Last night in Paris for a while, so we took a walk to see what we could see:
TGV to La Rochelle tomorrow!
Today, we spent the morning touring the Louvre. Although it’s my fourth trip to Paris, I had not yet been inside. I thought it was going to be too expensive and too crowded, but neither proved to be true. Yes, it’s 12 euros to get in, but that’s not outrageous for such an amazing museum. I loved the bright, peaceful covered sculpture courtyards.
And I have always loved mille-fleurs style tapestry from the middle ages, and there were rooms filled with tapestry, nearly empty of people:
In fact the only really crowded place in the whole museum was in front of the Mona Lisa, which — with all due respect — is mostly famous for being famous, in my opinion. Maybe it’s amazing if you can actually see it, but it’s certainly not my favorite painting. It’s small and dark and behind glass, and the area in front of the painting is mobbed. People shove you from all sides just so they can hold their smartphone up to snap a photo. Yeesh. No thanks. We went. We looked. We tried to admire (while defending our space from elbows and our belongings from pickpockets). We did not bother to snap a photo, and got out of that room as quickly as possible.
Later we crossed the Seine and found an open door to a beautiful courtyard:
Paris is full of beauty, no doubt, but not this guy:
Seriously? It’s maybe 55 degrees!
We made it to Paris around noon today (Thursday), rather travel worn, but happy to be here. We do keep dozing off even with an after dinner espresso. It will take a few days to reset the internal clock, but at least it looks like spring here.
Our hotel is housed in one of the buildings you see in the background below.
Looks sort of posh, but check out the elevator. A little sign warns that it can hold 5 people, max. I’d be stunned if three fit inside. We tend to take the stairs, even though we’re on the 4th floor, which is equivalent to the American 5th floor, the ground floor not having a number, being called instead rez-de-chausée. Not so bad going down, but a bit of a workout going up!
Turns out our route would take us within about half an hour of Niagara Falls, so we decided to take the quick detour. We had both been there as children, and we’re pretty sure it was the exact same year, 1964, either before or after visiting the New York World’s Fair. David was nearly 12, and I was 6. We may have even been on the same Niagara Falls tour boat, for all we know, but needless to say, we did not meet. I mostly remember feeling swallowed by a big smelly slicker and getting rather wet.
No tour boat running yesterday!
I know it looks like I published these in black and white for artistic effect, but these are regular color photos. This is how cheery and sunny it actually was. Brrrr. The mist flying up instantly turned to ice crystals which pelted us in the face. We lasted about 45 seconds.
Roads were dry though, and we made it all the way to New Hampshire last night. Not so balmy here either!
Flight to France tomorrow night, if all goes well . . . .