Monday, April 18, 2011

Paris: The Louvre

What is a trip to Paris without a trip to the Louvre!  I had no idea of the immensity of this building!  We were told that the Louvre had been the royal residence until Louis XIV decided that the people of Paris were a little too rebellious and had the palaces at Versailles built.

Not having read "The daVinci Code" or seen the movie, I wasn't up on the new entrance with the pyramids.  It is a bit of a juxtaposition to see such a modern structure in this setting.  But it does what good art should do, make you think!

We had 2 1/2 hours to see the Louvre!  Our Parisian guide told us that it has been figured that if one spent 30 seconds on each exhibit, it would take over a year to see everything!  Our group was divided into two smaller groups and each had a Parisian guide to lead us to the art that must be seen when at the Louvre!  Very cleverly, our guide had a microphone and we each had radio receivers earsets so we could hear what she had to say and be able to stay as a group.

Of course, the Mona Lisa!  It was actually larger than I thought.  There was an immense crush of people in front of this painting.  It was as if they were at a sacred shrine.

The Winged Victory, or Nike.  I loved that it was displayed in such a large hall/stairway. 

The Venus de Milo.  What patience, and such artistic talent to sculpt such a piece.  And to think that it was buried in a field for centuries!

Along the way to see the above three, we did get to see a few of the other exhibits.  This is Lady Liberty.

The Coronation of Napoleon.  The grand scale of some of these paintings is just mind boggling!  How did they do it?

After the Louvre, we had some free time.  We went to a little brasserie down the street from our hotel for lunch.  This is what we saw when we turned the corner!  We think they are azaleas, or some sort of a rhododendrum.

I had an awesome quiche lorraine and salad.  And of course a glass of wine!  Unfortunately, I had left my camera here (but fortunately someone from our tour group found it and returned it to me) so that when we later took the Metro to the Arc de Triomphe, I had no camera to take pictures of the awesome view from the top.

The Arc de Triomphe is set at the convergence of 12 boulevards, one being the Champs de Elysee.  There is a huge traffic circle surrounding the Arc, and it is fascinating to watch the cars, buses, and scooters managing to get where they want to go without any mishaps.  It was a glorious warm sunny day, and just enjoying the breeze and the beauty of Paris was magnificent.

This is the infamous tunnel where Princess Diana and company were killed.  The golden flame over the tunnel was there 10 years prior to the accident.  It is a replica of the flame held up by the Statue of Liberty.  However, because of Princess Diana's fame, it is now called Diana's Flame.

We had supper as a group this night, and we feasted on....quiche lorraine!  It was awesomely yummy also!  We all were a little crazy that night, and we got our waiters to join in our fun!

We then went on a night time river boat cruise on the Seine!  It was a bit chilly, but it was so awesome to see the sites so beautifully lit up at night.  I thought of the movie "An American in Paris" and am sure I saw some areas that were in that film!  I will have to rewatch it to relive these memories!


  1. Oh...I think I need to go!!!!

  2. I LOVED the Louvre when I was there. So amazing!