Part 2…The Louvre…What can we say?…It was all we’d imagined and more…Tomorrow, Part 3, with Venus de Milo!

In taking this photo from a window, I later thought it was a painting. But, it was a photo I took.

Yesterday morning, we canceled the trip to Notre Dame. After a horrible night’s sleep of only three hours on Sunday, I just don’t have the energy to climb 22 flights of stairs up the Cathedral and then walk for an entire day. 

In this photo you can see a reflection of a statue behind me and also, me taking the photo.

Sunday night, at a nearby restaurant where we had an awful meal, in a desperate attempt at something different to drink, I ordered a Coke Zero which I rarely do. I’d given up drinking soda a long ago.

Whatever happened to figurines such as these, that our grandmothers had on a Fhyfe table in the living room next to the sofa.

The caffeine from the Coke Zero coupled with several cups of tea later in the day kept me awake, not falling asleep until 3:00 am, awakening at 6:00 am. After a good night’s sleep last night, I’m raring to go and we’ll be back out again today.

These cups and saucers reminded Tom of a set he’d had that belonged to his mother that was over 100 years old.  He saved it in a tote with other memorabilia that he left with family to later give to the grandchildren. It may not have been valued as much as these shown, but, it was fun to compare.

I believe Sunday’s post may have included more photos than we’ve posted in any of over 700 posts. There may have been more when we were on safari in Kenya or on a busy “visitors” day in Marloth Park.

More familiar looking dinnerware.

Loading more than 10 photos per post presents problems with editing, increasing posting time by almost double. How could we not share the number of photos we’ve been posting in Paris? Please bear with us if the formatting is less than perfect, particularly in paragraph spacing.

This pattern was similar to a set of dishes I’d purchased years ago, that were well over 100 years. We sold the set to friend Peggy, knowing they’d be in good hands.

With over 80 remaining photos to share, we’ll be adding Part 3, the Louvre for Wednesday. As I go through the remaining photos deciding what I could leave out it’s impossible to decide. 

Small jewelry boxes created with the finest of detail.

As a result, posting the Louvre on Wednesday, especially convenient when we didn’t do the Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday, will wrap up that segment leaving days for sightseeing which we’ll commence again today.

Another room with royal treasures.

The Louvre is a complex place. One could visit every day for a year finding something new each day. For a scholar intent on studying the complexity of the Louvre, it would be a daunting task.

Clocks are a common theme in several modern art areas of the museum.
Perhaps an official or a self-portrait.

For us, neophyte photographers that we are, and seldom art aficionados, the undertaking is pure pleasure combined with curiosity. However, this website is not intended as a scholarly journal. 

Stained glass windows.

Instead, it’s the telling of an ongoing tale of two semi-retired 60 something’s with few aspirations beyond the exciting lifestyle associated with that “telling.” 

More exquisite stained glass windows.

Many blog writers have dreams of writing books, making public appearances while itching for a certain degree of notoriety. Not us.

Could these be compasses with only one hand?

Many world travelers, some similar to us, have embarked on book writing campaigns with TV appearances, book signings, tours of their native country, and beyond. That’s not for us. At times, we’ve discussed writing a book. (How easy it could be when we already have the outline here online!). 

Pocket watches.

But, as we’ve observed a few other world travelers similar to us in ways, on news programs, dressed in business wear, hair, and makeup was done by the network, we cringe at the thought. 

Art is more symbolic than literal to be interpreted by the beholder, as in the case in these beautiful pieces.
Mother and daughter.

We have no interest in traveling across the US to go from bookstore to bookstore, signing and smiling until our hands and faces hurt to promote a book. We want to live the contents of what such a book would tell, not tell about such a book.

Religious connotation.

For many years, I promised myself I’d write a book. Now, as the book industry rapidly changes from paper to digital, the profits have been diminished and it just wouldn’t be worth it. If someone offered me one million dollars today to give this up, I wouldn’t accept it.

As we peered outside there didn’t appear to be many visitors in the courtyard.  Most of them were already inside trying to take photos of the more popular works of art.

