Monday, August 1, 2011

Fast Train to Paris

We left our flats at 4:30am on Friday to take a quick tour of Paris. With the opening of the Channel Tunnel in 1994, it now takes about two hours to get from London to Paris.

I'd never been to Paris and I wasn't sure what to expect. We started with a visit to the Louvre, where we had just two hours, no guide and no audio tour. I was highly frustrated by not knowing what I was looking at (none of the plaques were translated) and decided about 90 minutes into the visit that a cup of coffee would be the most productive use of my remaining time. But I couldn't find my way out. All the signs led to the same place--a guard who told me that I had to go a different way. I walked through the same sculpture gallery three times before finally going UP a set of stairs that led to the steps DOWN and out. I may or may not have stood in a corner hyperventilating.

Winged Victory of Samotrace, circa 190 B.C.

8.5 million people visit the Louvre each year.
It felt like most of them were there on Friday.

The Mona Lisa is considerably
smaller than I had expected.

St. Mary Magdalene, 1510
Since the Da Vinci Code
Mary M. is more famous than ever.

We didn't have time to ascend the Eiffel Tower, but got to see the structure first-hand. Then we headed to a boat tour of the Seine.

George Clooney billboard. 
I don't think this counts as a celebrity sighting.

While some people headed back to London after the group dinner, I had elected to stay through the weekend. I got some sleep so I'd be ready to start Saturday with a trip to Versailles.

More in the next blog...

No comments:

Post a Comment