I decided before heading out on this trip that I needed to go to the Louvre early in the day, preferably when it opened. Lucky for me, it didn’t open until 9. I got there around 9:15. With the lack of need to buy tickets, I walked right in. I headed straight for the Mona Lisa, knowing that even though it felt crowded now, it would only get worse. It was surprisingly not difficult to get my picture. And thankfully everyone now tells you that it’s a tiny painting, don’t expect much. Because that’s the truth. Nothing extraordinary about it.
My general thought on the Louvre is that if no one ever again decides to paint the Crucifixion, or the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus, the world will have enough paintings. If you disagree, sorry. And the rest of the museum should be decently titled “Shit we should return to the countries we stole it from”. So it was interesting, but not thrilling. And WAY too big to be one museum. One of the special exhibitions was the restoration of the Winged Victory statue. That was very interesting. I will never understand how someone decides what’s dirt or rubble vs what’s part of some statue. Essentially, the statue was a bunch of pieces that they managed to put back together.
After the Louvre I went to catch this walking tour. This time I was plenty early. A couple other people struck up conversations around me and I just joined on in. Turned out to be a great choice. I’ve had great luck meeting people on walking tours. We toured and learned our bits and pieces. We had a slightly modified tour as the real TOUR was going on. Of course I refer to the Tour de France. It was ending in Paris this day, and blocks off a lot of streets.
My new friends and I had intended to grab some food and wine and catch a seat somewhere to catch the race. But after heading to the toilettes, we seemed to be stuck in the area we were. The metro was closed and we couldn’t cross the streets. So we checked out what was going on. It was the sponsor parade for the Tour. So we grabbed a spot, figuring the Tour couldn’t be far behind.
Let me just tell you, we were very very very very wrong. Which would have been fine in the sunshine, but it was raining. And rather chilly. Oh well. Mind you, every time something came by we got excited figuring the bikes were soon and so we should stay. Wrong. It ended up being about 2 hours. And then the bikers came by in probably 30 seconds. Because it was gross out and they all already knew who won. After the Mona Lisa and the Little Mermaid, this still wins as the biggest disappointment of my trip so far. Good thing it’s a once in a life time thing.
After this we grabbed some dinner. I tried the, walk away from the tourist places to find dinner option, but all we found were closed restaurants. So we went back to the Latin Quarter. And did not walk far enough, because it was not good. And the waiter totally worked us over. Oh well. Lesson learned. I should have known before.
The group decided we all wanted to picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower and so decided to meet tomorrow to do so.