It’s Only a Botticelli

Day 2 on our return to Paris brought us to the Louvre, which is course one of those things you are supposed to do when visiting Paris, except that it took me three trips to the City of Light to finally manage to go in. (Still haven’t made it to the exact site of the Eiffel Tower but I think it will finally happen one of these nights.) Pat had visited the museum as a college student, but this was her first time back. I have to admit it was worth the effort. Check this one off of the tourist bucket list.

The title is, of course, tongue in cheek, a joke referencing the first thing I stopped to look at on the way to doing the one thing every tourist does when visiting the museum, which is to race off to see the Mona Lisa. I was ambivalent about it given we are all familiar with the painting, but we were at the museum shortly before it opened at 9 a.m. and so we were able to get there before the crowd swelled. Basically, it was a “what the hell, might as well go for it” kind of thing. So we got there, had someone take our picture in front of the painting, and then we moved on to enjoy other parts of the museum.

It is, of course, a massive facility with more than can be seen in a single day. We looked at some of the European art, the Greek and Roman statuary, highlighted by Winged Victory and the Venus de Milo, and also Napolean III’s apartment.

The crowd quickly swelled in the area near where the Mona Lisa resides; I can only imagine how crazy it is at the height of summer, now was busy enough. We recommend visiting Paris at this time of year. It is less crowded and the weather is decent enough. It tends to rain in the morning but you can get rain in the summer as well.

We wrapped up morning with a bit to eat at a small bistro in the museum called Angelina. It’s on middle level of the museum in the Richeleau wing, overlooking the top of the pyramid. It is more relaxed than the big cafeteria-style restaurant near the main entry. Hours seem kind of weird and unpredictable, but if you can find it at the right time worth a stop if visiting. Pastries are the popular thing, but I had a a traditional quickie Lorraine and Pat had an egg dish, both of which were excellent as we had not eaten breakfast.

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