app, you actually can’t get into the museum anymore?
[00:20:00] Annie Sargent: No. You can, you can line up and whatever, but they want to discourage that as much as possible. They want people to use the app to buy their tickets, whether it’s ahead of time or at the last last minute. And another thing that the Orsay museum wants to do is to optimize where visitors go by giving them good signage towards parts of the museum that are not as busy normally. You know, because like who knows that there’s this whole art deco thing in the Orsay museum, you know? Yes. You know.I’m laughing. Yes, of course. I know because it’s a part that I’ve actually been to quite a lot.
[00:20:34] Elyse Rivin: I think that is a typical problem in most art museums that are not very small. Imagine, and you know this I’m sure from the Louvre, which is gigantic, there are parts where you can’t breathe because there are so many people and there are parts where you wonder where the humans are.
[00:20:51] Elyse Rivin: You know, they’re just not there. And I think that’s a perpetual problem in a museum to try and equalize out the visiting parts of the museum.
[00:21:00] Annie Sargent: Well, perhaps not equalize it out, but at least tell people, make it clear that there’s other things they can see because people don’t know that there’s art deco in the Orsay Museum, why would they know?
[00:21:13] Elyse Rivin: That’s true.
[00:21:14] Annie Sargent: Another thing that happened at the Orsay Museum is that they lowered the price for the evening visit to 10 euros, and that resulted in selling twice as many tickets for this night visits. It’s on Thursday nights at the Orsay. It’s on Friday nights at the Louvre. I’m not sure if they lowered the price at the Louvre or not.
[00:21:36] Elyse Rivin: I don’t think so.
[00:21:37] Annie Sargent: Yeah. Anyway, half of French visitors at the Orsay Museum can get a discount now, or a free visit completely, and French people are very price sensitive. Okay? So families especially, especially this year, you know, we have a lot of inflation. If you can get into the Orsay Museum for 10 euros, that’s a lot more attractive than 20 Euros, obviously.Asia is opening again, I mentioned it before. 13% of visitors at Versailles were Chinese before the pandemic, and they’re not back. So, that’s a big hole right there.
[00:22:08] What’s happening at the Orsay in 2023
[00:22:08] Annie Sargent: Now let’s get to what’s happening at the Orsay in 2023, because that’s going to be a great year for them, I think.
[00:22:17] Annie Sargent: Manet – Degas Expo is planned for early this year, I think it might be March when it starts. And it’s in collaboration with the Met in Paris. And you’ll see how these two artists cooperated and also how they were also in competition.
[00:22:34] Annie Sargent: The second one at the Orsay is going to be Pastels by famous artists. These pastels are in reserve much of the time, but they’ll come out this year.
[00:22:43] Annie Sargent: And I know lots of people like pastel, including you Elyse.
[00:22:47] Elyse Rivin: Yes.
[00:22:47] One of the reasons why pastels are not shown too much in general is because they’re very fragile in terms of being exposed to light. And there are some artists, particularly some French artists who really excelled in pastel work that is absolutely gorgeous.
[00:23:03] Elyse Rivin: Of course, Degas did a lot of pastels himself. So I’m looking forward to seeing this Pastel show because it will be very interesting. It’s interesting that there was a period of time where a lot of artists did pastel as a prelude to doing a painting in oil. There’s very little pastel done now.
[00:23:20] There’s not very much left of work in pastel. I happen to find it very beautiful.
[00:23:25] Annie Sargent: Yeah. One of the things I did this visit to Paris, I went to the Rosa Bonheur chateau in Thomery. She did some pastel and didn’t sell any, but she worked in pastel as well.
[00:23:36] Annie Sargent: And the last thing I’m going to mention for the Orsay is going to be an expo, I think they’ll call it,Van Gogh at Auvers sur Oise, so that’ll be a cooperation with the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. And they’re going to show the pieces that he painted in Auvers sur Oise, which was the very last part of his life. And I’m sure that’s going to be a very popular exhibit.
[00:23:57] Annie Sargent: Orangerie in 2023, they are going to do Matisse in the 30s, and Modigliani will come to the Orangerie in the Fall.
[00:24:08] Annie Sargent: So these are kind of like standard things.
[00:24:11] Elyse Rivin: I guess these are what we could call now the classics. You know, it’s impressionist and post-impressionist. Basically this is all art and artists who come from the end of the 19th to the first half of the 20th century.
