Blinded by the light in front of the Louvre
Got up early. Today was deigned â€śMuseum Day.â€ť We were going to try to
cover both the Louvre and MusĂ©e dâ€™Orsay in one day, so we had to get an
early start. We ate some of the chocolate croissants weâ€™d both the day
before. Even croissants from a supermarket are better in France. Man.
We walked to the Louvre from our hotel. The walk wasnâ€™t too bad, but it
was a little chilly in the morning. I was happy to FINALLY go here,
because it was one of the things I didnâ€™t manage to do when I went to
Paris before (was closed or something), and I never stopped getting
crap about how I hadnâ€™t been to the Louvre. We decided to take an
English tour, because the museum is freaking huge and we only had a
certain amount of time in Paris
One of the rooms with a lot of statues in it (in the Louvre)
Because we got there really early in
the morning, the lines were not bad at all. However, the tour didnâ€™t
start for another hour or so, so we walked around the area by the
museum. We went and got deux chocolat chauds at a cafe and watched them
clean the streets (which is just running a bunch of water through all
the ditches). There were not many people in the cafe. You could tell
the ones that were there went there every morning. That was cool. I
love sitting and listening to people speak French and seeing how much I
can pick up. I was surprised at how much of the language I had managed
to retain after not being in French class for three years.
Fortunately we didnâ€™t have to wait in the immense lines that had
developed when we returned.
A beautiful picture by Mary of a beautiful statue
Iâ€™m sure that place gets insanely busy...
not as busy as the Vatican Museum, but still full of crazy tourists.
When we went to the tour, we were the only people our age there. Go
figure. An Indian couple asked me if I could use my ID for them to rent
out the headphones for the tour. That was a little awkward. I let them,
of course. The headphones connected to the lady leading the tour at the
front of the group, which was weird because sometimes you couldnâ€™t see
her, but you could still hear her voice. You could even wander off and
still hear her. I donâ€™t know why I think it was so weird. Hmm. Anyway,
we learned about a lot of things that I promptly forgot...We didnâ€™t go
in every room, Iâ€™m sure... the museum seemed to get crowded more and
more b y the minute.
A statue of the god of traveling, or some such (thought it seemed appropriate)
.. There are a LOT of statues and rooms of
marble sculptures in the Louvre. Thatâ€™s also what most of my pictures
are of because thatâ€™s the only thing they let you take photos of. We
also spent a LOT of time in a room with a lot of very impressive
jewels. The Winged Victory was really cool. The Venus was okay. I donâ€™t
know what the big fuss is about. The Mona Lisa was cool, but there were
way too many people around it for me to get very close. The painting
behind it was cooler, though. We sat down here with a group of children
and listened passively to this guy tell them about the painting in
French. The museum was pretty cool. We felt pretty rushed with the tour
being only an hour and a half.
I donâ€™t remember quite where this was, but when we got out of the
museum, they were filming a movie at some place across the street.
This piece of ceiling has the different seasons represented
Closed set, lights everywhere, lots of trailers... looked like a pretty
big deal. I took a picture just in case it became something cool later.
It looked like a World War II movie. We also got crĂŞpes on the street
somewhere. It was overpriced because it was by the museum, but a crĂŞpe
on the street is always a good idea.
We were really tired from weaving through crowds in the museum, and
took a break to sit in Les Tuilleries, which I love. It was another
beautiful day. We were blessed with good weather in Paris. And all the
tulips were in bloom. Mmmm...
Then we went to MusĂ©e dâ€™Orsay!!! MusĂ©e dâ€™Orsay is just across the Seine
from the Louvre. Very convenient. Mary had already been here twice, but
I was really excited about it since I had never been and Iâ€™m kind of a
French Impressionism nerd (thanks Mom).
The Winged Victory
Mary got in for free because
she was under 18. I still had to pay because Iâ€™m old. That was dumb.
The museum was GREAT-- definitely better than the Louvre (at least to
me). We spent a reeeeaaalllllllllly really really long time in here. I
think we almost say every painting. And there are a LOT of paintings in
there. I took pictures of some of them. Pretty much every famous
painting youâ€™ve heard of by Van Gough, Monet, Degas, Cezanne, or Renoir
is in this museum. It was truly overwhelming. I absolutely LOVED it,
though, and bought a whole bunch of postcards from the museum. I buy
postcards at every art museum I go to so I can put the paintings I like
on my wall.
We were about to die by the end of the museum. Our feet hurt very badly
and we were about to die of starvation, so I made us go to a little
tourist magnet down the street.
The Winged Victory, encore
You knew it was a touristy restaurant
because it was called something like â€śCafe du Louvre.â€ť We had an
AWESOME croque monsieur. I never understand how they can make something
so simple so delicious. I guess itâ€™s because they broil it instead. AND
they use gruyĂ¨re cheese, which is delicious. We seriously inhaled that
We only split the croque monsieur, though, because we were planning on
going to some falafel place that Mary was obsessed with. Apparently so
is Lenny Kravitz. We caught the metro because it was across town, and
then had to walk all over the Jewish quarter looking for it.
Unfortunately the falafel place was closed... Mary was really sad... a
lot of the things around here were closed with signs up that we
We realized that it was closed for Passover. Damn.
This was bad because Mary and I had no idea when Passover was supposed
to start or end. To make up for it we went to the original Amorino down
the street. There was a bit of a line here, which makes sense, because
it is so super delicious.
After this I think we went to an internet place to try to figure out
when Passover was over, among other things. I also had read on the
airplane that they were having classical concerts in churches all over
Paris in April, so we looked into that as well. Mary also wrote home
because the ATM kept denying her money, because, as we found out later,
our dad forgot to call the bank and so they froze her account once they
started seeing transactions from Europe.
A closer shot of the Venus (I don't know how I managed to push through the rest of the crowd to get this shot)
We went to Le Pain Quotidien again for dinner. We were a little
embarrassed since we had just been there for lunch yesterday, but we
had to make up for the fact that the falafel place wasnâ€™t happening.
Our waiter even recognized us. Wow. The food was completely delicious
again. This time we got pear juice, and I got a great piece of lamb.
Mary got another tartine, and we shared. SO GOOD. Full of love.
On the way home from this we saw something magical. Apparently once a
week or so down this certain street in Paris that happens to go through
La Marais, a whole slew of people (hundreds, easily), go ROLLERBLADING
down the street together. The police even section off the street for
this to happen. Some people have rollerblades with crazy lights.
A way better picture of the Venus, by Mary
whole thing was pretty ridiculous, but awesome to see. Very, very
When we got back, I tried to master the quasi-shower/bath thing, but
got water all over the bathroom. This ended up being a regular
occurrence. We tried to watch TV before we went to bed, but the only
station we got in English was the news. They also had MTV in German,
which we enjoyed.