April 30, 2013
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Orsay

Unfortunately, the lines at the Orsay are very long.

Fortunately, for a modest charge, you can now reserve tickets that allow you access to entrée reservée downloaded to an app on your mobile phone.

Unfortunately, this isn’t actually true: you have to print the tickets.

Fortunately, my hotel is accustomed to this.

Unfortunately, the special entrée reservée merely lets you join the back of a very, very long queue of other people similarly equipped with advance tickets. This queue may or may not be shorter than the very, very long queue of people who do not yet possess tickets.

Fortunately, it was only an hour or so of waiting, and it didn’t rain, and the grand hall with its wildly unfashionable but wonderful sculpture is still terrific.

Unfortunately, the display area for pre-Impressionist painting is greatly restricted by renovation. A little is on display, more is on loan.

Unfortunately, the result of those long queues is that the Impressionist galleries are overflowing with crowds of inattentive tourists and crying babies and energetic pre-teens from the four corners of the world. This makes it difficult to appreciate, say, Whistler.