[00:24:24] Elyse Rivin: Everybody loves them. I mean, I think one of the things that’s interesting about exhibits like that I mean, I can go back and see this work over and over again. I think one of the reasons why museums tend to repeat a lot of these artists is because they’re guaranteed to have a good number of people show up.
[00:24:40] Elyse Rivin: Right. Yeah. That’s a big consideration. It’s really important because I think that, yes everybody wants to see some of these artists a little bit. I love all of these artists, it’s just that it would be nice if they had some exhibits that were maybe for instance taking one of these artists like Manet, Monet or Degas, whatever and putting it with an artist that’s not so well known.
[00:25:01] Elyse Rivin: Maybe that might be more interesting, but I know, I understand perfectly that museums have to have people show up. Otherwise they will not be be able to stay open.
[00:25:11] 7 Expos not to miss in Paris in 2023
[00:25:11] Annie Sargent: Yeah, absolutely. All right. Now there’sSeven Expos not to miss in Paris in 2023.
[00:25:18] Annie Sargent: And of course, there are many more Expos than seven in Paris, just these are the ones thatI selected. There’s one that I don’t know anything about, but apparently she was fabulous, Germaine Richier. She’s going to be at the Pompidou March through June, and apparently, very well worth seeing.
[00:25:35] Annie Sargent: Suzanne Valadon, which I talk about in my Montmartre Tour because that’s where she lived, April through September.
[00:25:42] But that’s going to be at the Pompidou Metz in Metz, so here’s one that’s not in Paris. Hallelujah! Finally!
[00:25:48] Annie Sargent: Sarah Bernhard is going to be at the Petit Palais starting on April 14th. That’s going to be interesting. I don’t really know anything about Sarah Bernhard personally. Perhaps you do. What do you know about her?
[00:25:59] I know she was an actress.
[00:26:01] I don’t remember the dates that she was alive, but she was really fascinating, you know, that at the end of her life she continued to be an actress on stage with a leg amputated.
[00:26:10] Elyse Rivin: She actually had, I can’t remember what the health issue was. I don’t remember exactly, but she was, she had the force of life that was absolutely incredible. I’ve been to see her house on Belle Ileoff the coast of Brittany, she had a, I guess it was her summer home. It’s actually amazing. It’s on this cliff, you can’t, I would not want to live there, to be honest. I mean, it’s just, you know, it’s like you go out the door and if you had too many glasses of wine, it’s goodbye.
[00:26:36] I mean, you’re just, you’re in the sea. You know you’re gone.
[00:26:39] Annie Sargent: Perhaps she didn’t drink any wine, I don’t know.
[00:26:41] Elyse Rivin: No, no, I would be surprised if she didn’t, but you never know.
[00:26:44] Elyse Rivin: You know. But anyway, she was fascinating, but I would really be curious to know what an exhibit about her entails, because she was an actress.
[00:26:52] Annie Sargent: Yeah, I don’t know. Probably movies and audio clips and things like that.
[00:26:55] Elyse Rivin: She wasn’t around when there were movies. She was gone by then. So photos, clothing. It’d be interesting to see I don’t know.
[00:27:04] Elyse Rivin: Letters maybe.
[00:27:06] Annie Sargent: Yeah, perhaps, anyway.
[00:27:07] 50th anniversary of the death of Picasso
[00:27:07] Annie Sargent: 50th anniversary of the death of Picasso this year. So there are 40 expos planned both in France and in Spain.
[00:27:16] The one in Paris that’s going to be not to be missed is the one at Musee de l’Homme, Picasso’s interest for early humans. He painted a lot of prehistoric kind of figures. There are too many to list all over France and Spain, but Picasso’s going to be big in 2023.
[00:27:32] Annie Sargent: Another one that is going to be big, I think is Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol at the Fondation Louis Vuitton that starts in April.
[00:27:41] Annie Sargent: They created 104, 105 pieces together. I can’t remember. And a hundred of them are going to be at The Vuitton.
[00:27:50] I actually had the privilege of going to an exhibit in New York where Basquiat showed up in a gallery. And this is just before he actually, I think it was within a year of when he died. You know, he died very young of an overdose. It was really quite an experience because even at that time, so this is I think 1988. Everyone knew he was this brilliant star, but he was for painting what Jimmy Hendrix was for guitars and rock music.
