Paris Day 4, Wednesday 7/17/2013

For today we had planned to visit the Louvre and thus we took the metro to station Pyramides, erroneous assuming this would mean getting to the Louvre entry pyramide. Wrong: this station is in Rue Pyramides, not that far away from Louvre but a few minutes to walk to get there. We got there and saw a long waiting line in front of the entry and a sign promising: 1.5 hours waiting time.

Der Louvre
"Der Louvre"

Facing this we decided to change our plan and returned to Rue Pyramides where a tourist office is located. There we asked for tickets to Tour d’Eifel and museums. We learned that we can get tickets for Tour d’Eifel thru the internet but need to book much time in advance and then print out those tickets, and that we can get museum tickets right here in the office for a small extra fee ( € 1,50 ) but with the luxury to then take the short line into the museum. So we bought two tickets for the Louvre for € 12 each and two tickets for Musée d’Orsay for € 9 each which we are going to visit in one of the coming days. Equipped with those tickets it now took us 5 minutes to get into the Louvre and skip the long wait in the burning sun.

Ein Riesengemälde im Louvre
"Ein Riesengemälde im Louvre"

The Louvre, a former Royal palace, is mighty large, but the number of visitors streaming into it is large as well so that even in these large buildings and halls you start feeling squeezed. Hordes of tourist block the view to sculptures and paintings with raised cameras, mobiles and even tablets ( many people nowadays prefer to use those for taking pictures ), try to get their smile on to a photo together with some famous art, step back and on your feet trying to find the best perspective for a shot. Enjoying art becomes difficult in this environment, nevertheless the visit to this largest museum in the world is still impressive. Paitings we found quiet late, first we passed by countless statues, antiquities from the Orient, the chambers of  Napoleanos III.,  stony minotaurs and Roman ground mosaics. 

Und noch mehr Statuen im Louvre
"Und noch mehr Statuen im Louvre"

We saw a Sphinx, a pillar with the law code of Hammurabi, the Venus de Milo, of course the world famous Mona Lisa and then those large paintings like “Marriage at Cana” and the real large one showing  the coronation of Napoleons I. and empress  Josefine.  First we even did not recognize this picture until we recognized Napoleon raising the crown for his wife.

At late afternoon we left the museum passing by the top down version of the Pyramide below the museum and walked towards river Seine, crossing the river and reaching Institute Francaise. There we turned left and walked towards Quartier Latin and Notre Dame.

Notre Dame de Paris
"Notre Dame de Paris"

We recalled a cozy pub seen there and found it again: the “Highlander”, where we sat down and relaxed while consuming a few hot-dog-bear-combos and giving our burning feet some rest; the Louvre is exciting but streanous ! We also used the quiet moments here to write a few postcards for our friends and relatives.

Afterwards we had sufficient power to continue our walk to Notre Dame. Sitting on a stand, probably errected for the celebration of the 850-year-anniversary of Notre Dame, we gazed at the Western face of the cathedral illuminated nicely by the late afternoon sun, while listening to the nice music presented by some street artist.

Nachts an der Seine
"Nachts an der Seine"

On the bridge to Quai de Montebello we watched some acrobatic skater demonstrating their skills before we entered Quartier Latin once more to finally find a Creperies where we got use some crepes and galettes for diner, the latter a more hearty variant of the sweet crepes. Another bear, then we were ready for another walk crossing Ile de la Cité, following the river Seine for a while back to the Louvre, then taking a train of metro line 7 back to station Cadet next to our hotel.

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