The following day, we started at the Louvre. I discovered that my husband had never been (never said a word!) so I decided to rectify this oversight. We bought tickets in advance, which was the right call, especially for the Louvre. We got there close to when it opened and there was already a line around the square. Thankfully our advance tickets got us to skip the line and pretty much immediately made it inside the museum.
So I decided that we would go on my Highlight Tour of the Louvre since we had about two hours there (I know, I know. But two hours is better than zero hours). So we scampered off to the Mona Lisa to get there early in the hopes it wouldn’t be mobbed. On the way, we passed Winged Victory; it was magnificent as always!
We found the Mona Lisa quickly and as always, it was very crowded. I had to resist the urge to take photos of people taking photos of it… We spent some additional time in the Renaissance hallway that leads to the Mona Lisa. I found some amazing Arcimboldo paintings depicting a profile of a person made up with vegetables, flowers, leaves and other natural things, one for each season. I love his work since it is surrealist before it was a thing. (Same goes for Hieronymus Bosch).
Then it was time to head off to find the Venus de Milo. On the way, we passed by Michelangelo’s Captives, two sculptures of men trying to escape from their chains, the marble itself. Amazing as always. On the way to the Venus de Milo, we ended up in a gallery of artifacts from Cyprus, which was very impressive. They had this monumental sculpture of a woman that really dominated the room. And there was a beautiful mosaic floor. The Venus de Milo was striking as always.
We ventured off to see the Egyptian galleries, which are my favorite. I managed to find the Zodiac ceiling of Dendera, one of the five treasures that Egypt wants back. This ceiling, taken from a temple by explosives, shows the night sky and suggests that the Ancient Egyptians knew about eclipses and whatnot. Very impressive stuff. Sadly, it’s kinda tucked away in an off room so you might miss it if you don’t know it’s there. Should be front and center like the Rosetta Stone at the British Museum. Alas.
Our final stop was the decorative art galleries on the second or third floor. There were several Louis XVI (or an earlier Louis) style rooms. We found Marie Antoinette’s traveling case! We also found a neat interactive video that talked about the foods that were eaten.
That rounded up our trip to the Louvre!
Afterwards, we had a nice walk before we ate at a restaurant near Les Halles. I had a classic steak frites. But I got to taste a little bit of a Steak Tartare, which I’ve always wanted to try. I love my meat rare, almost blue, but I’ve never gotten the nerve to order this classic French dish. I knew that I couldn’t quite handle an entire meal of it but the taste I had was so good!
Then we decided to go to Angelina’s, a fancy pastry place on the Rue di Rivoli. We waited in line outside but only for about 20 minutes before we got a table. This place has the best hot chocolate in the world. Thick and tasty. It’s an entire meal. I decided that I wanted slightly lighter fare so I ordered their Christmas tea. But I also wanted a pastry. I sort of chose at random and got a fruity thing that was fine. The tea was fantastic. My husband and our friend got the chocolate and they were very pleased.
Thankfully, we had a long walk home to the hotel after the heavy lunch and then heavier snack! We walked through Tuileries park and watched the Eiffel Tower twinkle in the distance.
That night, we had Japanese food for a change of pace and then watched The Big Short. Holy cow, that movie is amazing. One of the best from last year! And this time, the show completely sold out!
Tomorrow, I’ll finally talk about the Louis Vuitton Foundation and the French Revolution Tour!
That’s all for now!