[00:28:20] Elyse Rivin: Everyone knew he was brilliant and everyone knew he was going to die soon. It was very, very strange. And at the time he had just finished his collaboration with Warhol who had taken him under his wing. I mean, he was one of the people who had sort of made him well known in the area. So I think that for people who like pop art and contemporary art, this is going to be a fabulous show to see.
[00:28:43] Annie Sargent: Right. And besides the Vuitton museum, Fondation Vuitton is absolutely splendid just to see the building as well.
[00:28:51] Annie Sargent: The biggest one this year is going to be Ramses and the Pharaohs at La Vi lette.
[00:28:57] Annie Sargent: This will probably bring, I don’t know, lots and lots of people, gobs of people. Get your tickets in advance because it’s going to be hard to get into. This is not a super big space, and they time people very carefully. That’s going to be April through September. Egypt is loaning the sarcophagus of Ramses II. That’s going to be the pinnacle of the exhibit. It hadn’t been seen in France since 1976, so this is a big one.
[00:29:24] I actually can’t wait to see it. But yes, I would say you get your tickets now if you know you’re going to be in Paris in that time period.
[00:29:32] Annie Sargent: Well, I’m not sure if they are open for sale yet, but it starts in April, so it should be soon.
[00:29:37] Elyse Rivin: Soon, whatever. I mean, I think this is going to be a huge exhibit and there will be lines and it’s going to be a huge success and it’s going to be fascinating. I can’t wait to see it.
[00:29:48] Annie Sargent: That’s the sort of exhibit where families go and bring their kids, so it’s going to be very popular.
[00:29:54] Annie Sargent: And one last one is at The Musee des Arts Deco, about hairstyles and hair in general, and how hairstyles have evolved. That starts in April and they’ll have L’Origine du Monde, which is normally in at the Orsay Museum. That’s going to be an interesting one. What are you making, you making a face…
[00:30:13] Annie Sargent: Why? Why?
[00:30:14] I’m rolling my eyes. Do we explain to people about the L’Origine du Monde?
[00:30:19] Elyse Rivin: You better. Yes. I really need to. Okay. Why is me that has to do this? The painting is a painting ofthe sexual part of a woman, from the point of view of looking at it,how do we explain this from the gynecologist’s point of view?
[00:30:34] Annie Sargent: Exactly. If you were gynecologist that’s where you’d look. Yes.
[00:30:37] Elyse Rivin: You know, it’s a painting that is in the Orsay. I mean, it’s in the midst of all of his other work.
[00:30:41] Annie Sargent: Well, it is going to The Musee des Arts Deco, yes.
[00:30:45] Elyse Rivin: I find that very strange and interesting as exhibit piece but it’s a very famous and very controversial painting. And of course, it’s normally visible in the Orsay, in the midst of all of his other work. But it’s very interesting that they’ve chosen to put that in there with things about hair.
[00:31:02] Museums outside of Paris
[00:31:02] Annie Sargent: Yeah. So let’s talk a little bit about museums outside of Paris. There’s not as many and they’re not as popular, I guess. But the Mucem in Marseille is an exception. The Louvremuseum in Lille is also an exception.
[00:31:16] Annie Sargent: And in our good old Southwest, Occitanie, Musée Soulage in Rodez, also did great. Of course he passed away this year, that might be way. But they’re back to their 2019 numbers. But you know, let’s be clear that when it comes to museums in France, Paris gets everything. Everything. So it was funny because I was chit-chatting, we were chit-chatting with Patricia, who was my host again for this day, and she’s so wonderful.
[00:31:43] Paris needs to stop hogging all the art!
[00:31:43] Annie Sargent: Anyway, she said just, you know, just in passing, she said, oh, it’s too bad the Bayeux Tapestry is not in Paris. And I was all over that. I was. Stop it. It has to stay in Bayeux. You you cannot take that. You take everything. Stop it. Patricia, you’re going to listen to this. Shame on you, Patricia. I really agree with you. I think that part, now this is an ongoing issue about all kinds of things, not just about art and museums. It’s like all roads lead to Paris. And all the museums are in Paris except for two or three outside that are really considered to be very exceptional and interesting.
[00:32:21] Elyse Rivin: And it is a shame. It really is a shame.
[00:32:23] Annie Sargent: We need to stop it.
[00:32:24] Elyse Rivin: One of the reasons that the direction of the Louvre decided to open a couple of branches elsewhere. One in Lance, I’m not even sure how to pronounce it, and one in Metz, is because they really want to have, they want to give access to people who don’t necessarily have the time or the means of coming to Paris to see an exhibit.
