on March 4, 2012
We arrived at the zig-zag of ropes for the entrance to the Lourve early. It was a misty turning to rainy day. A really good time to spend all day inside...of course they have to open the doors first. We marveled at yet another French royal extravagance. In the last century a controversial addition the Pyramids, have added a startling contrast to the existing architecture. The pyramids do add a source of light to the cavernous lobby. This museum was formally the Royal Palace and it has been added to in large and small sections over the centuries. The Louvre was built over an former palace. Once inside we could even see a section that had been excavated showing the walls and moat. We were allowed to use flashless cameras. And there is much to photograph. My friend Marilyn and I decided to follow the guide map and check off as many of the numbered highlights as possible. Actually this should be done over several days, but honestly how many of us have that luxury! These are my highlights, presented in no particular order. Hammurabi's code; it took my breath away to see this odelisk of the first recorded laws. Assyrian sculpture of the Winged man-bull creature: been looking for this guy since Art History 101. Venus de Milo: she was into sleeveless before Michelle Obama. Winged Victory of Samothrace: guarding the staircase and causing traffic jams as people stop to take her picture. Egyptian blue glass: would look so good in my living room. The Lacemaker: Vermeer knew how to light a picture. Napoean III Apartments: suited my tastes better than Versailles and yet it too was opulent. Egyptian columns: organic and to me more appealing than the Greek classics.And finally Mona Lisa: the mystery is why she is so sought after! At at my height of 5', she is not very visable. The crowds around her are twenty deep. I suggest if you are a Mona fan, go there first.We were able to grab a fast food lunch of a mini quiche and a mini tart. Be prepared to stand up to eat, very few tables and even fewer chairs are available. If you need sit down time, there are benches in the interior courtyards, but no food is allowed there.The shops are of two varieties: kids souvenirs and museum shop quality. I did buy a replica of the blue Egyptian glass at a reasonable price. My friend Sarah found a tablerunner she liked but it was 2,200 Euros. Skip that one. Exiting through tunnels lined with other shops I did find a charm for my collection.
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