Museum Day

Paris Travel Blog

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Blinded by the light in front of the Louvre
Got up early. Today was deigned “Museum Day.” We were going to try to cover both the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay in one day, so we had to get an early start. We ate some of the chocolate croissants we’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 wasn’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 didn’t manage to do when I went to Paris before (was closed or something), and I never stopped getting crap about how I hadn’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 didn’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 didn’t have to wait in the immense lines that had developed when we returned.
A beautiful picture by Mary of a beautiful statue
I’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 couldn’t see her, but you could still hear her voice. You could even wander off and still hear her. I don’t know why I think it was so weird. Hmm. Anyway, we learned about a lot of things that I promptly forgot...We didn’t go in every room, I’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. That’s also what most of my pictures are of because that’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 don’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 don’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 Musée d’Orsay!!! Musée d’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 I’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 I’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 you’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 “Cafe du Louvre.” We had an AWESOME croque monsieur. I never understand how they can make something so simple so delicious. I guess it’s because they broil it instead. AND they use gruyère cheese, which is delicious. We seriously inhaled that thing.

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 couldn’t understand.
The Venus
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 wasn’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
The whole thing was pretty ridiculous, but awesome to see. Very, very random.

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. 
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Blinded by the light in front of t…
Blinded by the light in front of …
One of the rooms with a lot of sta…
One of the rooms with a lot of st…
A beautiful picture by Mary of a b…
A beautiful picture by Mary of a …
A statue of the god of traveling, …
A statue of the god of traveling,…
This piece of ceiling has the diff…
This piece of ceiling has the dif…
The Winged Victory
The Winged Victory
The Winged Victory, encore
The Winged Victory, encore
The Venus
The Venus
A closer shot of the Venus (I don…
A closer shot of the Venus (I don…
A way better picture of the Venus,…
A way better picture of the Venus…
Some big WW2 movie being shot
Some big WW2 movie being shot
Les Tuilleries, outside the Louvre
Les Tuilleries, outside the Louvre
Beautiful tulips
Beautiful tulips
Mary takes better pictures than me…
Mary takes better pictures than m…
Me, obviously, in les tuilleries
Me, obviously, in les tuilleries
I really hate taking pictures...
I really hate taking pictures...
Mary... not sure what that look on…
Mary... not sure what that look o…
MusĂ©e dOrsay-- The Gates of Hell…
MusĂ©e d'Orsay-- The Gates of Hel…
I kind of hated myself for taking …
I kind of hated myself for taking…
Another of the many of Monets wat…
Another of the many of Monet's wa…
Renoir, Bal au Moulin de la Galette
Renoir, Bal au Moulin de la Galette
A close-up Mary took of la Gallette
A close-up Mary took of la Gallette
I love this... I dont know why...…
I love this... I don't know why..…
Gustave Caillebotte, The Floor Scr…
Gustave Caillebotte, The Floor Sc…
More Renoirs
More Renoirs
Uh.. is that... rollerbladers????
Uh.. is that... rollerbladers????
Heck yeah! Rollerblading is... coo…
Heck yeah! Rollerblading is... co…
Wooohoo!!!!
Wooohoo!!!!
Paris
photo by: Sweetski