2021 Europe: Paris, Part 2- The Louvre, more roaming
And we’re back! For the first time in 8 years of traveling I wasn’t able to post my blog daily so have some catching up to do. To those of you who subscribe, you received a couple of odd emails courtesy of the good folks at GoDaddy while we were troubleshooting and for that I apologize. I’ll skip the boring technical details and just thank Ash for the suggestion to use my phone as a hotspot which solved the problem.
This post is for Monday, August 30, 2021. It’s now Thursday, September 2. I’ve always wondered how I would ever catch up if I got behind so I guess I’ll find out…
Monday morning seems like ages ago, but as I recall we were both up early, and this photo provides some evidence. I got up about 4am after about 5 hours of sleep which is normal for me on any time zone. The unusual part is that Ash woke up and stayed up. But he left me to work on my blog (I was working on Sunday’s entry at the time) while we both drank coffee and he played bridge online. That’s his favorite pastime when I’m otherwise occupied.
We’d made reservations for brunch for later in the morning but since we were up so early we decided go out for coffee and pastry. We found a little place around the corner (so not difficult to do here) and got cappuccinos and croissants while watching Parisians head to work.
We took a nice long walk up the Champs-Elysees again to Laduree where we made reservations. They are famous for pastries and macaroons. Somehow we forgot the macaroons (we fixed that on Wednesday!) but had a nice meal anyway. Sort of.
Across the sidewalk was all of their outside seating.
Death by carbs. We ate every bite. That red drink is my iced tea and it was great. I’d had more than enough coffee at this point in the apartment before we left. It’s about 10:45am at this point.
I can’t decide if I like this photo but Ash did so I’m including this.
I did like this one and don’t think I knew he was taking it, or at least don’t remember.
Ash got a very expensive omelet that didn’t live up to its price. I ordered scrambled eggs. When they put that down we just sort of looked at each other and somehow both thought “maybe they’re inside.” It’s French, who knows right? As soon as I cut into it it was clear that wasn’t the case, and this was just a lovely piece of French toast. Or maybe it’s just toast at this point? For reasons unknown to both of us we decided to just let it go – I’d never had French toast in France before and it was actually quite nice – an interesting combination of light, fluffy on the inside and crunchy on the outside. In a few minutes it became clear that this was someone else’s order and there was quite a flurry of activity and apologies all around by the wait staff. We got charged correctly for it though.
Ash’s fancy cappuccino.
Next stop was the Louvre, which is a straight shot down the Champs-Elysees. Ash got the bright idea to take scooters. Mind you, the only time I’d even been on one was a few weeks ago, test driving my friend Andrew’s scooter in the alley by my house. And I didn’t do very well but got the basic feel of it. So now my first actual scooter ride is going to be a mile down one of the most famous avenues in the world? Why not.
Never in my life have I thought I would need a GoPro but that was the moment it would have come in handy! It was quite fun.
We parked the Lime scooters we’d rented and walked into the Louvre complex at the border of the Tuileries Gardens. I couldn’t resist another shot of the Eiffel Tower.
And here’s my favorite straight line again: Place Concord at the end of Tuileries Gardens with the Arc de Triomphe behind that at the end of the Champs-Elysees…
…and to my back from the shot above, another arch that mimics the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, with the Louvre behind that (and on the sides).
“It’s the biggest one I’ve ever seen.” Museum, that is. I do love this complex. See how tiny the people are? That gives you some perspective on the enormity.
We of course had to stand in line first for vaccine checks.
Once we were in we made a beeline for my favorite room: The sun room where French sculptures are. Everything about this is stunning to me, and I was thankful the sun had come out a bit, otherwise it’s a whole different feel.
One thing about placing a museum in a medieval palace: everywhere you look is art and beauty. Even if you don’t care much about the art itself, the building is magnificent.
We headed to a section neither of us had been too before which featured, among other things, Napoleon’s apartments. This is where he actually lived circa 1860s.
I loved the colors in this soup tureen.
Wow. Just wow.
Same wow from another angle.
The dining room.
As you rounded the corner, you were able to see the courtyard we’d just been in through a window from above.
Same dining room just different angle.
This was one of two cabinets of this china set.
Each piece was it’s own individual work of art.
I love looking through windows from the palace to get different perspectives on the outside. This is probably my most favorite ever. You can see almost all of the front courtyard and all 4 pyramids. Those damn pyramids. I used to think they were atrocities in this setting but I’ve pondered them over the years and now really appreciate them for this: modern presentations of ancient symbols in a medieval setting – a juxtaposition of 3 ages. And again, notice how small the people are for perspective on the size. People lived here.
More example of the building itself is art.
This room was built by Louis XIV for the purpose of displaying art and the crown jewels.
And they’re still here.
I had thought maybe the pandemic would have lightened the pandemonium that always exists around the Mona Lisa. Nope.
And also as always, the Wedding at Cana by Paolo Veronese on the opposite wall gets hardly any attention at all, when by rights it’s much more interesting. He inserted one of Christ’s most memorable moments into a Venetian setting.
We spent about 2 hours here and were ready to go back to the apartment and rest a bit before dinner.
This was the courtyard you saw looking out of the apartment’s kitchen window. We were never in it though.
We decided a long walk was in order for dinner. This was at the start of it, just as we were crossing into the Hotel de Ville.
Fontaine Saint-Michel as you enter the Latin Quarter. That’s St. Michael slaying the devil. Circa 1860.
Dinner was at Pasta Amore. (Italian, duh.) That’s Ash sitting at the right corner. We had 7:30 reservations and were the first ones there. Dinner is late here.
Quite charming on the inside. It started to fill up as the evening went on. This restaurant was ranked like 33 out of 15k or something on TripAdvisor.
Ash started with salmon carpaccio.
I had burrata (like a mozzarella cheese but softer and more creamy) with prosciutto, arugula and toasted baguette.
Ash had a truffle dish. He loves truffles. Me not so much.
I had the carbonara. The bacon made it super salty. That wasn’t a bad thing.
We shared a panna cotta with raspberry sauce for dessert.
We’d walked 11.5 miles that day so took an Uber back to the apartment.
It’s now just a little after 9am Thursday morning, September 2. As I type we’re on a train to Lausanne, Switzerland, where we’ll transfer to another train headed to Zermatt. I’m just thankful for good wi-fi! Now I’ll start on Tuesday’s blog.
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