[00:32:43] Annie Sargent: Well, and they have so many pieces that they just keep hidden, just put them out somewhere.
[00:32:48] And there are things that should stay where they are. The Fabre Museum in Montpellier is a wonderful museum. It has a part of the collection of the Soulages paintings. I hope it stays there. There’s no reason why things that are outside of Paris shouldn’t stay where they are.
[00:33:03] Elyse Rivin: Absolutely. But I mean, you know, African countries have the same problem with European, major European museums grabbing their stuff. But it also happens to French provincial museums, like the best stuff for Neanderthal and early humans was found in the Dordogne.
[00:33:18] Annie Sargent: And it’s not exhibited in the Dordogne for the most part. They do have a nice Musee National de la Préhistoire in Les Eyzies, but half of the stuff there is copies.
[00:33:29] Annie Sargent: It’s in Saint-Germain. And nobody goes to that one either, so just put it back where it belongs in the Dordogne. Okay. Rant over.
[00:33:39] Annie Sargent: All right. So that’s the stuff that is coming up in Paris in 2023.
[00:33:46] Annie’s visit to Paris
[00:33:46] Annie Sargent: So now let’s talk about what I did in Paris. You wanted to, I didn’t tell you yet, so you need to, you know, now you get to ask.
[00:33:54] Elyse Rivin: Okay. So I know that you went back to Paris to prepare another tour, another VoiceMap tour.
[00:34:01] And I’m just really curious to know how did that feel this time? Partly because it’s the winter, partly because you haven’t been back in a while, I think.
[00:34:11] And I’m just curious because I so admire the fact that you are so intense and able to just finish it in just a short amount of time. But what was it like to do that? I guess I’m curious to know, did it interfere in any way to be where there were lots of tourists, for instance, because this time you were doing it around the Eiffel Tower?
[00:34:29] Annie Sargent: No, it wasn’t, it wasn’t bad at all. So in January, the Eiffel Tower, like the Trocadero has a lot of people. Right around theEiffel Tower there were people, but nothing like it is in the summer. Because I’ve seen it in the summer and it’s like mad house. This was fine. I did have to go back again and again and again. You know how this works, you know, you plot it and then you make sure that your set off points are correct and then you make sure that what you’re explaining is the right length of time, not too short, not too long. That your directions can be followed, even if they don’t look at the phone.
[00:35:01] Annie Sargent: That’s really important. So I had to go back, I must have gone back at least once a day, every day. And some days I went twice. So, so yeah, you do have to spend a lot of time on these tours besides the time that you spend writing them. And I also tried some restaurants because I like to recommend restaurants and there are some really good ones right around the Eiffel Tower.
[00:35:23] Are they on the Eiffel Tower side or on the Trocadero side? I’m sort of curious.
[00:35:26] Annie Sargent: No, they’re on the Eiffel Tower side. If you have the river to your back and you’re facing the Eiffel Tower, I would say most of them are to your left. Avenue De la Bourdonnais has a lot of them, Saint-Dominique a lot of them, Rue Cler obviously has a lot of them, and they’re right near there. And I was surprised Rue Cler was not as hoity toity as I thought it would be.
[00:35:47] Annie Sargent: I found, okay, this is a tip for people who have trouble finding shoes. If you break your shoes while in Paris, go to Rue Cler, there’s this little shoe shop that doesn’t look like much. I mean, they look like an old style shoe shop, like piles of shoes in racks, whatever. Not sexy at all, but they have shoes for every foot. So you can, you know, if you have wide feet, narrow feet, tiny feet, whatever. They have something for you and it is the sort of guy who, you know, I explained my situation and whoop, he had the right shoes. And I bought them, and I wore them.
[00:36:18] Annie Sargent: There’s also an Aldi on Rue Cler. The look on your face. There is an Aldi on Rue Cler. I could not believe it. It was full of people. It was full of people. So there you go.
[00:36:31] Elyse Rivin: Oh dear. Oh, well, I mean, nothing, there’s nothing you can do about it really. I mean, you know, in the world we live in with the inflation and everything else, I mean, people have to eat.
[00:36:40] Elyse Rivin: It’s just people have to eat. Did you discover any restaurants on the Trocadero side? I’m sort of interested.
