Paris Day 3: To The Louvre!

Today we woke up late, around 10 o’clock in the morning because we’re so tired from last night’s trip to the Eiffel Tower.  We were worried that the line at the Louvre might already be unbearable so we did our best to get there as soon as possible.  We took the bus to the museum since a bus stop is just a few minutes from our hotel.  We got off at Louvre-Rivoli stop and walked our way to the main entrance.  We were surprised in what we saw, no queues!  Louvre is the most visited attraction in Paris so we expected lines like those of the Eiffel Tower.  I’ve read so many travel sites warning about its ridiculous lines that they even gave tips on which entrance has the shortest lines. Maybe we’re just lucky.

Surprisingly no queues
Did you know that Louvre used to be a palace?
Tourists from all over the world
Louvre Interior
We only visited the must see works of art like the Winged Victory of Samothrace, Venus de Milo, Michelangelo’s David, Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss, and of course, the Mona Lisa.  The Mona Lisa is kind of a disappointment.  It’s the most famous painting in the world.  Her smile has intrigued the world for centuries.  The Da Vinci Code made her even more mysterious.  However, in person the Mona Lisa is just like another small painting.  I mean, I’ve seen better paintings than that.  Covered by a bullet proof glass (the only one I saw in Louvre) and surrounded by hoards of tourist with their cameras like paparazzi before a celebrity, it’s hard to appreciate its “beauty”.  Besides we have a replica in our house for years so I wasn’t amazed at all.  For me, the painting opposite of it is more interesting.  Even though it’s the biggest painting in the museum, the few people it gathers are nothing compared to the mob of Mona Lisa.

Winged Victory of Somathrace
Mona Lisa: The museum's celebrity
My favorite painting inside
The Holy Grail is said to be placed inside the pyramid
We only spent 4 hours inside but it felt like we were there forever.  Don’t expect to see everything.  The 35,000 collection inside will need a lifetime to see it all.  I know my arts professor would hate me for saying this, but to be honest I didn’t really enjoy Louvre that much.  It is so huge! You can’t help but get lost even with an aid of a map.  Seeing works of art after another for 4 straight hours gave me a headache.  It was too much for me.  It’s also hard to appreciate art because there is always somebody standing in front of it trying to have a picture with it. I don’t know, maybe museums are not my thing.

Opera district
Palais Garnier
Palais Garnier
After Louvre, we took the metro to Galleries La Fayette to have some shopping.  The metros of Paris, compared to the London Underground, look old and scary.  The smell of urine reeks everywhere you go.  I don’t know how they can live with that.  Some of the trains don’t have automatic doors.  There is a handle you need to turn or a button to press before it open.  We didn’t know this before so we just stood there waiting for it to open while the people inside stared at us.  We thought maybe it was broken and went to the next door where the others are going in.  I think Parisians are used to seeing naïve tourist like us do that for every station, every day.  I’ll understand if they will just roll their eyes.

One of the city's street performers
We were surprised to see the boulevard of Haussmann deserted.  We forgot that it was a Sunday.  We also didn’t make it on time to Galleries La Fayette.  It was already closed when we got there.   We just went to the nearby Palais Garnier and watched a pianist play a Mozart in front of the opera house.  Oh la la Paris!

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1.  Musée du Louvre 
  • Opening hours:
    • Monday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday: from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Wednesday, Friday: from 9 a.m. to 9:45 p.m.
    • Closed on Tuesdays 
2.  Louvre Ticket: Adult: €11    Under 18 years old: free 
3.   Visit the museum in the morning to avoid queues.  
4.   Information regarding the painting and sculptures is in French.

5.  We paid for an audio guide for €5/ person.  It is a Nintendo 3d SD with commentaries and map of the museum.  It can be useful but I wouldn’t suggest it.  Its batteries ran out after 1.5 hours contrary to the 3 hours they claimed.  After the battery runs out, you’ll have to return the gadget and have it replaced with a newly charged one near the main lobby wasting time and energy. 
6.  Download the Rick Steves’ audio guide instead for free then save it in your mp3 player.

This entry was posted on Saturday, August 3, 2013 and is filed under ,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

2 Responses to “Paris Day 3: To The Louvre!”

  1. Why do you love that (7th pic) painting so much?


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