16 Days in France (Day 12, Part 1)

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[As I was processing the photos from our first full day in Paris, I realized that this was truly one of the very special days in this old buck’s life.  Well over 200 photos were taken beginning with this very French lamp that greeted us in the lobby of the Hotel Eber Mars each day.  And then it was off on a subway ride to the Louvre (the geographic center of Paris), then walking to the Tuileries Gardens, the Orangerie, the Champs Elysees, the Arch de Triomphe, then back to the hotel, then subway to Montmartre and the Funiculaire to the Basilica of the Sacre Coeur with dinner at Chez Marie, subway back to the hotel, then a walk to the mall for an all lit up the Eiffel Tower.  Uffda, I just got tired typing that!]

The Louvre

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[As we entered the Louvre, we were now the Magnificent Seven.  Kathy and Bert, and Sharon all went home this morning – Kathy and Bert had been in Paris the week before our cruise; and Sharon had previously been to Paris, more than once as I recall.]

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[This is where we entered the Louvre from the subway.  The inverted pyramid was completed by I. M. Pei in 1993.    ]

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[The entry led us to this center court.  With seven of us, it is so easy to split up and go our separate ways, so we needed a time and a place to meet up again – this was it, at noon.  If I remember my teachings from Mrs. Riggs [nee Ms. Falvey], “Printemps” is Spring!  🙂   ]

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[Above ground, the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, basically the border between the Louvre and the Tuileries Gardens.]

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[Entering the Louvre grounds and I. M. Pei’s courtyard pyramid of 1988.]

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[A “side door.”]

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[The Pyramid, and the line-up to enter the museum.]

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[Yup, security here like getting on an airplane. ]

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[We’re in!  All pre-trip advice called for getting to the museum as soon as it opened in the morning and then run like hell for the Mona Lisa!]

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[And we followed that advice.  I tried to make mental notes of all the things I wanted to return to see as we hurried along the way.]

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[Whew, we made it!  Crowds weren’t too bad.  Bill fires our first shot from afar.]

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[People elbow their way to the security rope, take their photos, then leave for the next tier to move up.  Didn’t take long.]

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[“Mona Lisa,” you’ve probably heard of her?]

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[I ambled about, shooting what I thought we be a representative sampling of the displayed wares.  As it turns out, The Biddies wanted to hit the impressionists wing, which was fine with me, but then we never made it back to our original corridors with all the statuary from antiquity.]

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[I tried to shoot the explanatory panels where I could.  Most will need no further explanations.]

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[The first pedicure?]

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[Amazing place . . .]

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[The Biddies had a way of finding Diana, the Huntress, who was well represented throughout the museum.  Maybe it’s a Xena, Warrior Princess, thing?]

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[Is that Diana?  Again?  🙂  ]

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6-16-14-41 - Copy 6-16-14-42 - Copy [An artist, committing forgery, in front of everyone in the Louvre?]

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[Another decorative ceiling . . . ]

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[In a decorative room . . . ]

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[Now that’s the way to shoot a ceiling!]

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[With everyone looking up, the absence of collisions was surprising.]

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[Cited as an award winning Facebook photo under the title, “Why is this man smiling?”]

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[Reetz seems to be re-enacting the “Stella” scene in a Streetcar Named Desire?]

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[Another ceiling somewhat more elaborate than white plaster.]

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[The Biddies were getting quite fed up with the lack of elevators and escalators!]

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[As you explore, you have to wonder how many ceilings you missed?]

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[Almost by accident, we stumbled across the Venus de Milo.]

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[In a large atrium, access was easier than to the Mona Lisa.]

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[A statuary hall near the Venus de Milo.]

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[A window view across the courtyard.]

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[Another window view . . . this is a massive place.]

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[Is Liberace here?]

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[It must be time for . . . another selfie!]

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[Taking ostentatious to the next level.  Oy!]

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[That’s a lot of crystal to dust!]

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[Ostentatious, part 2.]

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[And 3!]

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[At first blush, I thought this all was the Louis’s stuff?  But I believe this was all Napoleon.  The guy had a thing for chandeliers?]

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[Another peak through a window – it was a gorgeous day and despite being where we were, I had a hankering to be back outside.]

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[Can you spot the ubiquitous Tower again?]

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[Dinner is served!  PB&J’s and chocolate milk.]

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[Statuary hall or hall of the statues – not sure if either is a formal name?]

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[Boy, that’s a lot of stuff to clean!]

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[Another look out – the other side of the Louvre, the aforementioned Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, and, of course, the Tower.]

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[From one side of the Louvre to the other.]

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[Statuary hall, above and below.]

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[Heading back to our meet-up spot.]

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[Leaving the Louvre . . . ]

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[Through the Arc . . . ]

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[Another look back . . . ]

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[American tourists posing at the Arc . . . ]

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[Looking back through the Arc to the Louvre . . .]

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[Due to the mammothosity of this day, we are dividing it into two parts.  You have just left the Louvre.]

In Paris they just simply opened their eyes and stared when we spoke to them in French! We never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language.  ~  Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad

Up next:  Versailles

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