Oct 29: Jour á Paris
I have not done so well lately at updating the blog, as time has not been on my side with travel arrangements, sight-seeing, trains and all the 100 little details that attend travel. I suppose too that I didn't know what to write without complaining a bit of the Aforementioned travel arrangements.
I may as well just say it; Paris and I were not best of friends at first. Whether it seemed cold and unfriendly because I arrived too exhausted to enjoy anything, or because the city was in the grip of a cold sullen day, I had trouble liking it at first. A good night of sleep did something, and when we set out the next day I was excited to be here. We first headed to the Louvre, and stopped to meet the Seine.
It is a pretty river, prettier by far than the Thames, which is brown and muddy.
It was somewhere around the Shakespeare Book Company that things went slightly downhill again. We had forgotten water, which we didn't want anyway because we needed a WC desperately and couldn't find one. We walked for miles, which is a fair estimate, tracking back and forth to see if we couldn't find even one. About three hours later (not joking here) we found one, and afterward water and food, but it was already too late. Maria had a dreadful headache, I was back to exhausted, and Kerri alone felt OK.
However we gamely went on to the Louvre, arriving there at around 5:30, where Maria and I drooped against a wall and tried to muster up even the energy to find a metro, let alone tour the museum. I had an idea at that point that I should be a two-year-old, because then I could burst into tears like I wanted and let someone else fix me and take me home. As hysteria wasn't an option Maria found me a cup of coffee, Kerri figured out the route home, and in 20 minutes I had figured out that if I could summon energy to tour the museum it would be best to do it now as we were actually here and might never be again.
So Maria decided to sit and wait, as she has been here before and Kerri and I went off to see about 15% of this massive museum.
After we had taken "tourist" pictures.
The museum was fascinating and full of history, genius detail and weird subjects. We mostly toured old Italian works, Renaissance paintings, Etruscan frescoes and Egyptian artifacts. Of course we had to give the Mona Lisa a passing glance, but I don't particularly care for her, especially not when having to look pass 100 tourists.
Other perspectives were more to our taste.
I've always read about the Etruscan influence in some types of jewelry, and feel as if the bangles and necklaces of that influence may be a bit stunning to wear, and this perhaps in a heavy, overdone way. A ceiling may wear what a person might not.
Forgive the bad photos please, I was just impressed by the sheer scale these paintings/frescoes represented. Such detail and accuracy for size!
By the time we had reached this point I knew I'd better not push my luck any further, and we struck for home.
Thus I lived a first day in Paris, and as time would prove, would get to like her better. For now, a warm room, a WC within sight, and some food that cost less than €18 was greatly appreciated.
A side note of interest: apparently the Golden Rule of travel in Paris is to use the bathroom whenever you need one. Amen.