Meeting Mona

After the train ride back to Paris we decided to visit the Louvre, it was Friday night and they were staying open until 9pm.
The timing was great, we got there right as the sun was setting…  Other than some of the rooms not being fully lit, it was a fantastic time to visit the Louvre. Very few crowds & most of the stores and other museums in Paris were closed by 6pm so we were able to squeeze more into the day.

We did NOT do the Louvre justice, we merely scratched the surface of what is available to see there. Before we left I had and idea of what I wanted to see.  Hopefully this will not be my only trip to Paris and I will be able to go back and see more.

Once again our Rick Steves iPhone app saved us. It guided us around the museum with audio commentary and a bit of history for each item we saw.

the Louvre at sunset

We focused on the Greek & Roman sculpture galleries, French Realism and of course….

Mona….

There were a lot of other people there to see her too… I don’t think I’d want to go on Saturday in high tourist season!!

Jeff and I were talking at dinner that night about the Mona Lisa. Now granted you could not get very close to the painting, so we did not get to see the details well… but personally there were other of daVinci’s paintings that we liked better. I’d be curious to find out how the Mona Lisa became such a cultural phenomenon… I took many Art History & Humanities classes in college, I’ll have to pull out some of my old text books and read up on it.

On our way out we spotted this…. Anyone a Dan Brown fan??? I was surprised.. it’s in a Mall!! Right between a Virgin Mega store & the Apple store…

After a quick tour (less than 3 hours) of the Louvre, we walked around a bit then had dinner at a nice French restaurant near the Louvre. We finished dinner at 10:10… 10 minutes too late to see the Eiffel tower sparkle… (they light show is on the hour).  This is the one thing that I wish we would have seen, but our timing was never right.

Our 2nd day was my favorite there…. The first day I was a bit jet lagged and having a little bit of  anxiety trying to figure out how everything “works”… how to get on the subway,  where to go, what to do… etc… plus I was missing my kids!  (they were safe at home with Grandpa) But after a good nights sleep the first night, and feeling like I was getting my bearings,  we had a great day!!

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Comments

  1. says

    Paris is wonderful! I remember thinking that the Mona Lisa was a much smaller painting than I had imagined it being! Enjoy all that French food!

  2. says

    I was disappointed when I saw the Mona Lisa-so small and so many people trying to see “her”. But I loved Versailles-so beautiful.

  3. says

    I felt like Rick Steves gave us a good heads up that Mona was smaller and less impressive than we would have expected. So, we really weren’t expecting much at all – which meant that we weren’t disappointed! And, yes, with all the tourists there and her behind glass, it’s hard to see her!

    (FYI, if you go to Rome, Rick Steves also says that the Sistene Chapel is rather unimpressive and he’s totally right. You wait in a big line to walk in there and stand shoulder to shoulder with everyone else, trying to crane your neck to see WAY up on the ceiling, all the while the guards are shushing anyone who makes a noise. Not great.)

  4. says

    I have been checking like every five minutes for more and more entries about your trip. I love your pictures, they are beautiful. Totally agree about the Mona Lisa. I’m so glad you got to go. I told you the city was made for you :) So glad you had such a great experience!

  5. says

    Your trip sounds amazing! I love all the pictures you’ve posted. So beautiful. Also, I love that there is a Rick Steves Iphone app!!

    I had the same response to the Mona Lisa – very anticlimactic. Other da Vinci’s were a near-religious experience for me. I think part of it has to do with the distance and flashes from the Japanese tourists.

    Can’t wait to hear about Day 3!

    PS So glad you got to see Marie Antoinette’s little cottage/village at Versailles. So wonderful.

    PPS Where did you study Humanities in college?

  6. says

    I just recently started reading, and I love your stories! I thought I would share what I know about the Mona Lisa, as it might answer your question about why she is such a phenomenon. Nobody really know who she is, all we know is that DaVinci painted this portrait and carried it with him for years. There are theories that she is him as a female, a lover, or a family member. I think the unknown is what’s interesting to a lot of us.

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