Under The Bridge
Trip Start Sep 07, 2008
33Trip End Oct 10, 2008
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Where I stayed
Hotel Ibis Grand Boulevards Opera
A favourite at the Louvre is wandering down amongst the ruins of the medieval fortress that was the old Louvre. It is a dimly lit path following the outside of the remaining ramparts. What I didn't realise until Matt showed me is that you can get inside to see the remains of the original tower. Sometimes it is handy having an ex-tour manager as a husband.
With our museum tolerance starting to fade we decided to do a quick whip around of the "Big Three", the Mona Lisa, The Winged Victory of Samothrace and the Venus de Milo. Like the worst kind of tourists, we pushed past the crowds all headed in the same direction, following the signs to the Holy Grail of the Louvre, the Mona Lisa. We snapped a few shots along the way, and in less than 30 minutes had seen the three things that almost every visitor to the Louvre wants to tick off their list. Enough for one day.
Another of the slightly unusual things we decided to do while in Paris, was to do a cruise on Canal St Martin. The cruise starts way out in the suburbs at Park de Villette, and travels along Canal St Martin through a series of 6 locks to Bastille, where it passes through a 2km tunnel under the streets of Paris. It finishes by travelling down the Seine to Musee d'Orsay. After the hectic pace of the past few days it was nice to sit on the front deck of the boat, in the sunshine, and just take in the scenery. I had never been through a lock before, and it was interesting to see how they work. There was a constant crowd of people standing on the banks looking on every time we went through one
We disembarked at the Musee d'Orsay and by pure chance it happened to be Thursday, the one night that it is open late. Using our museum passes again, we avoided the queue and headed in for a look. This is my favourite museum in Paris, and the place where I discovered that I love Impressionist art. We revisited some of my favourites such as Van Gogh, Degas. I was again quite taken by the Degas statue of the tiny ballerina. She is just gorgeous. Sadly my favourite Van Gogh painting, Starry Night over the Rhone, was on loan so we didn't get to see it. The Musee d'Orsay is in an old railway station and is such a spectacular building. It is worth going in just to see the sculpture gallery with the high arched ceilings.
Hungry and all museumed-out, we headed along the Left Bank to the Latin Quarter for dinner. We ate Greek gyros, served by an Indian gentleman, in the Latin Quarter, in France. Talk about multi-cultural!! We had been stalked by an enormous grey storm cloud all the way from the d'Orsay, so by the time we had eaten our meal it was pouring rain. We ran for the Metro, along with everyone else in Paris, and crammed in like wet sardines for the journey home.
We are kind of sad to be leaving Paris, but looking forward to the next part of our trip. We have seen so much of this city in the past 4 days, but still keep finding so much more to see. Thankfully we have another 2 days at the end before we fly home to look forward to.