Sunday, January 1, 2012

Louvre - Part I

Tried to do this in one post, but I think I broke Blogger in the process... so here is the first chunk :)
Paris has a number of wonderful museums. We decided, as usual, to go for the grandest, The Louvre. Originally built as a military fortress in the 13th Century, the Louvre was a royal palace for several years during the 16th century before becoming a museum in 1793. It now holds ~ 35,000 works of art on display. If you took 30 seconds to admire each piece and did it non stop without break from 9am - 5pm that would take you 36.5 days to see. Oh, and that doesn't even take into account time to walk the 8 miles needed to walk the exhibitions halls. Challenge accepted!
The grand building as juxtaposed with a new glass pyramid as the main entrance. The entrance pictured above is seen from inside the museum below. That wing on the right goes all the way back to the one you can see on your left and is equal in length. They are connected by a large building with another 1/4 length of wing jutting out the other end. Oh, and there are 3 floors plus a basement to each wing.

The clump of people just to the left of the base of the pyramid is the line to get in. Like an ice-burg you are only seeing a fraction since it snakes through the inside of the pyramid and along a number of underground halls before the ticket booth and entrance. Time to wait in line? Hours? Honestly, I'm not really sure.
This was the lineup we waited in. Our FatTire tour guide, Jason, pointed out this lesser known Lion's Gate entrance. Took me about 3 min to key in 2 tickets and pay with credit card.

We entered the first exhibit room, which was huge and covered with fine works of art.
Leaving that we entered the hallway to the wing which connected many of these rooms. Completely taken aback by what was here, the size of it, and the amount.
Completely taken aback!
Shortly we came to the top visited piece, the Mona Lisa. All day long crowds of this size push forward to see the tiny picture on the wall. The two red signs adjacent to her warn of pickpockets in the pressing crowd.
I managed to squeeze my way near the front for a better picture.
As well as got myself in one just to saw I was there. Photoshop makes these pictures less trustworthy, but I know I was there :)
This is the view that Lisa looks at all day long, day after day. I'd easily say she is the most popular girl in the world.
More coming very soon! Hoary for mostly reliable always on Internet and electricity!

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