Thursday, May 23, 2013

Notre Dame and the Louvre - Day 3 -Monday 5/20

Another full day in Paris. Today I overslept; yesterday I woke up at 4am. Now the jet lag is just toying with me.

Today was cold and rainy. Even had to get out my extra jacket for Mom. Fortunately California has conditioned me to colder temps. The rain was really annoying, though. My socks were wet, my backpack was wet. I had to keep putting my camera back in a ziploc with a gazillion little drying packets. I'm going to have to order more electronics so I can get some fresh ones.

After a quick breakfast we headed to Sainte Chapelle and Notre Dame cathedral. Halfway there we realized we picked the bus to the wrong island. We changed course, but got to the island an hour later than planned. At least the line for Sainte Chapelle was short. I let Mom do the tour without me. I abandoned her? With two more tours planned, I had to conserve energy. So I went to a cafe for a hot peppermint tea. I got a surprise when I went to use the toilette - it was a "squatter." Just like old times in Africa. 

When Mom was done with her tour we trudged through the rain to Notre Dame. The line was about four blocks long, but it moved pretty quickly. Inside it was pretty amazing how high the ceilings were. No one is going to scrape their head here. The stained glass glowed well despite the cloudiness outdoors. The windows and frescoes told various stories of Jesus's life and resurrection. I wonder if visitors are inspired to ask about Christianity. I felt called to stop in the pews and pray for my family and friends - and myself. 

We walked from Notre Dame to the Louvre, which was a bit farther than we had estimated. So we stopped and had lunch, where I got some onion soup, a slice of quiche, a glass of wine, and an espresso. I actually enjoyed the latter and may now have a new bad habit involving tiny cups of caffeine. 

The Louvre was packed. Full. Crazy. Chaotic. And amazing. Since we had already bought tickets, we skipped most of the wait to get in. Then I cost us 20 to 30 minutes trying to download the Louvre iPhone app. I had to go back past security to the Apple store for free wifi to finish the download, then upstairs and through the priority line again. Ugh.

After - and because of - some crazy detours, we saw: the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo (Athena from Milos island), Monets, Renoirs, Vermeers, lots of naked greek dude sculptures, some really huge paintings, and some scenes of Jesus's miracles. The latter was an excellent continuation of the experience at Notre Dame.

I took several photos of paintings, and even got a picture where the Mona Lisa appears to be holding an iPad, due to a reflection of someone using theirs as a camera. 

Mom was so worn out that we took a taxi back. After resting for a few hours, we had a late dinner nearby and then called it a day. We're...Loving...Paris!

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