[00:36:46] Annie Sargent: No, I did not try any of them. No. That side is more of residential and embassies.
[00:36:50] Elyse Rivin: Have some big Cafe Brasseries right there.
[00:36:53] Elyse Rivin: They probably do, but I didn’t even try anything. Because this is the side where embassies are, and you have all these cars with the green and yellow license plates, which are embassy plates, whatever.
[00:37:02] Elyse Rivin: So it’s like, no, not where I like to hang out. So I tried four restaurants. And I’ve mentioned them before, but I’ll mention them briefly, it’s L’Ami Jean which was outstanding, Aux Cerises which was meh. La Fontaine de Marsvery good and L’Auberge Bressane which was very interesting soufle place.
[00:37:22] Elyse Rivin: So these are all French food restaurants?
[00:37:24] Annie Sargent: Yes, all French food.
[00:37:25] Jacquemart-André Museum
[00:37:25] Then I got to go to the Füssli, no, the Füssli Expo, which was at Jacquemart-André and Patricia likes all these expos, and so she took me and it was outstanding.
[00:37:37] I am actually going to fall on the floor because Annie has just said that a painting exhibit was outstanding.
[00:37:43] Annie Sargent: It was really interesting. I knew nothing about this guy now. I had never been to the Jacquemart-André. Wonderful.
[00:37:50] Annie Sargent: Which is wonderful. Wonderful.
[00:37:52] Annie Sargent: Yes, wonderful. And I had never heard of this Füssli person. He was very edgy. Like he did nightmares and man, he had some nightmares.
[00:38:03] He was a very, you know, there was a period of time where there were a group of artists who were doing, it’s kind of a combination of symbolism and esoteric subject matter and very dramatic.
[00:38:17] And very modern because he painted in the early 1700s and it looks like it’s modern stuff almost. It’s really cool, I thought, but that’s probably going to be gone soon. Sorry about about that.
[00:38:27] I believe so. But if people don’t know about the Jacquemart-André, it’s a small private museum that is in this mansion.
[00:38:35] It’s absolutely gorgeous.
[00:38:36] Elyse Rivin: I mean, it’s just gorgeous.
[00:38:37] Elyse Rivin: I really, I don’t know why I hadn’t been before It’s fantastic.
[00:38:40] Elyse Rivin: It’s fantastic. And so once you’ve gone to all of the big ones that you’ve been to before, do check this out. They have wonderful temporary exhibits there.
[00:38:48] Costcos in France
[00:38:48] Annie Sargent: Yep. Then I went to all the Costcos in France.
[00:38:54] Elyse Rivin: Oh, no, what do you mean in all of the Costcos in France?
[00:38:58] Elyse Rivin: I went to all the Costcos in France.
[00:39:00] Elyse Rivin: Did you go to North of Paris? What did you do?
[00:39:03] Annie Sargent: There’s only two sweetheart. Oh.
[00:39:06] Annie Sargent: Okay. Alright. All is a big word here. Yes. I was trying to shock you.
[00:39:10] Annie Sargent: There’s only two. There’s one just a little South of Paris and one East of Paris and the newer one is East of Paris.
[00:39:17] Annie Sargent: Near Disneyland?I don’t think so. I don’t know.
[00:39:20] Annie Sargent: I drove my electric car to Paris this time, which was another adventure for another day, so I could bring some stuff back, right?
[00:39:27] Annie Sargent: So I was really interested and I got a few things and I’m so excited I got to see Costco. So that’s one thing.
[00:39:33] Annie Sargent: I went to the Rosa Bonheur in Thomery, lovely, lovely small museum, provincial museum. Definitely worth a visit. They don’t have a parking lot, which annoyed me.
[00:39:44] Annie Sargent: Oh, how far out of Paris is it?
[00:39:46] Annie Sargent: Oh, it’s an hour drive.
[00:39:48] I’ve stayed in Montparnasse area, but yeah 1 hour 15 minute, perhaps 1 hour 20. And then that same day we also went to Barbizon, which was the village des peintre.
[00:39:59] Lovely little town. It was very empty and very cold. We did not spend very much time there, and then I was like, let’s blow out of here and go to Costco because it’s near there.
[00:40:08] Elyse Rivin: Ladies and gentlemen listening to this podcast, you can take Annie out of the United States, but you cannot take the United States out of Annie.
