We had another leisurely start to the day, we left our apartment at about 9:30 and took the Metro to the Musee de Louvre. After just a couple of wrong turns (stay tuned--that's the theme of the day!) we found the right entrance and bought our tickets. Here's Mom and Dad at the Pyramid, the great architect I.M. Pei's addition to the Louvre:
We had to clear a security check point, complete with a bag scanner. They're pretty serious about protecting their treasures!
Our first order of business was to see the Mona Lisa. Mom really wanted Dad to see it, and he agreed.
I'm sure the minute he saw these crowds, he had second thoughts!
The first thing Dad said was "That's it? That's all the bigger it is? I forgot to warn him that it is a small painting, and often people seeing it for the first time are very surprised! Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece measures a petite 30 x 20 inches!
We patiently inched our way up to the front of the crowd, and had our "photo op" with that mysterious lady. Here she is: (sorry about that glare spot on her cheek-she's behind glass)
Here's Mom and Dad with Mona Lisa. (Red Wagner: note the smile on Dad's face--I think he's smiling because this "Mona Lisa stuff" is almost over!)
And the three of us:
Whew! That was a chore to get close and get a good look, but I think it is worth it. I'm not so sure my Dad would agree!
We continued on, exploring the galleries in this wing of the Louvre. There are many beautiful art treasures, but just as fascinating is the history and architecture of the palace itself. There is beauty in every corner, on every ceiling and each hall. Here are just a few examples:
Ceiling in one of the galleries:
Mom and Dad in front of one of the paintings:
Mom and Dad with "Winged Victory of Samothrace", the Goddess Nike 2nd century B.C.
Domed ceiling in one of the many salons:
Mom and Dad, admiring some artwork, just taking it all in:
Can you stand just one more ceiling picture? Look at the detail!
Close up of the corner decoration. Each corner was different!
By now we felt like we'd walked miles, and agreed that it was time for lunch and a rest. We could see one of the cafes on our "map" of the Louvre. One would think it would be a simple chore to just follow the map, but this place is a huge maze of over 650,000 square feet. Yes, you read that right--650,000!!
After several trips up and down a few elevators, map consultations with the room attendants, and more than a few wrong turns we finally found our cafe. And there was a line--but it was short, and we didn't have to wait long. We were escorted to a lovely table in a little alcove, and it had a wonderful view of a garden courtyard.
Here's Mom and Dad, lunching at the Louvre! Mom had a cream of vegetable soup, Dad had a sandwich; and they each had a beer.
And here's my yummy lunch: Just for my dear friend Brenda, it's my first ever club sandwich! Thinking of you, Dear Bren! I added a double espresso, hey--I need my energy to keep track of these two!! It wasn't an inexpensive lunch--but it IS the Louvre, after all. I thing one pays (through the nose!!) for the ambiance.....
Next up--the Grand Salon, in all of it's elegant opulence:
And the main dining room. Wish I'd counted the chairs!
And Mom and Dad by the Grand Salon Manger:
And the Grand Staircase--notice the crest with the big "N" for Napoleon:
Mom and Dad climbing yet another set of those Metro stairs. Dad is so sweet and helpful. Mom never once complained about the steps--she's tough!