A quelle heure ouvre la Louvre?

Paris Travel Blog

 › entry 7 of 16 › view all entries

I woke up grumpy and stumbled out of bed with a plan. I was going to enjoy the heck out of Paris. I was here and had nothing better to do, so I would use it. Another part of the plan was buying a towel, which they did not provide in the hostel. This would allow me to take a shower for the first time without cold water in days.

My first stop was the Louvre, where I was surprised to not be greeted by an eternal line. In fact, there were maybe fifteen people in front of me and they were only there because the doors still hadn't opened yet. A few minutes later they did and within 10 minutes I had my tickets and was stepping into the museum... where I saw the 6.8 million people who weren't standing in line because they were using the 'Massive Fricking Groups' entrance in the back.

It was a bit of a let down. Not only did the groups make it very difficult to navigate the museum, but I also found out that the Egyptology section I was most looking forward to was closed. I only stayed about two hours, which was slightly shorter than the line up to see the Mona Lisa.

As I stepped outside, the first rain since I'd arrived in Europe started to fall. It was humid, it was raining, I was really disappointed by the Louvre... I must soldier on. Setting out, I made my way towards the small island where Notre Dame de Paris makes it's home.

My goal was not the cathedral however, but the Crypte archéologique du parvis Notre-Dame.

This museum located under the flagstone courtyard in front of the cathedral is layers upon layers of history, from the earliest settlers tin Paris, through the Roman era and up into the revolution years. It is 2000 years of a city's history grown up one atop the other.

I stopped at Les Halles, which has to be the fanciest shopping mall in the history of forever. Flying buttresses for the win. I picked up a towel, at which point the salesman tried to talk me into taking a second one at half price. I stumbled back to the hotel and became a total bum. A combination of the really unpleasant weather, really disappointing day and being hyperactive through several days and quite possibly dealing with jet lag turned me into a real mope. I lay around and napped all afternoon, dreading my last day in Paris.

I set out that evening looking for something to eat. To my amazement, on the opposite end of the block from Le Moulin Rouge, I found a small Irish Pub. Pulling up a stool I settled in there for far too many pints and the best fun I'd had in Paris thus far. I met a number of fine folks who worked at the Australian Embassy, and tried to help an Australian bartender explains something very complicated to the young band who was trying to set up for what seemed to be their first ever gig. I eventually stumbled out of the bar and into the cafe across the street, where I had one of the worst meals I encountered on the whole continent. Fie on you, cafe across the street.

Following that fun-filled evening, I managed to make my way past all of the strip club hawkers with their witty slogans such as 'You American, You come here!'. It was hard to fault such obvious logic, but I managed to do so and make it back to the hostel untainted.

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photo by: lasersurge