Happiness is happiness. Why would one sell out happiness for money? Sure, peace of mind about money is nice. We have that as long as we continue to follow our budget. Does more peace of mind guarantee more happiness?  I doubt it.

Heaven and earth?

After a few days, the knowledge of having more money settles into the familiarity zone and in no time, the quality of the life one had before the money seeps back in. If one was happy then and is happy with the new life the money dictates, then all is well.

Ladies playing cards.

For us, an advance on a book would mean pressures of time and effort I don’t feel we want to give, especially the contractual piece about promoting the book in bookstores and on TV. No thanks.

Could this be a card reader?

I don’t know what this has to do with the Louvre. Perhaps it revolves around the fact that we make every effort to create an appealing story with photos each day with “literally” no ulterior motives, no priming for a book deal, or notoriety. Its basis is a pure and simple pleasure.

Are these smaller boats “tenders” of that era, taking passengers out to the ships?

This legacy in words and photos for our grandchildren and for generations to come in leaving this adventure behind also provides us with great joy. Knowing that we have almost 200,000 readers worldwide (by the time we leave here on Saturday) gives us all the satisfaction that we’ll ever need.

We loved the depth in this painting.
We spotted this man drawing from a painting on the wall.

We hope that through our stories and photos that readers may find a morsel that appeals to them, piquing their interest and inspiring them. Some of our readers write saying that they “travel along with us in spirit.

This farm scene with goats was located in the Nordic area of the museum.
From the romantic period.

Such words from our readers mean more to us than any mandatory book tour or a chunk of money we’d add to our safety net, forgetting about it in a few days or weeks.

This is Queen Marie de Medici by Frans Pourbus.
A man and his dog.

As we continue to write about the Louvre, we smile at the reality that we aren’t into sightseeing and Tom’s not into walking. Although, that’s all we’ve been doing since we arrived 12 days ago with over 35 miles, 56 kilometers, logged in the first eight days.  Surely, we’ll walk many more miles.

Enjoy these additional photos of the Louvre today, finalizing tomorrow in Part 3 with excellent crowd-free photos of the Venus de Milo.

Happy Tuesday!

                                            Photo from one year ago today, August 12, 2013:

A year ago, I wrote describing this book I’d read while in Tuscany about how we as humans can spend too much time sitting and how destructive long periods of sitting are to our health. For details from that day, please click here.

Part 1, the Louvre…What can we say?…It was all we’d imagined and more…

Purse free, with empty pockets, it felt great not to be bulked up when Tom carried our cloth bag with the few items we needed. I was standing behind the entrance gate to the Louvre.

Having appreciated fine art, I’d never taken the time to become knowledgeable about learning different works of art, their history, and their artists. For some of us learning about art becomes a passion, for some of it becomes a passing fancy from time to time and for some, they never give fine art a thought.

On our way to the Louvre we drove through the tunnel where Princess Diana was killed in August 31, 1997.
The entrance to the Louvre with the Grande Roue de Paris Ferris wheel in the background.

I guess I fall into the middle category loving art from time to time, with Tom never giving fine art a thought. We all have our own interests which adds to the uniqueness of the individual. 

We were grateful for our “avoid the lines” tickets where we were able to enter in a matter of minutes, as opposed to waiting in line for what could have been hours.

There were many ways one can make their way through the enormous museum.

Not having any interest in fine art doesn’t make a person less intelligent or worldly. Our brains are wired differently. Tom’s total lack of interest didn’t concern me a bit when he’d kindly agreed to visit Le Louvre and other museums with me in Paris. He never complained continually making certain that I didn’t miss a thing.

The vast size of the Louvre is difficult to fathom.
It took a few moments for Tom to figure out where we were to enter to avoid the line.  In minutes we were on our way and indeed had no wait at all.

He was not only “the pack mule” as he often refers to himself, carrying the cloth bag with incidentals; bottled water, maps and an extra camera, leaving my hands totally free to take photos, he also was, as always, my personal navigator. 

