26 May 2011 - Today I decided to take the bus instead of walking for miles in the metro. It was so easy to just walk across the street, hop on and begin my journey to the Louvre all the while having a scenic tour of Paris. We sailed passed Cartier and all the big designer houses, great fun. After 25 minutes I finally was at the Louvre. The last time I was here I did not spend half the time I wanted too, so today I indulged and went to find my favorites.
Good thing I had already bought a museum pass ahead of time as I could walk right in instead of standing in line behind the 400 people lined up to get in. This alone is worth the cost of the pass.
When you first walk in you are under the glass pyramid and conveniently close to the souvrnir shops. There you can buy a millions different items with a photo of the Mona Lisa on it ..... I managed to resist any purchase except a Louvre guide.
I wandered through the many corridors and marveled at all the wondrous priceless paintings and sculptures and couldn't help but ponder on the fact that most of these artists died penniless.
Finally I just had to go peek at the star attraction "La Joconde" ...the Mona Lisa. Besides now being protected behind glass she has not changed in the past 30 years since I last saw her. With all the stress she has gone through over the years such as being stolen, had acid throw on her and slashed by a crazy person, she is no worse for wear. The mysterious smile is still intact and her image is open to a variety of interpretations, even to this day, as to who she really was and why the strange smile.
I took pictures of all the paintings I loved most (no flash please) another freedom which was not tolerated 30 years ago.
After many hours of bliss I decided to venture out to visit the Place de La Concorde, a pivotal area during the French revolution as well as the plot where the guillotine was set up so many years ago. It is a vast area with monument buildings and beautiful fountains (was kinda neat to see my screensaver image in real life). I wandered around and took some great photos and then fell victim to a souvenir that had the greatest large size coffee/soup mugs with scenes of Paris all over it...just had to have one.
By this time I had been walking for over 6 hours and felt it was time to make my way back to my lil home. I had some wine and a baguette with some ham and once full had a short nap.....ahhhhh this is the life :o)
Time to hit the sheets now.....tomorrow it's time for Montmartre and Versailles!