Monday, May 30, 2011

Paris, France, Day 3 - Musée du Louvre, Les Cars Rouges bus tour, Bateaux Parisiens boat cruise

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7:40am Woke up and had breakfast in my room.  3 chocolate cookies, a box of strawberries, an orange made up this morning's meal.  After a quick shower I packed my things, dropped my luggage off with reception and took the metro from Saint Lazzare to Concorde.  From there I walked along the seine river to the Louvre museum.

Train station

That's the Concorde in the morning, there's absolutely nobody.  A great time to talk a walk or photos.

9:16am Arrived at the Louvre.  I took the passage richelieu entrace, there was not a single soul in the queue and I went straight in with the Paris Pass.  Just like with getting wealthy, the key is to differentiate yourself (Paris Pass), getting in early (as close to opening hours as possible), and having some luck.

Check out the perfect alignment of the shapes

The Louvre is the largest museum in the world, and it is huge.  It has 4 floors and is over 60,000 square meters.  It would take days if not weeks to go through everything properly.  I only had 4 hours or so, and most of the time I spent was through the Eygptian section located on the Sully wing.  There's also the Denon wing and Sully wing which all have their own distinct look and exhibits.

The history of the Louvre has an exhibit of its own, located close to the Sully wing and just before the egyptian antiques.

This was shown as part of the Medieval Louvre exhibit

The little stick men are actually shadows projected on the wall and they move as if they are climbing upwards towards the left, it is quite cool to watch

I went to the Denon wing as well and took a quick look at the highlights there.  The Denon wing consists of mostly sculptures, it also had the Mona Lisa.

Psyche and Cupid, A. Canova

Captive (The Dying Slave), Michelangelo

Mona Lisa

The Winged Victory of Samothrace

There were hordes of people around the Mona Lisa.  Hordes!  If you look at the picture you can see heads reflecting off the surface.

The next photos are taken from the Richelieu wing which also has sculptures, decorative arts and Napolean III's apartments.

Here comes Napolean III's apartments.

Life sure is luxury for an emperor.

This is a rather exquisite clock!

I took a quick walk to the top floor and took some photos there too.

Gabrielle d'Estrées and Her Sister.  Forever immortalised in the nude.

This is the Louvre taken at 12:53pm.  You can see the people are starting to build up.  I took this from a window at the top floor.  Compare the above with pictures that I took a few hours ago in the morning.

Unsure who these people are, it's a temporary exhibition I think.

1:30pm I left the Louvre and looked for the bus stop to catch the hop on hop off bus.  It said it stopped at the Louvre in the book.  Unfortunately it did not.  Instead I had to catch sight of one of the buses and when it stopped I walked to it and caught it from there, which was outside the Musee D'Orsay.  Good thing it was closeby.

Caught this from the bus.  Those look like giant shiny balls.

3:16pm After close to 2 hours we arrived at the Eiffel Tower and from there I caught the boat cruise.  Lunch was on the bus, I had another 3 cookies, some potatoe chips, and peach tea that I bought the day before from the grocery shop close to the hotel.

Louvre from the River Siene

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

Parisiens tanning nude along the river

This is not uncommon to see in Paris

4:16pm or so I caught the bus back to the Opera house, walked to the hotel, grabbed my things and caught the same bus from the Opera to the Arc De Triomphe.  I manage to get lost on the way to the Opera but found my bearings eventually.  So many things could have gone wrong so I was lucky!

6:40pm Arrived at the Arc De Triomphe.  Traffic was really slow.  From there I caught the Air France shuttle bus to Orly Sud.  It's 11.50 Euros for an adult and the buses leave every few minutes.  It took about an hour to get to the airport, I arrived close to 7:40pm.  I had the remaining cookies, chips and peach tea on the bus.  Finished everything so nothing went to waste.  After checking in I bought some pasta and a small drink from a shop and had that on board the plane to Oslo.  The flight was at 8:55pm and it was quite full.

Step count was 21000+ Steps, I walked a lot, probably about 20 kilometres.  Didn't get home till half past midnight on Monday morning.  Overall it was a very compressed weekend.  I was a bit lucky I didn't get lost and everything went on time.  The Louvre is definitely worth a visit and if I go again I will probably spend a few days there.  The bus tour and river cruise also provide a quick overview of the city.  I had access to everything with the Paris Pass which I highly recommend.  Also, motivation to get up early is good too.  The weather in Paris was surprisingly warm, I may have gotten a bit burnt but it's a nice change from the cold weather.  My flights were expensive since I booked them last minute but other than that the weekend was nice, it felt like part of the longer holiday that I just took.

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