[00:40:17] Annie Sargent: That’s so true. Jennifer and Patricia were with us and another lady, I forgot her name. Lovely lady. Why can’t I remember her name? Anyway, and Jennifer and this other lady, well, this is like America, it’s like strip mall, you know, with all the big box stores or whatever.
[00:40:31] Annie Sargent: And I’m like, but I like America, you know, they were like, oh, this is horrible, it’s like America. I mean, I wouldn’t want to live there all the time, but that’s not where I live, so it’s fine. You know, it’s good to go there and do some shopping. I don’t understand what the problem is. We need box stores in France too.
[00:40:45] Elyse Rivin: No, no comment.
[00:40:47] Elyse Rivin: Okay. No comment.
[00:40:48] Cluny Museum
[00:40:48] I went to the Cluny Museum that’s newly renovated. It was lovely. I liked it a lot. I liked it before. I like it even better now. It’s very nice.
[00:40:58] Elyse Rivin: Of course, I was supposed to be in Paris last week and never made it. But I have a question for you. Now, if I understand correctly, when you go in, you start with the Ancient Roman part, is that correct? And then you go into the medieval or no?
[00:41:12] Annie Sargent: Theystill haven’t done very much with the Ancient Roman part because there isn’t that much that they can do. I mean, you do see the walls from a different perspective.
[00:41:21] Annie Sargent: You see them from the outside, obviously, but you also see them from the inside. But they have this nice big window, little huge window panel where you see all of that. But you don’t do much with it. No. No. But I thought they did a really nice job. They have more tapestries. So before they used to have just a few tapestries around the Lady and the Unicorn.
[00:41:40] Annie Sargent: Right. They have more of them out. They have still gorgeous, medieval, you know, sculptures, wooden things. And furniture. Beautiful pieces of furniture.
[00:41:49] Annie Sargent: Yeah, they have. Instead of having one room with all the stained glass window, they’ve scattered them throughout. They still have obviously the beautiful little chapel with the ceiling, the gorgeous ceiling that was always there.
[00:42:03] Annie Sargent: The big giant heads are still there, you know, but they were at the very beginning. Now they’re towards the end. They changed the circulation, they built newstairs that are very nice. They did a really, really nice job on this renovation. I really enjoyed it.
[00:42:16] Visiting the newly reopened BnF Richelieu
[00:42:16] Annie Sargent: Then I also got to go to the BNF La Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Richelieu, and I was very lucky to go with Patricia because she knows it well, and so she marshaled me through that thing very quickly, so I got to see all of it and I loved it.
[00:42:32] Elyse Rivin: Okay. That’s not the same thing as the Mitterrand Bibliothèque?
[00:42:36] No, that’s the Richelieu. Where is that? It’s not, not very far from the Palais-Royal it’s very close to the Palais-Royal. And it has, it had been closed for 12 years, which is probably why you don’t know it because it was closed for so long. I mean, it wasn’t totally closed. It was closed to visitors, but the researchers could still go and work.
[00:42:56] Elyse Rivin: So, so what do you see there?
[00:42:58] Annie Sargent: Okay, so first of all, you see these, these just gorgeous, gorgeous library room with people. To go there, you need to be a member and to have some table, some of the table space, you need to have an approved project. So, you know, this isn’t, but you can still see it, you can walk through it to see the beautiful stuff. And they have a lot of incredible documents. Like they have the originalcopy of La Marseillaise. They have a lot of original music. They have the original Rite of Spring, Stravinsky. So I noticed the music because, you know, but they have other things. They have an old Guttenberg Bible. Beautiful Guttenberg Bible. Good luck reading it though. It’s like, I don’t know how anybody could read this thing.
[00:43:45] Then they havedocuments about the maps of the early Americas and things like that. They, it is just, I have hundreds of pictures. It’s gorgeous. Gorgeous. We should do an episode about it at some point. Once you’ve seen, but we didn’t spend enough time, we had an hour and a half or something or two hours before closing. And thank goodness, Patricia was there because she just ran me through, like literally.
[00:44:09] Elyse Rivin: Is it a place where you have to have a timed visit to get in?
[00:44:13] Annie Sargent: So, okay, so to have a guided visit, you need to book a time. And I couldn’t because it’s very popular and they, I mean, I looked in December and couldn’t get a time for January, so that you need to book in advance. But you can visit it by yourself, you know, whenever it’s a public library, but a lot of spaces are not open to the public. Like, you can’t sit and read books, not how it works.
