From Paris to Naugatuck...back to where we started
Trip Start Sep 23, 2009
12Trip End Oct 04, 2009
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Then we hauled all of our luggage onto the metro to make our way to the Louvre. The metro is not luggage friendly as there are huge sets of stairs everywhere with no elevators in sight and rarely any escalators.
The Louvre is free on the first Sunday of each month so we timed it so we could get in free since we knew we would not get our money's worth in there with such little time to spend. We got there 15 minutes before they opened and got in line. They have a great free service there that allows you to literally check your luggage so you can go explore so we took advantage of that. Since we were there at 9am and had a 2pm flight over an hour away, we didn’t have much time at all. So we did the bad tourist thing and just tried to hit the highlights.
We headed towards Winged Victory first. It was sad though because we were passing by tons of amazing art on the way and could only afford a glance. We didn’t realize the building itself would be a work of art. Each room was totally ornate and amazing in itself. We finally got to Winged Victory and it was situated at the top of a grand staircase as the only focal point in the room. Wow, this thing was huge! Probably 15 feet high! Think how much higher it would be if it had a head on it. It was amazing to see in person.
Then, of course, we headed to see the Mona Lisa. We had to pass through a room with amazing paintings that were very old and very good. With the massive amount of tourists crowding everything, Mike was shocked to find the very famous painting "Madonna of the Rocks" just standing there by itself. So we got a quick shot of it and were instantly surrounded by trigger finger photographers looking for another find.
We passed through an amazing courtyard with some huge and detailed sculptures.
We finally found the Mona Lisa surrounded by people everywhere. Harmony found an opening in the side and rushed it and was swarmed by people behind her. We took some shots from the side and one of Mike to prove we were there. The painting was surprisingly small. We both expected it to be bigger. Not sure how it became one of the most famous paintings in the world.
What amazed us was the painting on the opposite wall. To say this thing was huge would be an understatement. We didn’t take a picture of it but I would estimate it was 20 feet tall by 40 feet wide. This is no exaggeration. It was framed like a regular painting too. We couldn’t get close enough to see who painted it but we will certainly look it up online.
We went through another gallery and saw a very large coronation painting that we liked so we took a quick snap of that.
As usual, Mike was the only one following the rules and not using a flash. Therefore, the pictures suck.
Then, we found out that Napoleon used to live in the Louvre (remember, this building is insanely old) so we went to see his apartments. Yeah, “apartments” is probably not the right word. This place was over the top. This guy really did have a complex. Everything is oversized and over done. I mean, just look at his living room and dining room:
Anyway, because this building is so old, so unbelievably massive, and has been added on and rearranged, we got lost very easily. We never had a chance to see the Venus De Milo which we really wanted to see. We both honestly believe that you would need an entire week to see everything in this museum. Imagine only having 1.5 hours. Well, at least we can say we were at the Louvre and can check that one off the very long list of things to see in our lifetime.
After that, we had some great fun navigating more metro lines and RER lines to finally make it to the airport, wait in an unnecessarily long check in line, followed by a long security line only to be paged in French (which was totally awesome) but we still made the flight. The layover in Iceland was in the day time this time so we got a chance to see the beautiful landscape. We definitely regret not doing the original three days there but we also loved London a great deal so we are happy with our choice and have promised to visit Iceland for real some time.
In all, we had an amazing European vacation. Surprisingly, we came back with no souvenirs either for ourselves or others. Each time we looked for them, it was nothing but cheap garbage and we wanted nothing to do with that. No big deal though, we have some great pictures and great memories which is all that matters. We are both happy we did the blog too because it acts as a journal for us to revisit in the future. It will be nice to recount some of the daily activities we took part in years from now. We already revisited the London section and almost forgot about doing a few things.
We hope you all enjoyed virtually vacationing with us. We appreciate you taking the time to read the posts and we appreciate the regular commenters as well.
I can’t believe that we were in the famous Louvre this morning and we are at home in CT right now.
Remember, “You don’t stop having fun when you get old, you get old when you stop having fun”.
Mike and Harmony
Where I stayed
10 Leo Lane