Walkable Paris: A Day Around Musée Marmottan Monet.
Updated: Aug 25, 2022
Trail Stop One: Musee Marmottan Monet.
If the phrase, “They have a Monet’s Waterlilies,” has ever enticed you into a museum in New York or London or if you love impressionism or art or anything that looks good then a day in the 16th of Paris starts here. Speaking of starting a day in Paris, the work that started the very form of impressionism is at this museum and it's called Impression, Sunrise. It's by Monet and when I was here I had the work of art that started the very art form of impressionism to myself for, and I did time it, twelve minutes. But even if you don't in this uncrowded museum have it to yourself sometimes rather than have a piece of art to yourself it's fun to share it with people in the world who appreciate and love what you appreciate and love. It charges the atmosphere the way art was meant to. This musuem used to be a mansion but it was gifted to the people of Paris and to you, and now it shrugs with a, “This old thing,” when you compliment its walls which are wearing Monet and Degas and Renoir and all the rest of that gang. It turns an occasion into a non-occasion like only a true Parisian can.
Walk to Trail Stop Two: Ferry Boat to Le Chalet des Iles.
Remember in Pirates of the Caribbean when Captain Barbossa so smugly and melodramatically said, “Gents, take walk.” Go to the rear of the building of Musee Marmottan Monet and it's time, gents, to take a walk. For if you just head west for a few steps from Musee Marmottan Monet you find yourself in the depths of the wooded Bois du Boulogne, a park more than twice the size of Central Park and where they filmed the opening scenes for the movie Gigi. Paris high society used to flaunt their s&*t in their convertible carriages in this enchanted forest.
I don't have any specific instructions except just to head due west down a few trails for a few minutes through the woods of France and soon you run into the shores of the enchanted lake. It's called Lac Inferieur and if it isn't the most romantic thing on Earth then I haven't yet found it.
When you hit the shores of the lake take a right and walk the shoreline until you come to the enchanted ferry with a captain I'm still not convinced is not a fairy or some other mythical creature I'm not privy to. The ferry sails to and fro from a restaurant called Le Chalet des Iles that sits on the island which sits in the middle of this enchanted lake. The ferry leaves every few minutes so just keep an eye out for it or the restaurant and then wait across the lake from the restaurant and you can't miss the ferry. It's free.
I didn't need a reservation when I dined at Le chalet des Iles and we got a lake-front table (well, there were flowers between us and the lake if we're all being technical), and we ordered some food and a bottle of pink champaign that we drank on the shore of the enchanted lake out of an enchanted ice bucket.
However I asked and they said sometimes you do need a reservation but if you don't have one they have a bar area that is always open without reservations.
]Sit on a couch on the shore of the enchanted lake and wait of for the enchanted ferry to take you back across.
Walk to Trail Stop Three : Row Boating in Bois de Boulogne.
Head north along Lac Inferieur for a few minutes until you come to the row boat rental place. Rent a boat.
I find that if you head to the right of the first island as you paddle and then do a lap around the island and under the enchanted bridge then that is a perfect time and distance that isn't too long and not too short.
As you come back around the island keep watching through the trees because suddenly the Eiffel Tower will come into view and, yes, you will be in a rowboat in the middle of Paris, on an enchanted lake in the middle of Paris, with a view of the enchanted Eiffel Tower in the middle of Paris. (Insert the lyrics of any Dean Martin song for a more accurate description of what this feels like.)