After Notre Dame cooking dinner at home sounded like a good idea; so Grangoo and Grandpa could crash early after their no sleep flight. Chris cooked up spaghetti; and we picked up two baguettes on our way home – like every other person we met – they’re 40cents!!!!. Then, the four us ventured out for the late night opening of the Louvre.
Rick Steves names the Louvre “Europe’s oldest, biggest, greatest, and second-most-crowded museum.” Over thirty thousand works of art are housed here. So you’re just crazy if you hope to see it all in one visit. We tried to avoid the crowds by making the late night opening, and I do think it helped. And the sun doesn’t set right now till after 9PM, so we have plenty of daylight.
The museum is located in a 16th century palace, but Ella was appalled by the 20th century glass pyramid in the center. I’ll admit it does look at little strange amidst the classical surroundings, but I think it is so worth it at night. The view is gorgeous when lit up, and it also offers much natural light to the center of the Louvre.
We went directly to the always slightly disappointing Mona Lisa to make sure we didn’t miss it; that way we could slowly meander through the other portions. I will give her credit though, her eyes follow you through the room and you do wonder about her secret … a little.
We glimpsed the Victoire de Samothrace, my personal favorite.
The Venus de Milo (Aphrodite) was in a new location. She was discovered on a Greek island in 1820 and is a rare Greek original. We enjoyed a quick discussion of the favored contrapposto and the S curve of all the statues. The contrapposto posture is supposed to make them look more relaxed and calm – example Athena, the S curve is a bit more sinuous – example Venus de Milo.
The kids were drawn to the Greek and Roman sculptures with their affinity for Percy Jackson and the Heroes of Olympus.
A little input from Ella: “After our visit to the Notre Dame, we ended up in the Louvre for their special late night opening (it was supposed to be less crowded). It’s said you could spend a lifetime in the Louvre, I agree. My mom says I’m being cynical, and that’s apparently “a bad thing,” but I think everyone in art museums are in this unspoken contest.
A contest to see who can stare at one painting or sculpture the longest. I don’t think anyone actually knows what they’re looking at, but they stare forever. The winner of the contest gets nothing, but the satisfaction of knowing they’re better than everyone else in the museum.
One thing you should know, don’t go to the Louvre excited about the Mona Lisa. She is pathetically tiny and surrounded by tourists trying to take a decent picture of her. I agree with Rick Steve, you could find a better picture on the internet.” – Ella
We also wondered through the Italian and French paintings. Our family can usually enjoy about 3 hours in a museum before we take a break. That was almost perfect for closing time, so we reluctantly drifted out, glimpsing a few last sculptures.
We had a little adventure with the bus system along with some other frustrated tourists, and finally walked to the metro stop and stuck with what we knew. Our airbnb was a good location, but Paris is a city that never sleeps, which means you never get much sleep in it.