[00:44:38] Musee de la Liberation
[00:44:38] Annie Sargent: I went to the Musée de la Libération right across from the Catacombs, absolutely stunning. They have a bunker as well. And I didn’t want to walk down the bunker cause there’s a hundred steps and I’m like, ah, my knees. But they said, oh, you got to see this. And I went and I definitely needed to see this.
[00:44:56] Elyse Rivin: So, I know where the entrance to the catacombs is in that part of the connection between the 5th and the 14th. But where exactly is the…
[00:45:03] Annie Sargent: Right across the street. Right across the street.
[00:45:05] So is it a building that has the bunker down below?
[00:45:07] Annie Sargent: Yes, that’s what it is, but from the outside you just see a gate.
[00:45:12] Annie Sargent: From the outside, it’s not showy.
[00:45:14] Annie Sargent: And then you walk into this little courtyard and that’s where the museum starts.
[00:45:18] Annie Sargent: And to go down into the bunker, you just reserve a time right there when you enter.
[00:45:23] They have lots of times when you can go and it’s really interesting to see, because this was never used as a bomb shelter, but it was built as a bomb shelter.
[00:45:32] Annie Sargent: Ah-ha. Just like the catacombs across the street they have a lot of tunnels through Paris. Right. And in that one they just built cement, like it’s all big thick cement walls with big thick doors and whatever. And it was used asone of the places where the Resistance was meeting and where one of the secret places that they had. That museum is really interesting. They have displays in French, English, and Spanish, which I thought was very nicely done. If you want to understand The Resistance in France, you really have to go.
[00:46:09] Annie Sargent: It’s extremely well done.
[00:46:11] Elyse Rivin: So there’s a lot of documentation.
[00:46:12] Annie Sargent: Yes, lots of documentation, lots of artifacts that you can see. It’s a lot of things that you read but it’s chronological, you know, so you start with the rise of Nazism and then you end with liberation and it’s extremely well done.
[00:46:28] Rue Daguerre
[00:46:28] Annie Sargent: And right by there is a place that I would’ve totally missed if it wasn’t for Patricia. It’s called Rue Daguerre.
[00:46:34] Elyse Rivin: Oh, you didn’t know Rue Daguerre?
[00:46:35] Annie Sargent: I didn’t know.
[00:46:37] Annie Sargent: And so fun. Yes. It’s like a very nice street where lots and lots of businesses and they bring out their tables with fruits and vegetables and fish and all sorts of, it’s really cool.
[00:46:50] Elyse Rivin: Rue Daguerre is actually fairly famous for two reasons. One, because Agnes Barda, who just died not very long ago, who was a wonderful French filmmaker, she did an incredible documentary about the Rue Daguerre a number of years ago. I don’t really know exactly what year, but it’s been a while. She lived in the neighborhood, and I know the Rue Daguerre because one of my sisters lived in the 14th for a number of years, and when I spent some time with her it wasn’t that far away and I spent a lot of time going back and forth across the Rue Daguerre.
[00:47:21] Elyse Rivin: And so I know that area actually fairly well. There are lots of little passages similar to that in Paris that most people don’t know about. But Daguerre became famous because of this film by Agnes Barda, and it’s really typical of what was the old Paris.
[00:47:37] Annie Sargent: Yeah, it’s hardly the only one. But it was really very cute. I thought it was adorable and I really enjoyed it. So that’s what I got to do with that. Plus, of course, a VoiceMap tour so it was very busy.
[00:47:47] Bringing the dog to Paris
[00:47:47] Annie Sargent: And I had my dog with me this time because Patricia was kind enough to say, well, since you’re driving, you can bring the dog if you’d like.
[00:47:53] Annie Sargent: And I brought her. She’s not a city dog, as you know, she’s a country dog. But, Patricia was great. She would take her out as soon as she woke up every morning, reliably at 6:30 AM and off she went with the dog. And then later I gave her some walks. It’s different because, you know, at home, we do one long walk for the dog. We walk for an hour or an hour and 10 minutes or something, and then she’s around the house. She has a garden if she needs to pee, so I can just open door. But in Paris you can’t do that. And I realized that there are places in Paris where you can let your dog off leash. Strangely, not in the parks around Montparnasse, none of them were open to dogs.
