So as I’m sure some of you may have noticed (actually probably not) my last post was posted at 11 AM. I had set my alarm to get up yesterday (9/28) at 8 AM. But after the fiasco of the night before I suppose I was just exhausted and don’t even remember turning my alarm off. In any event I was out of the hostel by 11:30 and off to the museums
There were two that I really wanted to go to and I knew I was in trouble with timing, because whichever I went to first I’d spend a lot of time at and the second one would be rushed. I had to choose between L’Orsay and the L’Ouvre. Those of you who don’t know what Orsay is, it’s pretty much the Mecca of Impressionism, which also happens to be my favorite period in art history. I figured if I went to the L’Ouvre first, I’d never make it to Orsay so I went there first.
It was, of course, unbelievable. Renoir, Monet, Manet, Van Gogh, Gaughin, Seraut and Segnac. The list goes on, of course, but those are a just a couple of big names to mention a few. I only went to the impressionist (and post-impressionism, it was right there) part of the museum, they had pre-impressionism as well, but I figured I’d never get out of there if I stopped there. I will say, seeing Van Gogh’s artwork up close… it’s just hard to into words. Renoir remains my favorite painter, but Monet was also unbelievable up close. It was just amazing.
Of course that was like 3 hours right there, so I made my way over to L’Ouvre and it’s HUGE. They give you a fairly useless map right at the beginning and I felt like I was lost from the get-go. I was going to wonder aimlessly, but I would probably still be there if I had, so I gave myself a target…the Mona Lisa. Walking there was tough, I mean you pass these great pieces of art and you just don’t have time to look at all of them. It’s really tough.
Now a word about the Mona Lisa, it’s a great piece of art, but to get to see it you pretty much have to elbow your way through rows of tourists about 15 lines deep. I stayed, but not for long. My logic was, yeah it’s beautiful, but there is SO much art here and so little time, I’m not going to arm wrestle 1500 tourists crowding around it when I can see great pieces of art made by the other Ninja turtles. I don’t think I looked at it for more than 3 minutes.
One of my favorite paintings that sticks out in my mind right now was by David (I think). It was a picture of the coronation of Napoleon. The story goes that he was kneeling before the pope to receive the crown when he stood up, took it from the pope’s hand, held it for everyone to see and then placed it on his own head. Cocky sun of a gun, wasn’t he? But the painting is of him holding up the crown for all to see. It was huge and really captured the moment, especially the Pope standing there looking like he had just swallowed a lemon. It was great.
After walking through the renaissance area and seeing all the greats, I meandered on down to the antiquity area and saw the Venus of Milo. Very cool. From the Greek area I went to the Roman area where I think they had a statue of every single emperor. It was awe inspiring; to look at the same statue Augustus and every other emperor looked at and gave his approval to. It was great.
So that was my day yesterday. I was back to the hostel by about 6. I came back with a bottle of cheap (it’s all cheap in France) wine and a loaf of bread and sat in the common area. People would come by, I’d offer some wine and bread and the next thing you know there are five of us, everyone went and bought a bottle of wine and we shared it all. It was pretty cool just chatting with random people from all over the world. Once other people realized we weren’t a group traveling together, but random people, lots of people came by and we pretty much sipped wine from about 6 till 1. By the end, I think everyone was fairly done. Myself included. 7:30 came very very early this morning.
Anyway I’m completing the last leg of my trip here, a cheap flight from Paris to Madrid. I land in the states tomorrow at 1 PM and should be pretty jet-lagged and tired. But I’m looking forward to going back.
In any event, I think I have one more post in me, so don’t unsubscribe yet. I miss you all and can’t wait to see you.