Monday, July 13, 2009

Today We Went to the Louvre

Chloe and Pearl at the Louvre
My husband and I have been to Paris once before, 5 years ago right before we adopted Chloe. It was to be our last "hurrah" before we had to settle down and get to the business of raising a family. It was one of those worldwind tours where you visited something like 10 countries in 8 days. As it turned out, our one full day in Paris was on a Tuesday, the day of the week that the Louvre is closed. Instead, we went to Versailles, which was probably the most memorable tour of my life.

Now we had a chance to see what we missed out on 5 years ago. The Louvre is awesome on so many levels. Today the place was packed like Disneyland on a holiday. It was so full, they had the Mona Lisa cordoned off approximately 30' away from the painting, and this is a small painting. I found myself in the middle of a massive crushing crowd inching closer to the famed lady, only to realize that I had my wide angle lens on my camera. No time to change it. Chloe was standing anxiously in the wings desperately needing to find a restroom. Great! This was my once in a lifetime chance, so I just shot it the best I could. It is covered by a thick layer of reflective glass that even further hinders a photographic attempt.

Fortunately, there is so much more to the Louvre than the Mona Lisa. We just loved touring Napoleon's apartment and seeing all the great sculptures and paintings. Outside was a gigantic plaza just perfect for relaxing by the fountain and letting the girls run wild. The place is huge and there are no English captions anywhere. The staff seemed overwhelmed and indifferent. I was shocked to see people touching the sculptures and leaning on them for pictures. You could see the oily discolorations where thousands of dirty hands had fondled ancient masterpieces.

We had planned to visit the Eiffel Tower tomorrow, however we have just learned that tomorrow is Bastille Day, France's National Holiday. All the subways will be closed. There will be a major parade up the Champs Elysees (close to our hotel) and a big fireworks show at the Eiffel Tower. I was lamenting the fact that I missed the opportunity to photograph fireworks on the 4th of July at home because we left for vacation, and now I have a chance to capture this amazing event at the Eiffel Tower! How fortuitous is that? I cannot think of a better way to finish off the last night of our vacation than this. This also now helps me understand why all the hotels in Paris were booked and so expensive.

Above is a view from a window in the Louvre.

Looking up through the glass pyramid at the Louvre. This is the main entrance.
I believe this last picture is Napoleon's Dining Room. He had an apartment in the Louvre.

For more pictures from the Louvre, including the Mona Lisa (not a good pic), click on the Flickr box on the right sidebar. Once at Flickr, click on "will9516's photostream" to get to the most recent shots.


Teresa said...

I am loving all the pictures and stories, Lori. I need to start saving so we can go maybe next summer. Probably should have started saving last summer...

I had trouble moving my pictures around on my blog so I checked the help forum and they think that the new Internet Explorer 8 is messing things up for blogger. I ended up going into Edit HTML and copy/cut/paste to move things where I wanted them.

Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us. I have enjoyed it immensely.

Jeff C. said...

Your pictures are FANTASTIC. What kind of camera are you using?

tiffany said...

Oh it all looks just GREAT! Happy vacationing!

The Animator's Wife said...

Your mad photo skills are totally paying off on this trip. Gorgeous pics. Feel like I'm there... wish I actually WAS there... this will have to do for now and I am enjoying it!

Cheri said...

Wow, wow, wow!! Your pictures just keep getting better and better! I'm loving them. I'm so glad your trip is going so well.

Sharyn said...

Your pictures look fabulous.

I love your comment about visiting Europe as your last harrah. I used to think those things. But I have a feeling that this trip is even better than the one before without kids. At least I hope it's better. :-))