The line into the Louvre was a bit daunting. This wasn’t the tourist season, so I was surprised to see thousands of people in line to buy tickets and enter this famous museum.
You know how it is when you are so far away from the entrance of a place that you’re not even sure if the line you are standing in is for tickets, entry or a haircut? That’s the kind of line we were in.
Finally I took an excursion to wander and see if I could at least ascertain that we were in a line we wanted to be in. When I made it into the grand central plaza, I was shocked to see even longer lines. All unmoving.
Finally, the important information: the Louvre museum workers were on strike. No wonder no one was allowed in; got to make sure the Mona Lisa doesn’t get filched again!
(I am one of those that believes the actual Mona Lisa was never returned after its theft in 1913 by Vincenzo Peruggia. I think it’s a very good forgery on display in the Louvre… but that’s just me.)
So we left. To the Parisians, sudden strikes, like rainstorms, are normal. I just wish one of the disgruntled museum workers had thought to bring along a megaphone; it would have been nice to know why we weren’t moving!
Fortunately, there are many museums, and workers who aren’t disgruntled, so we spent a lovely day sightseeing, starting with the Tuileries, an expansive garden adjacent to the Louvre.
The scale of the design of Paris is truly monumental. The whole city is an integrated piece, one huge artistic installation, and one is literally surrounded by it. There are beautiful moments in the micro, too, sculptures, gardens, and environments that are designed especially to make the people coursing across them look aesthetic.
I won’t bore you with a detailed tour of Paris converted into boring black and white type, but suffice to say we walked nearly ten miles that day, stopping every mile or so to bolster ourselves with croissants and coffee.
The highlight was the Arc de Triomphe, which is at the hub of the city. Tamra inspired us to go to the top, which she had visited before. It’s a hike up the interior spiral staircase, and my legs were burning after the ascent, but what a view!
There’s a video of Professor Knestor at the summit that you can watch HERE.
From the top of the Arc, first commissioned by Napoleon and then repurposed several times before its completion in 1836, one sees the city from the center of radiating boulevards, like the spokes of an enormous wheel.
When the weather is good, you can take in one of the more sensational manmade views in the world, which include the Eiffel tower, Montmartre and what’s left of Notre Dame. We had ridiculously good weather; our photos look fake, as if we shot them in front of a painted backdrop. See?
The long and short of it was, we had a marvelous time, made many friends and were exposed to the best Paris has to offer, which is a lot.
There’s much more to tell, for instance we shot a little short film in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower which turned out so well, we are thinking of putting it in festivals… really! (If you’d like to see it, let me know and I’ll send a private link.)
We visited the Musee D’Orsay and took a day trip to the countryside… everything was mind-blowing.
If you haven’t been to Paris, be sure to put it on your list. It’s easier than you think to get around, and the rewards are tres, tres formidable.
Thanks for reading!