18 July 2012

Arc De Triumph
Cafe Culture
Architecture Museum

Skip the Que? Yes Please. I don’t want to wait until tomorrow.

Today we are doing some of the must sees of Paris, starting with the Louvre. We have bought the two day museums pass which gives entrance to most museums and most importantly : You get to skip the lines!
This came in handy already at the Louvre. It always feels good to be allowed to bypass the three hour cue.
Inside we got disappointed. There is hardly any explanation in English! Walking through the old collections from Mesopotamia and the Arab peninsula, it is hard to understand what the cultures and objects are about, if (like us) you don’t read French.. Every now and then there is a plastic card you can pick up at the door, that tells you something about the most important object in that room.. Very minimal.. And we are shocked that one of the most famous museums in the world doesn’t seem to want to make any effort for visiting foreigners. It can’t be that hard to have the signs in two languages. The very small museums in Jordan managed..

Religion. You can’t get away from it.

After some quick walk thoughs of the antiquities, we made our way to the paintings. This is what the Louvre is most famous for, so we have to see the highlights. Once again, nothing but French.. A lot of nice ancient paintings, but the crowds are distracting. You end up almost paying more attention to trying not to walk into people (or avoiding people that seem determined to walk into you) then actually looking at the art. The mandatory highlight is off course the Mona Lisa. Not sure how you are suppose to see it, as there are so many people in this room, and it is all extremely disorganised. We snap a picture from a distance and decide to leave the Louvre all together. We can come back later if we want to, but that seems highly unlikely..

Our best view of the Mona Lisa. Dont know what the big deal is. Can see it better online.

We walk through the park along the Seine. Why are all the Parisians jogging in the middle of the day? It wasn’t the plan to walk all the way to the Arc the Triumph, but it didn’t seem far at the start. The Champs Elysees is longer then we thought, but the Arc does look good from a distance. Up close it is just massive! We make our way in and up to the top. Great views over Paris and the different roads that link up with the big roundabout.

Sunbathing in the City. The sand wasnt ready on the Seine yet.

Its bigger than it looks!

That was the planned part of the day done. We go for a wander around the smaller streets of the neighbourhood. Freakishly expensive lunch in a local cafe. No idea how a sandwich can cost this much, but we guess that is just Paris.  Considering that we had avoided lunch in the main streets to save a few euros.  It was probably more expensive…

Architecture Museum. Not just about doorways.

We come past the Architecture museum and as it is also covered by our museumpass, go in. This is a really well set up museum. The first area is full of plaster casts of different architectural features of old buildings all around France. The carvings above church doors, statues and gargoyles all in actual size.
Upstairs is an expo on government housing and the different problems and solutions people have come up with.

Do we really need to tell you what it is?

By now our feet where killing us! We where a bit surprised. We did walk a lot, but we have been walking a lot everywhere on this trip. We struggled to make our way out. Next door is a little park, looking out on the Eifel tower and we took a break here. We were entertained by a group of American Christians dancing and singing about the lord. It was time to leave when they invited us over for a talk..
The thing we have started noticing the most is the amount of outdoor music and busking.  This is great, as there is a free concert on almost every corner.  Then there is the music from the buskers reverberating throughout the metro stations.
We took the metro home.



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