Today’s big Adventure took us to the Musée du Louvre. The forecast called for rain and we got a little damp on the way to the Metro. This experience just reinforced our pleasure at the plan for the day which was to spend time inside an old palace with hundreds of fabulous pieces of art. This one was actually on the kids’ bucket list which Brian and Tiffany were happy to oblige.
We arrived to a long but fast moving line for our timed tickets. ‘Long but fast moving’ would sort of sum up the day. Crowded, not as bad as it could be, and people generally moving along. We once again turned to Rick Steves for our Audioguide. His tour focuses on the highlights so we saw those and struck out on our own when we felt like it.
We saw the Venus de Milo, still missing her arms…
…the winged victory Nike of Samothrace from 2nd Century BCE also missing her arms…and her head…
…the Apollo Gallery, one of the iconic rooms of the Palace, dating from the 1650s but not completed until the 19th Century due to fires, Revolutions and other distractions…
…the Crown Jewels of France including the 140 carat Regent Diamond worn in crowns, Napoleon’s sword and Marie Antoinette’s hat…
…famous works by Leonardo de Vinci and Raphael.
We of course also saw Leonardo’s most famous work, the Mona Lisa. We weren’t the only ones interested in seeing her up close so we waited in line about 15-20 minutes to get an unobstructed view.
The kids didn’t expect it to be so small – it was bigger when Suaram painted it at the Art in Paradise museum in Chaing Mai, Thailand.
The largest painting we saw was The Coronation of Napoleon by Jacques-Louis David in 1807. It is huge – almost 30 feet wide by 18 feet tall. The work shows Napoleon coronating himself in the Cathedral de Norte Dame. Its colors and composition are very impressive.
Within a minute of seeing it, CreeperPuppy exclaimed, “Hey, that guy crowned CreeperKitty, too”. It took us a while to figure out what he meant, but the Napoleon from the painting…
…did in fact crown CreeperKitty, also back in Chaing Mai. Hard to believe the kid could make the connection between the two…Mom and Dad sure didn’t.
Our next to last stop was a gallery filled with statues, the most famous of which are Michelangelo’s two slaves – originally created for the tomb of Pope Julius II which was never finished.
After viewing these statues, we wandered a bit looking at others. The kids have been reading all of Rick Riordan’s books about Olympus and the Greek Gods – which they turned into knowledge about the Roman gods while we were in Rome. But here at the Louvre, they saw many statues depicting the Gods which they’ve been reading about. In a strange coincidence we saw a statue of Mercury carrying Psyche which is a story Suaram and CreeperKitty were talking about just yesterday as the original inspiration for Beauty and the Beast.
The kids take all the life-to-art-connections in stride but the parents are continually wowed by them.
Our last stop was of course the gift shop…the kids never pass up a good browse through the gift shop. And then back out through the pyramid to our next Adventure.
After we left the Louve the weather had turned gorgeous so instead of the metro we opted for the 45 minute walk back to our apartment. We broke it up with a couple of stops. First a cool playground.
Then a cool market in our neighborhood. Opened in 1615, the Marché couvert les Enfants Rouges is the oldest covered market in Paris.
Filled with cheese, fish, vegetable and flower vendors, at this hour we were interested in finding a good meal at the many restaurants in the market. We chose one called Rose Kitchen and were quite pleased to discover that it was Thai food which we’ve been missing since we left there months ago. We had three curries, a pad Thai and a chicken satay and were quite pleased. It was a fantastic end to an Adventure-filled day.