Perhaps I was finally over the jetlag or maybe my marathon day exploring Paris yesterday was to blame, but I slept way later than originally planned. Luckily for me so did my dorm mate from Spain which meant I had someone to explore the Louvre and Musee d’Orsay with.
Sneaking into the Louvre via the train station that stops below allowed us to avoid the lines of people entering through the pyramid above. You can also try and skip the long lines and enter via the arch just down from the pyramid entrance.
Everyone knows you can easily spend days lost in this place and while it was amazing to admire some of the great artwork locked inside, both my feet and mind were saying stop. Deciding to just see level 2 and a small section of the ground floor where the main attractions lay was defiantly a good choice. If you really love art then you need days here so plan your trip accordingly, after all this is just one museum in Paris.
Fighting for a spot to see the Mona Lisa where I could attempt to get an average photo of her was an experience in itself. A bus load of Japanese tourists on one side and an army of American’s on the other. Squeezing my way in for a photo I found myself pleasantly surprised at how big the painting was. Maybe it was years of people telling me how disappointed they were at the size of the painting that I had lowered my expectations too nothing larger than a postage stamp.
Escaping the mass of people I then wasted away many an hour in the Louvre before skipping onto see the next museum on the list, Musee d’Orsay. An impressionist museum that many say is much more interesting to visit, all while being much smaller than the Louvre.
Something to note for other travellers too is that if your under 25/26 and hold citizenship or valid visa to a European country you can enter the museums for free. Yep save yourself 8-10 euro a pop and just hit up the payment counter and provide proof of your status, pretty good for any budget travellers. It won’t be at every museum so just look out for the signs.
After checking out Monet, Van Gogh and the like at Musee d’Orsay I have decided that I like Van Gogh’s style of painting. The use of his brush strokes keeps the paintings rather simple which for a non-arty person like me is perfect.
By now I was pretty much museum’ed out so tagged along with my Spanish friend to the Eiffel Tower again where we ate at a little cafe in the park and soaked up some of the great weather Paris had treated me too over the last 3 days. A rather fitting end to my exploring of Paris, sitting in the shadow of something so Paris like the Eiffel Tower.
Ending the day with my first bout of laundry abroad and rest before making sure I knew where to meet up with my friend Elke from inmyhands.com in Brussels. I was overly excited about both catching my first train to a new country and about getting to taste some great Belgium beer.
Great summary about the museums. I’m one of those people who are disappointed by Monalisa. I guess my expectation was high up since I didn’t hear much of disappointment story before it. I was able to see it from quite far away because it was fenced off, I guess your situation is similar? And there’s a big crowd of people in front of it. It was behind the glass wall that kept reflecting flashes from people’s camera. I told people back home, if you want to study the painting, just buy the calendar, you’ll see more detail.
I did have a superb time in Orsay! It’s my number 1 favourite museum now (number 2 is Prado in Madrid for its Goya collection), and the same as you, my favourite was Van Gogh! The strokes are incredible in my eyes.
.-= Dina´s last blog ..One Week Road Trip in Southern France and Monaco =-.
Yeah Dina trying to get a decent photo of the Mona Lisa is pretty much impossible and people didn’t even need their flash on.
There was a guarded rail in a good 2-3 meter arc or more stopping you from getting real close and yes people everywhere.
d’Orsay was pretty cool huh. Not anywhere near as crowded either.
I found the most interesting of the Louvre to be the building itself. I was also disappointed by the ML but then again. I have no idea what I was expecting, it’s just a painting.
Hey Ayngelina, the Lourve is huge huh. I walked around outside it the day before and was seriously blown away by how big it was.
As for the Mona Lisa, your right its just a painting in the end. But still you can’t not go to the lourve and not see it.
Sounds like the perfect day mate!!! I bet your poor feet were tired and sore!
.-= Andi´s last blog ..imgp2629 =-.
It was a great day Andi. My feet were dead by the end but what I saw was pretty awesome.
Elke? Cool! Hope you had a great time!
.-= Nomadic Chick´s last blog ..Gypsy Wednesday – My New Office =-.
Hey Jeannie. Had a great time and will go back to visit her again for sure.
Sounds like good times, Chris. I have to admit, I skipped seeing the Louvre beyond the foyer. haha
.-= SpunkyGirl´s last blog ..Table for One? =-.
Well Pam… I almost skipped the Louvre as well. Then it got the better of me and thought how can I not go.
I didn’t get to see the Mona Lisa. 🙁 Next time!
.-= Candice´s last blog ..Video Post: Candice Does Vegemite =-.
ooooo Candice are you coming to France???
That museum is intense!!! I dunno how many times I got lost but I sure circled it a fair few times!!! All the while I was trying to do my own self guided Da Vinci Code tour just going off my memory of reading the book lol I think i spend most of the day trying to find the goddamn inverted triangle to get a tacky pic with LOL.
I too was surprised by the Mona Lisa for the same reason as you everyone basically told me it was crap and small lol. I think my biggest disappointment with that painting was the sick coloured wall they decided to hang it on!!!
.-= Sasha´s last blog ..Mime Conversationalist =-.
Sasha to say it was intense is an understatement. I went round and round in circles trying to find the damn exit to get out of there. At one point I had almost had enough of people and just wanted to escape.
Oh, it’s great that the Mona Lisa exceeded your expectations because you’d heard it was so small. It’s always a let-down to be disappointed in something because it’s been built up too much. Hopefully you’ll always have a great memory of the first time you saw the Mona Lisa.
Nothing can be a let down while I’m travelling Sabina. Each and everyday is something new for me.