Le Louvre et Champs-Elysées
- BREAKFAST: la patisserie below the apartment
- Le Louvre - today's post
- LUNCH: Angelina tea salon. 226 Rue de Rivoli (between Rues d'Alger and de Castiglione)
- Madeleine Church & Place de la Concorde
- Place Vendome
- Arc de Triomphe - view
(daily 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) Paris
- DINNER: La Boutique à Sandwiches. 12 Rue du Colisée (between Rue de Ponethieu and Ave des Champs-Elysées)
- Buddha Bar (8 rue Boissy d'Anglais, near Place de la Concorde)
Right next door to the Tuileries gardens, the Louvre sits like a grand jewel in the center of the Paris crown. Dating back to the 12th century when it was a fortress, then a residence, its history is long and complex (of course).
I have us visiting the Louvre on Monday, but in fact Nancy and I visited a second time on the following Sunday in 1997. The reason? We wanted to see more, and we're cheapskates - you can get in for free on Sundays. The downside to that, of course, is that you have to wait in line for quite a while. I think we waited an hour. But if you are in Paris more than a week, it's nice if you can make a couple of visits here, and spread out the vast collections. They say if you stopped in front of each work for 15 seconds it would take a month solid to view every work in the museum.
Personally, I find large museums incredibly daunting, and not too pleasant. Walking the long galleries of the Louvre - as long as a football field or two - is torturous for me. Like mall walking, when fatigue sets in because the pace is too slow. I much prefer the small house museums, such as the Picasso and Rodin.
But you must go, of course, and to see the collections in bite sizes is my recommendation. I never plan to visit for more than two hours, and I set out to see specific works.
On the first visit I recommend "Louvre Lite" - seeing the highlights, which gets you moving at a faster pace, you can even jog between them if you wish:
- Mary Magdalene by Erhart on the Lower Ground floor - my personal favorite; read here to see why.
- Venus de Milo on the Ground floor
- Mona Lisa and Winged Victory on the First floor
The handy map they give you displays the highlights.
Next post: Angelina Tea Salon - a less overwhelming subject.