Paris Honeymoon Diary: Day 3

Posted: 20th June 2008 by Luc "Sandman" G. in Life

Today was the big day. We were going to visit the world famous Louvre museum. I think that other than the Eiffel tower, that this was the thing that I was looking forward to the most to visit. Not because of the Mona Lisa or the Venus de Milo, but because of a great fascination with all things related to ancient Egypt, Rome and Greece. This is a fascination that I’ve held since my childhood, and for the first time I would find myself face to face with these ancient wonders.

We arrived at the Louvre around 10am, after grabbing some fruit, croissants and quiche from the local bakery near the hotel. Since we had bought a Paris Museum Pass the day before at the Orsay Museum, we did not need to line up to buy tickets. We headed straight to Denon wing of the museum where the antiquities were found. We first looked around a couple of rooms that showed the history of the Louvre, which was originally a royal palace. We then made our way to the basement, where we walked within walls of an ancient French fortress. From there we found our way to the Egyptian Antiquities area. I was in heaven. Ancient pottery, statues, columns, hyroglyphics, papyrus, it was all there! I even saw a real mummified body along with some mummified cats and other animals. Within the same wing, we also spent time looking at Greek, Etruscan and Roman antiquities.

We grabbed a late lunch at the cafeteria and made our way to the Sully wing where we saw the Venus de Milo along with some middle ages statues and paintings. Seeing the Venus de Milo in person, I became very awe struck. There it was, just a few feet from me. A statue that I’ve seen in pictures hundreds of times and I was seeing it in person. Words can’t describe the excitement I felt.

From there we walked back to the Denon wing to view the most famous painting in the world, the Mona Lisa. The painting sits alone on a big wall, surrounded by hundreds of tourists trying to catch a glimpse and a few pictures of da Vinci’s La Jaconde. As excited as I was to see the Venus de Milo, my excitement at seeing the Mona Lisa was 10 times more. Seeing it with my own eyes was almost surreal.

After spending what seemed like hours looking at the masterpiece, we crisscrossed our way between the Denon and Sully wings looking at old French, Italian, Spanish, German and Dutch paintings and statues that dated anywhere between the 1400s and 1800s.  We also managed to catch a bit of the Richelieu wing, where we saw many old French sculptures, some ancient Babylonian statues. We also saw the famed Napolean Apartments, filled with regal paintings, furniture and statues.

After grabbing a quick bite to eat at a museum cafe, we visited areas that covered French artifacts from the middle ages, a modern art area, and some more ancient Egyptian antiquities. Since this was a Friday, the Louvre was open until 10pm. Come 8:30pm we were exhausted, so we decided to call it a day after picking up some souvenirs from the museum’s shop. A little hungry, we stopped at the Brasserie de Nation, a pub that was near the hotel, for a late night snack and some refreshments. We finally made our way back to the hotel around 10pm.

Even though we spent more than 10 hours at the Louvre, we had managed to only see maybe half of the museum. We told ourselves that we would come back if we could, but unfortunately we never had the time to do so. This only means that we’ll have to see the rest of it the next time we go back to Paris.

> Photo Gallery Link: Louvre

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