I arrived in Paris at 6:00 a.m. after a restless, overnight flight from Washington DC with the knowledge that it was still too early to check-in to my hotel room. Weary and fatigued, I left my baggage with the concierge and headed to the l'Orangerie to peacefully ease my way into the day among Monet's giant water lilies.
The small museum is an urban oasis located in the Tuileries Gardens across from the Louvre. Its two oval-shaped rooms offer panoramic views of Monet's serene Nymphéas series.The paintings are a part of the structure since the artist had the panels built into the walls.
The best time to visit is at opening on weekday mornings. Not only will you avoid noisy school groups, but it's a great time of day to admire the nuances of the abstract paintings changing under natural light.