Today was LOUVRE day. We had visited other evenings to get my favorite night shots. We knew there would be a crowd because the Museum was closed yesterday. We were off on an adventure, but we had no idea about what was going to happen to us. We have laughed so hard all day; I am surprised we will have lungs and teeth still in place. We had our breakfast which June fixed: ham, eggs, cheese, wonderful bread, and whipped honey. Perfect! We walked to the street and found no taxi so we started to walk toward the Louvre–and we walked, and we walked, and we walked. Finally, I decided a taxi driver would not pass me by again with an empty cab, so I stood in the street and yelled at them. Finally, one little Chinese taxi driver stopped, and we jumped in before we would allow him to say NO. We told him in French that we wanted to go to the Louvre. DEAD LOOK ON HIS FACE! I said it again in French. No expression and the taxi didn’t move. FINALLY, I said LOUVRE. He said in English, to our amazement, that he didn’t know where it was! Remember, we are only about ten blocks from the Louvre. He wasn’t joking because he got out his Paris guide to see where it is! By then, I was stunned. By then, I started to yell and point the direction. He said to me: DO YOU KNOW WHERE IT IS? I said YESSSSSS! So, off we went with Thomas Moore as the guide! Finally, we got to the entrance arches for the Louvre and he kept going. He yelled back: NO, No, No! I said Yes, Yes, Yes. Finally, he turned around, drove us into the gardens of the Tuileries and we jumped out. He Yelled: DIX EUROS! I gave him 5 EUROS and yelled AU REVOIR. As we walked away, he said THIS IS NOT THE LOUVRE. I yelled back: NO, IT IS DISNEYLAND, ORLANDO, FLORIDA. That was how we started our day. When we got into the taxi, he told us he had been a taxi driver for 6 days! I thought he was joking!
Well, then it got worse for a moment– but got better. In front of us was a line so long we could not see the end. It went round and round and round and down and down and further round. I knew a man of my ancient age could not stand in that line for four hours. So, I walked up to the line keeper at the entrance to the Pyramid and asked where the old age pensioners enter. He gave me an absolutely DROP DEAD LOOK. The next thing I knew, he waved the three of us in– on the spot– with a grin from ear to ear. I didn’t question a thing and leaped through the door with the most ecstatic sense imaginable. When we were completely in the door, I looked and June and Stephanie and there was a look of complete disbelief and embarrassment on their faces. It happened so quickly that they could not protest, and my conscience was never consulted. WE WERE INIDE THE LOUVRE. I knew the day was going to get better now. And it did!
Every time I go to the Louvre, as I ask myself: ARE THERE TREASURES FOR OTHER MUSEUMS IN THE WORLD? The museum is so vast, so completely comprehensive, so one is forced to make choices immediately. We chose to go through the old building Grand Gallery to see our old friends. First came the great Renaissance paintings and then the Mona Lisa. I turned into the room and to my horror, there were four million people all tumbling over each other waving their cameras in the air. Gallery Rage! There it was. I decided I could pursue as well as anyone else. I didn’t really want a picture with my camera because the painting is completely covered in security glass. Finally, I wondered how to get out of the mob. I had to move to the side and carry on. I then realized that a museum which has everything, has one major drawback: MOBS.
We continued down the Grand Gallery to see some of the Italian 18th century paintings. We decided we were starving and found a small restaurant where lunch was served. Pretty good, really! We came back up to see the great David and Delacroix paintings–huge, huge, huge! Finally, we found ourselves in front of the David CORONATION EVENT which hasn’t gotten smaller over the years. It is absolutely immense. I took a few full canvas shots, but delighted in some detail photographs.
I was thrilled to see Ingre’s great Odalisque which has been an old friend for many years. We then headed for the Winged Victory and on to the Royal Jewels to see the crown of Louis XIV, XV, XVI–diamonds glittering. Also the crown of Charlemagne. And tucked in the back of the case is the magnificent small crown of the Empress Eugenie–exquisite.
We started down the “antiquities” wing and decided the oldest thing we could care about were our legs. We were tired, done for the day, and decided after five hours of walking through the galleries, we were done.
Ah! now to find another taxi. We got one–after a short time. We made sure he knew where the Ile St Louis was. He gave us a dead look–offended–and told us to hop in. We did, and home we went after the most incredible day.
The Louvre! You are out of this world!
Thomas Moore email: TMooreSr@me.com Telephone: 801.791.9918