This was the first area we encountered upon entering the building.
The glass pyramid is a cover over the entrance area.

We hardly missed a room in the massive 652,300 square feet, 60,600 square meters, other than a few rooms we entered immediately exiting, that held little appeal for either of us.

We entered the Louis XIV and Louis XVI areas. The crowds were just beginning to accumulate.
These rooms are a part of the Louis XIV area. As is the case in Versailles, the ceilings are often as interesting as the walls and paintings.

With 35,000 objects in the museum, it’s not possible to stop to look at each item. That would take days if not months to accomplish. However, we’d walk one side of a room perusing everything to our right and then double back to the opposite side when the configuration of the room allowed this plan. 

We chose to stop and enjoy the paintings that appealed to us.
In several of the paintings, we weren’t able to get close enough to get a straight shot with no alternative but to take photos from the side.

We’d stop and look at the items that caught our eye, both of us often attracted to the same items. When possible, we took photos. Although when viewing certain items, the huge crowds made it impossible to find a spot for a good photo, especially at the Mona Lisa where there were literally hundreds of people with cameras raised into the air attempting to get a shot. 

The Mona Lisa, encased in thick glass with lots of heads and cameras in the way of taking photos. It was challenging if not impossible to manage a good photo through the glass nor through the crowd. We chose not to wait for a better opening.
Taken from an angle, this was the best I could do. Tom was steering me from behind to move me forward into the crowd, but I quickly tired of that tactic and cleared the crowd in order to move along.

Honestly, I wasn’t frustrated by my lack of ability to get a good photo. Encased in thick bullet proof glass the glare was unavoidable with my camera and getting a straight-on shot was impossible unless one was willing to wait to squeeze into a good spot.

The ceiling paintings continued to be breathtaking throughout the museum.
We wondered if there will be art from our era that will hold such interest to the public in centuries to come.

Let’s face it.  Most people know what the Mona Lisa looks like. As art appreciation neophytes, we simply wandered around in Tom’s methodical manner, choosing to look at and take photos of items that both appealed to us and were less crowded. Most people have already seen the most popular items. The more obscure appealed to us the most.

Romantic art.
Religion and angels are a common theme through art in most countries.

An important point to mention is that it wasn’t possible for us to maintain a record of every item in our photos as to the dates, the artist, etc. Most often, it wasn’t possible to include the description of the item along with the item itself when the little signs were often anywhere from a foot to three feet away (one meter). 

Whimsical art.
Looking out a window to a balcony with statues.

Taking photos of those descriptions would have resulted in days of editing to ensure we matched up the correct descriptions with the correct items.  As it was, the hundreds of photos we took required most of the day yesterday for me to sort, crop and review.

Many of the works of art depicted rulers of varying importance.
Art of spiritual significance. is predominant in many paintings.

As a result, we are not including captions with names of the photos, the dates and the artists in the majority of the photos we’re posting today and tomorrow in Parts 1 and 2 of the Louvre.  There are a few websites that contain partial catalogs of the Louvre. 

Many works of art bespeak musical themes.
A portrait of a woman of notoriety or a beloved woman or both.

But, honestly, we don’t have that kind of time to match the items to the descriptions when we’re busy each day sightseeing, posting and handling the over 1000 photos we’ll have taken in Paris.

A portrait of a leader or person of significance.
Femininity of the era by Leonard de Vinci.
This sign is next to the above portrait.

If you see a particular piece in our photos on which you’d like more information, please click this link for thousands of photos of items located in the Louvre.  Of course, if you have any questions or input, please feel free to comment at the end of any post for a fast response, usually within 12 hours.

We moved from painting to other artwork of many eras and countries.
The long view through multiple rooms is lovely.

Yesterday morning, we took a taxi both ways to the Louvre when there was no easy means of arriving there by bus or metro.  The cost for the taxi was US $16.23, EU $12.10 on the way to the Louvre and oddly, US $ 13.41, EU $10 on the return drive.  Admission to the Louvre is US $16.09, EU $12 for a full day pass.

