Mona, baby...Leonardo would be so proud of you, girl!
You're a star, for sure!
Today, we are off to the Louvre, knowing that it is open today!
Let's try this Louvre thing AGAIN.
Let's wake up early, AGAIN.
Let's hope for a better day than yesterday.
Can you believe I missed that teeny little bit of information on the Louvre's website that the place was closed yesterday?
Walking along the now-familiar streets of Paris going toward the Louvre, we pass by a hundred thousand cool shoe shops, dress shops, men's wear stores, house-ware stores...every single one of them has 'SOLDES' signs in the windows. The huge summer sales are on this month and I'm here in Paris with a paid-down VISA and a clean AMEX card.
That could be dangerous.
The line-ups begin so far back from the pyramid entrance at the Louvre that we have to walk Tuilleries-way to get around the people.
I decide to go in the quieter rue Rivoli entrance...Carrousel du Louvre is a much better choice than lining up in the heat and humidity today! We are right in the thick of the summer tourist traffic once we arrive in the ticket area, and it is like running a gauntlet to get through the crowds and into the line-up for the security check.
All bags and purses must be run through x-ray scanning before each person can enter the area to buy a ticket. Strange to think that only a few years ago, you could walk into most museums without security checks...you're just there to look at a few painting, not to destroy anything. The world has changed, and not for the better, I think.
We buy our tickets and enter the display areas, walking directly to the Michelangelo Gallery and up to his two Slaves sculptures that were being prepared for the tomb of Pope Julius II. Michelangelo never completed the sculptures, so what we see is the figure emerging from the marble, struggling to free himself, so to speak. I never tire of spending time with these figures and the other pieces in this gallery.
My very favorite is the veiled woman. I have no idea what the sculpture is called or who the artist is. I only know that she intrigues me every single time I see her. This time is no exception, and I will come back again before I leave for home, just to sit and marvel at the artist's ability to create the face of this woman with a veil draped over her features.
My second favorite pieces in this gallery are Michelangelo's Slaves. I can spend hours in this gallery with the variety of gorgeous work that sits on pedestals, on shelves, on the floor...all within touching distance. That's what amazes me, being right beside a piece that was created with much more exhausting work than our artists of today can even imagine...locating the perfect block of marble at the quarry, then having the workers hack away at the mountain of marble to extract the very piece that the sculptor wants.
Then, the arduous task of hauling that perfect block of marble down the mountainside or up out of the quarry...all by hand, with no front end loaders or any other power vehicles to help them. And today, we get to stand next to greatness and walk around it like we are best friends. That's so amazing to me.
Details of Michelangelo's Dying Slave...
Passing through the Michelangelo Gallery and on to the other galleries in this wing of the museum, we are rapidly running out of steam; with the heat and the crowds, it's not a fun day at the office for either of us. We decide to call it quits for the day, pay our pocket change for a pay-toilet break and then go for a cold drink and a snack.
A good idea, whose time has come! Pay toilets in the Louvre...what a sure-fire way to make excellent coin, pardon the pun. EVERYONE is thirsty as all get out and drinking reservoirs full of water and juices, so the next logical stop is a potty break. A guaranteed money pit, these pay toilets.
We find a restaurant of sorts, up the stairs and way in behind a gaggle of fast food outlets. We order a lot of water, a chicken salad each and a trio of desserts...a small creme brulee, an even tinier panne cotta and a teensy weensy little something or other...neither of us is sure just what it is. Still, it tastes pretty good, maybe because we are starving and extremely dehydrated, to boot.
Time for an escape from the Louvre and the heat of the crowds, so we leave by the side entrance, and scoot across the street for the last bit of shopping that Taryn has to do for her family and friends.
On our long walk home along rue de Bac, we discover some amazing shops and Taryn buys a second pair of Uncle Mikey shoes...Clarks with cloud-soft insoles and a very Mary Jane look. Very cute and very comfortable for her!
Home at last, we are so tired and so hot and so sweaty. I get in a fast, cool shower before it is the granddarling's turn. The shower cools me off and makes me feel human, once again. The humidity combined with the excessive heat created by the thousands of vehicles running and the reflected heat from the acres of asphalt and concrete combined a killer combination for us today and we are happy as clams to be out of it and inside of our cool and comfy apartment, once again!
Happy to be home, we both crash.
No one can keep me from sleep right now...
A good day at the Louvre, a good day, indeed.
Mission accomplished...the Louvre has been visited on an day that it was actually open.
A small success.
"The Louvre is a morgue; you go there to identify your friends."
~ Jean Cocteau
The Pyramid at the entrance of the Louvre, seen from inside...