Cosi and the Louvre

Trip Start Oct 19, 2012
Trip End Oct 26, 2012

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Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Thursday, October 25, 2012

Now I am sure we have all been to a Cosi in the United States. It sort of the McDonalds of healthy sandwiches and less processed food.   So over the past few months I was told I had to go to the Cosi in Paris.  I was a bit suspect on that request because in my mind if you have been to one Cosi franchise then you have been to them all.  Well, I could not be more wrong in that assumption.  Within the St. Germain District on Rue de Seine sits the very first Cosi.  Walking down Rue de Seine if I had not been looking for Cosi I would have missed it completely, due to the fact, it is very understated and does not have the Cosi look of  America.  When I actual found Cosi it was literally a small hole in the wall.  I walked in and was dumbfounded by the size of the place.  It could not have been more then 600 square foot space.  Much, much smaller then anything in the States.  The person who took my order also prepared all the food right in front of you.  Since I was not overly hungry at the time I ordered carrot cake and a glass of wine.  I order the carrot cake because someone on the plane ride over to France told me that I had to try the French carrot cake.  I have to admit it was fantastic, probably the best carrot cake I have ever had.  However, in retrospect as I watched the people in front of me get there sandwich's I think I should have sucked it up and got a sandwich as well because it looked fantastic.  To top it off this place was not very expensive at all.  So if you come to Paris on a budget I would probably eat at Cosi every day.

After hitting Cosi I went over to the Louvre.  To see all that it had to offer.  The Louvre is sort of an amazing building.  It was first constructed as a fortress in 1190 by King Philippe-Auguste to protect Paris against Viking raids.  Over the many years French kings and emperors enlarged and improved the building.  The glass pyramid designed by I.M. Pei was added in 1989 and that is where all of the galleries can be reached. 

I was lucky; when I got to the Louvre I did not have to wait in any lines to get in.  Every person that has come to Paris has told me to get a ticket early because the lines are so long.  Well coming in the "off season" has its upside and that being there are not really all that many lines to get into any of the Museums.  Once inside I immediately navigated my way to see the Mona Lisa.  After wondering around from hall to hall I snuck up on the painting.  I have to admit I was a bit under whelmed by the painting.  In fact I saw many better ones within the museum.  After staring at the painting for a few minutes and then stepping back and watching all the hordes of people taking pictures of the painting I was really dumbfounded on why people are so fascinated by this painting.

Well later that night I struck up a conversation with an Egyptian and posed the same question to him.  “What makes that painting so great?  I’ve seen better.”  His response was the he agreed with me but then he went on to say the reason that it is considered great was because it is one of only twelve paintings by Da Vinci and most of them are not movable.  The painting took De Vinci over twelve years to paint and was not done when De Vinci died.    He then went on to say that the painting went mostly un-noticed till it was stolen in 1911 and was missing for two years.  After that the painting took off in popularity and has since captured people’s imagination.  After a lively debate about this painting he convinced me that it was an importance piece by Da Vinci but not on it being a great painting. 

After three hours of looking at painting by painters for the most part I have never heard of I decided to take a break and headed to the garden outside of the Louvre and took in some much needed sun.  Museums make me sleepy.
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