A Week in Paris – Part VII

Day 7 – The Louvre

083By Day 7 I was beginning to run out of steam and the Louvre demands quite a bit of stamina, even to do a “quick” run-through.  I met a friend there who wanted to start at 9:00 am sharp so I had to leave my hotel at 8:00 am to get there on time which meant no time for coffee (good, bad, or indifferent) or breakfast.

As soon as we walked in the door she dragged me at breakneck speed through the museum to see La Joconde (better known to Americans as The Mona Lisa).   I’m not sure what the rush was, but she seemed to think that it might not still be there if we didn’t get there FAST.  Well there it was, in approximately the same place I first saw it 35 years ago.  I have to admit that The Mona Lisa doesn’t do much for me.  Its a nice enough painting, but I don’t find it particularly moving or inspiring.  However it’s one of those things you have to take a picture of so you can say “I saw this”.  Hundreds of other people PER MINUTE obviously feel the same way.  You never saw so many people taking pictures of a painting.

151(To me she is smirking at all the people pushing and shoving to take her picture when she isn’t doing anything but just sitting there….)

157

And, yes, I saw the Venus de Milo, too

Now I know very little about fine arts and make no pretensions to the contrary.  I do appreciate art, of course, but not with a trained or knowledgeable eye.  If I like it, then I consider it “good,” and that is my only criteria.  So with that said, I’ll post the painting I saw in the Louvre that I liked the best (keeping in mind that I went through it pretty quickly and probably missed a great deal.)

Painting in LouvreI love the moon breaking through the clouds; the moonlight on the water; the warm glow of the fire.  I love the whole scene.  I love this painting.

Of course Louvre itself is very beautiful – as much of an exhibit as the artifacts and works of art it houses.  I’ll post just one photo of a favorite space.  I love the yellow marble.

154

At noon we went to the Food Court where I ate a horrid slice of lukewarm pizza for 10€ washed down with a drink that cost 3€ .  (That comes to more than $16 which is more than the admission price to the museum!)

SIX HOURS LATER I was unable to endure one more minute on my feet and decided to cry uncle.   I stumbled out of the Pyramid, tired and footsore but not quite ready to call it a day.  I sat for a while next to the arch while waiting for my friend who was still going strong.

082After we parted, I slowly strolled back across the river.  The week was about over, I had seen a lot, and I was weary.   When I reached the Musée d’Orsay (where my train station was located) I looked at it longingly – it houses the Impressionist paintings I really wanted to see – but I didn’t even think about going inside this time.  Instead I sat on the steps outside the museum and was treated to a beautiful, uplifting and soul-soothing “concert” by a street violinist.

158Yes, I gave him a couple of euros and wish I could have given more.  He was fantastic and the perfect note on which to end my week in Paris.

(Although I did not record him myself,  I did find a YouTube video of him playing in Paris)

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