Painting crush, expensive holiday day, and 9 hours at the Louvre

Today was supposed to start early.  It seems to be a trend for me that early is not really early for most.  Woke up at 9:30 but it wasn’t until around 10:30 for the Louvre. 

The struggle of waiting in lines to wait in lines to realize I shouldn’t have been waiting in that line, but another line.  I actually entered the galleries of the Louvre at around  11:30 with my Paris Museum Pass.  SOOO Expensive.  42 Euro, but with the amount of places I still want to see, it will be worth it.  

I left the museum at around 8:30pm.  9 Hours in the Louvre and I just about saw everything I wanted.  This is significant, because 12 years ago I visited Paris and the Louvre for the first time.  We had 3 hours only on a pretty hardcore tour a friend of mine put together.  We saw everything in Paris; I saw EVERYTHING in the Louvre, but it was definitely speedy.  This time, I could linger, which was lovely.  I found old friends, too.  There’s a certain portrait that I really love.  When I first went, I seem to remember it on the same floor as the Mona Lisa.  She was also in a different place, I want to say, on a plain white wall at the end of an exhibit hall.  I remember seeing this portrait of a sculptor and being so captivated by his liveliness and eyes, the spirit that the artist captures.  I remember thinking that the Mona Lisa can’t compare to this portrait, which at the time, was high on the wall, on the left side, a position that most would skip in looking.  In going through the galleries, I found him again, this sculptor.  I greeted him aloud, “Hello, old friend.”  It was a highlight for me at the museum.  Of all the very famous pieces I saw today, all the wonders upon wonders, I took the most pictures of him.  

If I have time tomorrow, I may go back to the Louvre to spend more time with some of the pieces I especially loved.  This time I took a lot of pictures of women in powerful positions, images of Blackness and othering in the paintings and murals, Egyptian artifacts, and art from Syria and Iran.  

Side note (not having to do with art):  Charge your phone if it is your camera, as mine is.  I did find the only non-covered plug, it seems in the entire Louvre.  It’s by the Denon wing, 1st floor, by the cafe.  Go to the cafe and then walk towards the elevator (the stairs on your right and the souvenir station immediately behind you).  It’s situated right next to the elevator on the right side, there are two busts (rather handsome fellows), on the left.  I was down to less than 10% with still an hour or more of Louvre and a visit to the Arc de Triomphe.  A teenager sat next to me, I think to charge when I was done, but she didn’t ask, and I was desperate so I hogged the plug I had scoured the museum for and did some sketching of the busts.  If you are a Facebook Friend, you may see them online.  

Because I had so much time at the Louvre today, I did a lot of eating at the cafes.  I ate lots of gluten-y foods, which is why I am now sick, but Paris is not friendly to the gluten-free, at least I haven’t been lucky:  

42 Paris Museum Pass.  Expensive but worth it.  
13 Sandwich and Bottle of Water and cafe espresso (necessary after 4 hours of walking around)
9 Sandwich and chocolate mousse (I wanted sugar.  I 
5.15  for cafe espresso and a pain au chocolate 
14 for dinner (sushi by the hotel)
2.20 for a Smirnoff

85.35 Total (41.15 for the day other than the touristy bits)  

I easily could have cut the spending by actually leaving the Louvre to find some inexpensive food or cutting the extra snacks … but I’m going to give myself a break with this one as I did a LOT of walking and mental-consuming today.  

After the Louvre, I went to the Arc de Triomphe, climbed the stairs to the top for the stereotypical pictures of the Eiffel Tower and the city.  I even saw a proposal (she said yes) at the top, which was really sweet.  Under his white shirt, he even had a T-shirt with her face on it that said “J’aime Z”.  High pressure, though.  What if she hadn’t said yes?  But she did and there was crying (her) and clapping (onlookers) and kissing (them).  Very cute.  Love on a symbol of imperialism?  Hmm.  Not sure what to make of that.  I don’t want to put too much thought into it.  Would spoil the romantic intentions and I just don’t want to be hyper-analytical today.  My brain hurts.  

Happily, I was able to catch up on my blogging.  

Tomorrow the plan is Musee Rodin, Musee Orsay, Pantheon, writing group, and maybe a show in the evening.  I’d like to go back to the Louvre but I don’t think it will be possible.  Sunday, I’m thinking of mass at Notre Dame, Shakespeare and Company to hang out, pick up my bags and then head to the airport.  

More tomorrow.  

Now, let’s see if I can actually get up early tomorrow.  

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