Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Lost In The Louvre

Boujour Paris! It was another cold morning in Paris. Although I was in one of the most beautiful cities on earth, I wasn’t exactly springing out of my bunk bed when I woke up. Felt like I was waking up to a morning going to Simbang Gabi – read: anlamig. I had a lazy morning. Took my time in eating my breakfast and getting ready to conquer Paris.

The Louvre is also covered by the Paris Museum Pass. So I can skip the line to buy tickets. However, there is still the line to enter the museum – which can be quite long, if you enter the Pyramid entrance.

If you want to skip the long lines, use the side entrance in Passage Richelieu. Get off at metro stop Palais-Royal Musee du Louvre. I’ve gotten hold of the metro by now. I still need to consult the map of course, but as long as you have your destination in mind, you’ll eventually figure out which trains to ride and which stops to get off. It is like solving a puzzle every time you  ride the metro – finding the easiest route from point A to B.

After entering, you enter this big spacious lobby. There is a tourist information counter in the middle. Get your map – make sure you grab the English version. The Louvre is huge, you’ll need a map to find your way around. I repeat, you need a map.

The museum is quite organized. Each wing has a theme/era of artwork – Middle Ages, Renaissance, Greek Ceramics, French Sculptures, etc galore. If you don’t fancy a particular wing, you can skip that altogether. The map also lets you know the nearest restroom and exit. In a huge museum like the Louvre, you’ll need a break. 

Robert Langdon in the Louvre. Da Vinci Code.

Even though art is not close to my heart, some pieces still caught my eye.

The expression in her face is palpable. Kinda scary and magnificent.

Venus de Milo. Stunning in simple elegance.

The Winged Victory of Samothrace. I don’t know why, but I freak out when I see headless sculptures, like those in Cluny Museum.

Excuse the head of someone.

I think this is another one of Da Vinci’s art.

I see. So I should go that way?

Oh, that way.

The way to Monalisa.

Monalisa was small. Truth be told, it is quite disappointing. Monalisa is popular for her smile and her missing eyebrows, but that’s about it. It did not evoke any emotion in me. I get it why David was so beautiful or why the Sistine Chapel is magnificent. But I don’t get the Monalisa. Sorry.

Everyone taking a shot.

Moving on to other more interesting stuff.

Suffering with colors, texture and shadows.

Shadows. Lines. Mood.

The bright colorful ceiling caught my eye, as usual.

Somewhere in the Greek zone

My roommate in Florence shared that she spent six hours in the Louvre – and that was her second time. She had been in Louvre the previous year as part of the group tour. As an art lover, she felt that everything was hurried so she came back to Paris to take time appreciating all the paintings. She spent six hours to finish all the paintings – she deliberately excluded the sculptures and she said she’ll finish them next time. Six hours of art appreciation! Wow!

Well for me, after less than three hours, I've felt that I've had enough of art appreciation for a day. It took a a while to find the exit. I had the map and I can read one but... I couldn't seem to locate where I was, so I had no idea where to begin. I finally asked another traveler where I was in the map.

How do I go out?

 Finally the exit. Or the main entrance.
The view from below.

The standard picture with the glass pyramid. Thanks to a nice Thai grandpa who took this picture. His granddaughter was taking him around Paris.

The purple camera case with the Louvre pyramid.

Robert Langdon's pose in the movie Da Vinci Code. Didn't feel like posing like that.

If art seriously interests you, the Louvre may be heaven to you.  I suggest you get the Paris Museum Pass so that you can just come and go as you please.

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