Thursday, 9 October 2014

Day 157: Around Paris - Thurs 9 Oct, 2014

Day 157: Around Paris - Thurs 9 Oct, 2014
Light showers. Train into city with Boomers, noted "homeless town" along way, tents and caravans crowded under bridge. Changed to Metro to get to Louvre station, somewhat apprehensive to find a fully automated underground system - ie no driver!!! 

Previously a fortified palace, the Louvre is a massive place – with over 35,000 in their art collections, it was way too big to cover it all in one tour. Sat over coffee writing final postcards to grandsons for this season of GlobalTrek, and planned our “campaign” to see most desirable of the masterpieces today. Fortified, BoyRob as expedition leader set off with maps and guides, and photographer assistant lagging to catch best shots (yes they were allowed!!) of paintings, statues, ceramics, treasures, up and down zillions of steps and lengths of pavilions between Egyptian, Roman, Greek, French collections… (were we REALLY sad that the Flemish painting floor was closed??). 

Here she is! 

Veronese's painting of Wedding at Cana largest in collection

GROS Napoleon at Battle d'Elyau

Elbowed in with best of crowd to see fabulous Mona Lisa up close. Surprised 1) that it was so small, and 2) that as the most valuable painting in world, it is not now insured, use money instead on beefed up security - including no openable windows (many of exhibition rooms were hot and airless). 

PRUDHON Justice and Divine Vengeance Pursuing Crime


The Seated Scribe

Du FONTAINEBLEAU Gabrielle and her sister

INGRES The Turkish Bath

LA TOUR The Cheat with the Ace of Diamonds
CHASSERIAU Romeo and Juliet

RENOIR La Lecture
VAN EYCK Madonna of Chancellor Rolin

La Supplice de Marsyas
La Venus de Milo

Crypt of the Sphinx

Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss

MICHELANGELO The Rebellious Slave

Such a labyrinthine place, GirlRob accidentally ended up outside next to the glass pyramid when looking for a less-crowded ladies toilet!! Exhausted, but satisfied enough for one day, we were out in the fresh air again mid afternoon following a late lunch of chicken caesar salad (appropriately we thought!) 

Blue sky appeared on our walk to Notre Dame de Paris, passing four bridges. Given we’d spent much of day on our feet already, we were acutely aware of our knees and feet by time we arrived. Our Lady of Paris is one of the most famous Catholic Cathedrals in world. It’s a superb example of French Gothic architecture, with beautiful flying buttresses. The ten bells all have people names. Not a sign of Quasimodo, but did spot some rather terrifying gargoyles and chimeras. 

Quasi - is that you??

Everybody's watching the action in the Square...

Stood in queue to enter Cathedral, keeping an eye on turf fight between gypsy families, and patrolling soldiers with guns. Cathedral was majestic outside with lovely stained glass indoors (rose windows are truly impressive), and contained some beautiful art works. Sadly the whole seems in need of money and vigorous cleanup. Quite shocked to see cardboard boxes stacked in confessional (is faith in such global decline??) 

Doubting Thomas

St Joan of Arc

Train delay on way home, jammed in huge crowds on railway stations, all on, all off, all on (huge crush- hot and sweaty crammed standing against barriers for the five stations home).

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