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Big Sur - Hiking Andrew Molera State Park

One of the great delights of living in the Bay Area is the proximity to the natural beauty of California and it's hard to beat the stunning drive down Highway One to Big Sur. This is certainly one of the iconic American road trips, but for me the joy of being in the area is getting out of your car and hitting a trail, so you can be "in" the landscape rather than just looking at it from the asphalt. 

Marmottan-Monet Museum

Continuing the small museum theme, last week I headed out to the 16e with D. and S to visit the Marmottan-Monet Museum. It's  beautifully situated on the edge of the Bois de Bolougne in a wealthy residential district close to the Muette metro stop. D and I were out this way once before when we took a walking tour of Art Nouveau and Moderinist architecture in the area.

There is no photography inside the museum so I don't have  photos of the stunning interior. With no visuals to fall back on I may have to up my descriptive "game"! The museum is an interesting combination of different bequests made to the Beaux Art school and the collection includes not just the eponymous Monets but an impressive collection of First Empire furniture in the neo-classical style, beds, chairs and  tables often supported by winged beasts or Egyptian motifs. There's a wonderful virtual visit on the museum's website which is well worth checking out. It gives you a sense of the space and the art which is great. The images of the artworks below are from their site.

While Marmottan left the building, the French antiques and an interesting collection of French paintings, the museum's holdings have been enhanced by several signifcant donations including impressionist works passed down from George de Bellio, a doctor whose patients included Manet, Monet, Pisarro, Sisley and Renoir. The  collection was dramatically increased in 1966 when Monet's son bequeathed Giverny, and an unparalleled collection of his father's works, to the Beaux Art school. But there's a diversity here too, and we  were surprised to find a fascinating collection of mediaeval works, including a large number of  extraordinary illuminated manuscripts collected by the Wildstein family.
Highly recommended, a wonderful collection beautifully displayed. I only wish there were a cafe too!
Caillebotte, Rue de Paris. 
Temps de pluieFabre, Portrait de la duchesse de Feltre et de ses enfantsNymphéasGauguin, Bouquet de fleurs
Eugène Manet et sa fille
Practical details: The museum is open 10am-6pm but closed on Mondays. Tickets are 10 euro but we   were happy to get a 5 euro  discount for our Amis du Louvre membership. The ticket includes any special exhibit but not the audio guide which is 3 euro.