Monday, September 30

Paris, Day Three: Au Revoir

On this, our last day in Paris, we really only had one plan to execute - and that is to see the Mona Lisa. We got to the Louvre later than I would have liked, but in a reasonable time considering the circumstances. Getting into the glass pyramid itself wasn't that long a wait, but buying tickets was frustratingly slow; even more so after we found self service machines with no queues afterwards.

But in we got and straight to the Mona Lisa we headed. And, erm, there she was. Now I'm not really an art lover (even though there have been some examples which I have strongly liked) so perhaps my reaction was to be expected, but I have a sneaking suspicion that I wasn't the only one there that day who had been massively underwhelmed. My theory is that the Mona Lisa is like other items of artificial self-fuelling desire, like designer handbags or reality shows: it's actually only famous because it's famous? But anyway I actually found the crowd much more interesting as they (well, we) all jostled for the best position in which to take pictures and selfies. I was a bit surprised that cameras were allowed at all, but apparently that's a recent policy change. I think it's a shame that most people only saw the art through their phones, but I guess that's where we are now - some orderly queues would have been nice though.

The Louvre is pretty huge (I'm not sure I have ever visited a bigger museum) and so we established and stuck to the priorities - they being Egypt and Islam. Those alone took us a fair few hours and we managed to get out of the Louvre well past lunchtime. My plan was to also visit the Orsay, but that is closed Monday which kind of sucked and shows exactly how much planning I had put into this weekend. I guess I'll have to come back for that one.

So instead we all leisurely walked up Jardin des Tuileries toward the Obelisk, which pretty much ended our tourist trail. We headed back to the apartment for the final time to pick up our luggage, and then on to Gare du Nord to catch our train back. Although the weekend was short I did think it was really good, and it was nice to revisit Paris after almost thirty years. Of course I won't be going back any time soon... but at least I know that if I did, I'd know my way around a bit.


  1. We went just a few weeks ago too. It's a fantastic city for walking around. Didn't go up the Eiffel tower though.

  2. Anonymous17:12

    The Louvre is the world's biggest museum so it's pretty likely you haven't visited a bigger museum :-p