[00:48:32] Annie Sargent: But if you go to the Trocadero, the big area, you know, on the left and right of the Trocadero, there’s grassy areas and trees and stuff. Lots of people let their dogs off leash there. There’s a long path that goes right along the Seine river. It’s like a gravel path. Off leash dogs there. Palais-Royal has a sign that says you can have your dog off leash here.
[00:48:54] Elyse Rivin: Really?
[00:48:54] Elyse Rivin: Yes. Yes. Do some of the little pocket parks have a square where you can, you know, that are fenced off for the dog?
[00:49:00] Annie Sargent: Some do, but not very many. Not very many. So the Montparnasse area was a bit difficult. There’s this grassy long stretch of grass where she could do business, because she’s so used to peeing in the grass like, you know… it’s hard to get a dog to do their business.The city dog and the country dog.
[00:49:18] Annie Sargent: That’s exactly what it is. Anyway, I might not bring Opie back to Paris even if I drive next time. But driving was also interesting.
[00:49:25] Long drive
[00:49:25] Annie Sargent: So I drove like 1800 kilometers between the drive up. It’s 700 kilometers, a little more than 700 kilometers.
[00:49:33] Elyse Rivin: 1800 kilometers.
[00:49:34] 700 and something to get to where I was going. And also we drove around Paris to go see some other, you know, the, if you want to go to all the Costcos in France, you got to drive right?
[00:49:45] So there you go.
[00:49:46] Charging the car on the freeway
[00:49:46] Annie Sargent: Yeah, and I only had one problem. There was one, so I decided, let’s see if I can charge on the freeway, not exit the freeway to charge. Because a lot of bigger charging companies have spots to charge not far from the freeway on purpose. Because freeways are kind of a monopoly, right? Vinci owns the… and then Total Energie, they have a monopoly for their gas stations and they’re not about to let Ionity or Fastnet. Or Fastnet did get in. But some of them, you know, so on the freeway you have Total Energie stations and I thought, well, perhaps I can charge on those. But the one problem I had, I showed up and it was en travaux, so couldn’t charge. I had to get off the freeway, backtrack 25 kilometers, go to the Ionity Station and head back.
[00:50:37] Annie Sargent: Anyway, but that’s the only problem I ran into. So, you know, I can be very, you can drive electric cars in France, but it takes a little bit of planning and I think it’s going to get better by the end of 2023, which is, you know, 11 months from now.
[00:50:51] Annie Sargent: We’ll probably all of the Aire de repos, all the gas stations will also have good electric charges. I hope so anyway.
[00:51:00] Annie Sargent: So if I understand correctly, what you’re saying is that you, you took the route that went up through the center, through Cahors and everything, right? You didn’t go the Bordeaux route? Okay. So what you’re saying is that if you have an all electric car and you want to go from the south around here up to Paris, there is at least one place for the moment where you do have to get off the autoroute.
[00:51:19] Annie Sargent: Yes. There’s more than one actually where you’re better off getting off the freeway because the gas stations on the freeway themselves are late to the party and they were supposed to have all this infrastructure in by the end of 2022, but they do not.
[00:51:35] Annie Sargent: And so you’re better off just getting off the freeway, drive a few kilometers away from the freeway, charge there and then get back on the freeway. So that’s what I did. But yes, I went through Cahors, Montauban, Limoges, Chateauroux all of that.
[00:51:51] Annie Sargent: Did you have any snow?
[00:51:53] Annie Sargent: A tiny bit, but not, but it was freaking cold. Like around Limoges was very cold. It was like minus two or three in the middle of the day, which I’m not used to anymore. We’ve been having a real winter.
[00:52:04] Annie Sargent: Yeah.
[00:52:04] Annie Sargent: Yeah. it’s unusual. Elyse we got to stop, we’ve been talking a long time. Thank you so much and I hope all of you get to come to Paris and plan your trips around Paris with around these expos, because that’s a very expat thing to do.
[00:52:20] Annie Sargent: All the expats in Paris love to go visit all of these beautiful expos. And why wouldn’t they? They’re wonderful.
[00:52:27] Elyse Rivin: They’re wonderful.
[00:52:28] Annie Sargent: Merci beaucoup, Elyse.
[00:52:31] Elyse Rivin: De rien Annie.
[00:52:32] Annie Sargent: Au revoir.
[00:52:39] Annie Sargent: The Join Us in France Travel Podcast is written, hosted, and produced by Annie Sargent and Copyright 2023 by Addicted to France. It is released under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial, No Derivatives license.