We were also attracted to the smaller pieces.
Figurines. Notice the dates.

How long did we stay?  We entered at 9:30 and left at 2:30 when the camera’s battery was almost dead. Soon we’ll purchase a new camera purchasing extra batteries.  Constantly checking on the remaining battery is annoying.

Not only are the artifacts amazing but, the rooms into which they are housed are equally amazing.
There are exquisite statues throughout the museum.

Certainly, no amount of time in a single day would be sufficient but, after the five hours, we felt we’d done all we could do having seen every floor and almost every room as mentioned above.

The Egyptian art was of particular interest to us.
There is an endless array of Egyptian artifacts.

Did we enjoy it?  Very much.  Luckily, with our decision to see many of the less popular items instead searching for those that appealed to our taste, at times, we were alone in a room or with only a half dozen people. 

Stunning artwork.
The cat is a revered creature in some area in the Middle East in both Egypt and which we observed in Morocco.

Visiting the Louvre under our own terms pleased us when we were able to appreciate those treasures that perhaps others may have found less enticing. 

Perhaps a mummy was in this sarcophagus at one time.
More colorful art on the ceiling.

After all, aren’t we the couple who doesn’t necessary live the lifestyle commensurate with most of the modern world’s population: homeless, no stuff, wandering about the world indefinitely?

Gold Egyptian figurines.
Sign posted under gold figurines as shown above.

Most of all, I’m grateful for Tom’s willingness to let me live yet another dream of seeing Paris; the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Versailles, the Arc de Triomphe, the River Seine, Notre Dame (today) and many more points of interest we’ve mentioned or are yet to mention as we roll into our second week. 

Colorful Egyptian art.
Small Egyptian artifacts.

Add the fine dining which we hope to continue to experience, the nice French boutique hotel, walking distance to the Eiffel Tower and much more and I couldn’t be happier with our visit to Paris so far.

Egyptian pottery. Several rooms are filled with pottery which didn’t appeal to us.
This piece is approximately one foot tall, .3 meters.

As I write this, its Sunday afternoon, August 10th, hoping to be done by dinnertime. I’m writing Monday’s post in advance since we’ll be gone all day Monday, posting it in the morning before we head out.  I’m sitting at a tiny bistro table in the lobby of our hotel where I’ve been working on my computer for the past six hours writing both Sunday and Monday’s posts. 

This Egyptian piece is well preserved.
One can only wonder as to significance of these artifacts when they were created.

Tom’s comfortably ensconced in the corner of a relatively comfortable sofa, listening to his favorite radio show from Minnesota, Garage Logic, content as he could be.  It’s raining again which inspired us to spend Sunday indoors getting these two posts completed. 

Modern art in an ancient era?
The last of the Egyptian art rooms.

Don’t get me wrong, we love posting here.  Tom is usually busy helping me with research, facts and figures while I busily type to my heart’s content.  And indeed, it is truly is to my heart’s content.  In essence, that’s why we do this.  Because, we want to.

Napoleon III room.
More Napoleon III room.

Tomorrow, we’ll be back with Part 2 of the Louvre.  Wednesday and Thursday, we’ll present our visit to Notre Dame with many photos.  On Friday, we’ll post photos we’ve yet to share, review our hotel with pricing, (plus our total expenditures for the 16 nights in Paris), the quality of services and amenities and Saturday, dear readers, we’re off to London.

Note the dates on these figurines.

Have a wonderful Monday for those of our readers who continue to get up and go to work every Monday.  And for those who are basically retired, as we are, who cares what day of the week it is?  We hope to see you tomorrow for Part 2, the Louvre!

Photo from one year ago today, August 11, 2013:

This was the exit from the yard of the 300 year old stone house in Boveglio, Italy.  A year ago on this date, we realized that in only 20 days we’d be leaving Tuscany, Italy for Diani Beach, Kenya.  Its hard to believe that was a year ago, when at that point, we hadn’t yet decided to come to Paris to fill a gap in our itinerary. For details of that date, please click here.