Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Paris 3: Ah, the French

So, I went to the Louvre today.

To be honest, I still can't believe, I am in Paris. I have this big Paris poster in my room. So, I knew I would want to come here one day. Maybe once I find the guy, and we would go together. But never thought it would happen NOW. And, the reality of the trip, definitely, sunk in today.

Louvre without a doubt has the best art collection in the world. The architecture of the building is adorned with Greek figurines and columns. Louis XIV, like the Versailles, commissioned for Louvre's extension and spent funds in improving the fortress's structure. The building in itself is beautiful, with very impressive ceilings. After you are done visiting the art collection go outside and walk around the courtyard. You would find that each arch-window has its unique Greek-styled sculptures.

There is no way you would be able to see everything in the Louvre. So before visiting the museum visit the website and make a list of things you are interested in. The best place to start is the Denon Wing. It is here you would find Mona Lisa in the wing's 6th room. To be honest, Mona Lisa does look more beautiful in the original but the huge herd of people and constant shoving and pushing ruined the experience. Right across of Mona Lisa there is a beautiful and huge painting called "The Wedding Feast at Cana" by Paolo Veronese. In the frenzy to see Mona Lisa people fail to appreciate the artistic marvel of this late-Renaissance painting. I felt really bad for the other paintings that were present in the same room as Mona Lisa.

On your way to the Grand Gallery you would see the spectacular structure of the Winged Victory. So sit by the stairs to enjoy one of the most famous sculptures in the world.

Personally for me, I really admired Da Vinci's "The Virgin of Rocks" and Panini's work. They say that each painter has his/hers own speciality. Panini in my opinion is an amazing painter. In his paintings special emphasis is placed on not only the people but also the structures that are used not just as backdrop but are important participants of the story Panini has painted. I took several pictures of his paintings from every angle possible. At the Louvre you are allowed to take pictures as long as your camera's flash is turned off.

After the Denon Wing, my sister and I went to the Sully Gallery to see Venus de Milo. That is another beautiful sculpture. Again, the thing that makes it so amazing is its elusiveness. Her body is half-draped, and she is showing off her well-defined abs :). On your way to Venus de Milo do not miss out on the sculptures by Michelangelo.

I definitely felt something in my heart, when I saw the two sculptures depicting the unlikely love between Cupid and Psyche.

After the Louvre my sister and I did some sight-seeing. We walked over the oldest bridge in Paris called Pont Neuf, and the Palais Royal which was built in 1629. We also did some window-shopping in Forum des Halles. Paris is too expensive for us to actually buy something here.

After that we came back to our apartment to rest so we are ready to go out again to ring in the New Year. Since I have a cold, I have been drinking insane amount of Lipton mint tea they have here. It tastes really good and has really helped with the cold. I took a couple of Advil and I was knocked out.

For New Year's we planned to go to Chaps d'Elysees and the Eiffel Tower. The transit system was free tonight. I guess big cities like London and Paris can afford to have the subway running for free.

We walked around Paris at night time. And, I have to admit Paris is beautiful. Everything that you have probably heard of Paris is true. I wish I could photograph every inch of Paris. I can definitely see why people call it the most romantic city in the world.

Up until now my sister and I were avoiding going out too late in the night here. The French men are very flirtatious. Even the locals don't wear revealing clothes because the men are known for their rowdy behaviour. I honestly, thought we would not have to worry about this. But I think they have some weird testosterone in the French water. Men here are perverted.

Not to say all French men are horndogs.

But, tonight we didn't even stay out too late. And, tried to stay with other North Americans. We just wanted to see the Eiffel at midnight. And, we came home right after that. The streets were safe (crime wise). They had the police stationed all around the city. The subway was extremely busy. There was a huge line-up to enter the station, and then some serious pushing and shoving ensued inside the subway.

In spite of all this, the Eiffel Tower looked beautiful at midnight. Nothing could have prepared me of how spectacular the Eiffel looks at night. It changed colours from blue to gold right at midnight.

It is just a different culture here.

Btw, a Happy New Year to all of you out there. During the New Year's countdown I wanted to scream OBAMA, just for fun. Considering how this year will mark his inaugration and we are all counting on him to fix all of our problems. He is the modern day surfer dude of a messiah, folks. To be honest, I was also thinking of the recent Middle-East crisis. I know it is a beatup cliche but I really hope 2009 turns out to be peaceful for all of us. I really hope something good comes out of this New Year.


Maria Sondule said...

Sounds really fun! The Louvre seems like the perfect place to go if you like art. :D And LOL, you should've flirted back! Make use of the French men's weird attitudes! I share your wish for a peaceful New Year, and I think that Obama will try to make that happen. Others will not.

changetheworld360 said...

Something good for '09: ditto.
New Year's in Paris must have been splendid! I read somewhere that if you wanted to see everything in the Louvre, it would take 2 weeks, nonstop.

Zany said...

Obama hasn't said anything about the Middle East crisis. I wish he would.
The French men have surely given me stories to tell about my trip :).

I really liked your New Year's post :).