Louvre & a Boat Ride

Trip Start Jun 08, 2012
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Trip End Jun 23, 2012


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Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Thursday, June 21, 2012

Today was the day to finally visit the Louvre. Robyn also wanted to take an evening boat ride on the Seine to see the lights of Paris from the river.  She initially tried to book a dinner cruise and we were willing to pay up to 75 Euros per person, but those cruises were sold out and the only dinner cruise was 175 Euros per person. I wasn't spending 350 Euros for something I really did not want to do.  We settled on taking one of the one hour cruises and the one we booked was only 12 Euros per person, but I was apprehensive about this decision.

We got to the Louvre and our Museum Passes paid off again as we walked past all the lines of people waiting to buy a ticket and went right in.  I knew the Louvre was massively big, but I had no idea HOW big.  We had hoped to see Italian artists, French Impressionists, and some of the Dutch artists.  Robyn also wanted to see the Venus de Milo, which was convenient to the Italian artists we wanted to see in the Denon wing.  We worked our way down the wing until we found the room containing the Mona Lisa.  All I can say is what an absolute madhouse  that room is.  The painting is beautiful and a significant work of art but there were hundreds of people crowded side by side, pushing and shoving to get up to the painting. Robyn managed to get close enough to get a picture while I stayed way back holding her purse. We walked on through the whole Denon wing and saw works by Rafael, Michelangelo Anselmi, Cavallino, and a Da Vinci of La Belle Ferronniere and then the same model painted by a unknown student from Da Vinci's school.  It was really amazing to see these paintings.  The last item we went to see was the Venus de Milo. After that we decided we just could not make it through another wing of the museum so we headed out. That place is just too massive.










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After the Louvre we went over to St Germain so Robyn could visit the Galleries Lafayette department store.  We ran into one of the other big scams in Paris. A young women with a pad of paper asks a tourist if they speak English. If the person says yes they then ask for directions to some site, and since the person is now distracted,  a companion of the young woman picks the person's pocket. We were hit up by one of these young ladies on the way in and ignored her.  On the way out we were hit up two more times and the second time I looked the girl in the face and sternly said, "No.  I don't speak English!" I was getting pretty perturbed.

We also made our way down to the Champs Elysee, got caught in the rain, but still managed to walk around a little and get some pictures.  We also walked over to the Place de la Concorde and the Tuileries Gardens.



 






As I said above,  we planned an evening river cruise and all I can say is BIG MISTAKE. We were crammed onto the boat with hardly any room to move. Plus,  we had two kids in front of us waving their arms all over the place so it was hard to see around them. And... you really could not get any good pictures plus we did not find  the "lights of Paris" very impressive.  Maybe it just had not gotten dark enough yet. This was really the only disappointment of our trip.  We couldn't wait to get off the boat.  I have attached one picture of the Eiffel Tower that Robyn took from the boat. The final straw was that we could not find a taxi and it was a VERY LONG HAUL back to the hotel in the cold weather. Tomorrow we head back to London for our last night of the trip.



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