Christmas in Paris: A Dream Come True (Part 2: The Louvre)
Our visit to Paris, though short, was magical. There were several places we wanted to visit, and were determined to make this a reality. Three nights and four days? No problem!
The Louvre Museum
Since the Louvre would be closed on Christmas day as well as the day after, we knew that we would have to go on Christmas Eve. We didn’t have to wait long to get inside, and there was no line at all to get tickets. Children get in free, so I only had to purchase one ticket!
The Louvre originally opened on August 10, 1793 and at the time only housed 537 paintings. The Louvre Museum is now said to be the largest art museum in the world and has approximately 38,000 exhibits. It is said that even if someone were to go to the Louvre for 100 days straight, and only look at each exhibit for 30 seconds, that you still wouldn’t be able to see everything that this incredible place has to offer. Knowing this, I made a plan.
Our Map and Plan
After we got our tickets, I looked at the map, and we made a B-line to the The Mona Lisa exhibit. This is easily one of the most famous paintings in the world, and I knew I wanted to see the original and relish in the work. There was a guard at the foot of the steps and we weren’t allowed to go up. We were told that they were taking extra precautions because of an “unattended bag.” (I am learning very quickly that the United States isn’t the only country to take extra security precautions.)
At first, I was a bit disheartened, but we tried to find another way around. The entry way eventually opened up, and we were able to find The Mona Lisa. There was a crowd of people, but I took Scarlett’s hand and we gently maneuvered ourselves around the side and up to the front. I wasn’t going to leave without getting a decent photo.
I have to say that The Mona Lisa has never been one of my favorite paintings. However, there is something surreal and magical about seeing such a notorious work of art up close. The original is actually much more beautiful than any of the reprints I have seen, as they don’t do the painting justice.
My heart did that fluttering thing it always does whenever I see something majestic, or meet someone interesting. I couldn’t help but marvel at the fact that Leonardo da Vinci painted this with his own two hands! It was the same feeling I got when I was 20 years old and shook former President Bill Clinton’s hand. At first, I just wanted to meet him because he was the president; I wasn’t expecting to feel anything but a normal nice to meet you feeling. When it hit me that I was shaking the most powerful man in America’s hand, my stomach got butterflies. But, I digress. I relished in the fact that we had a wonderful view of The Mona Lisa and then I moved to the side in order to give others a better view. I now have another thing to check off of my bucket list. 🙂
This place is massive!
After perusing more exhibits, we realized that we couldn’t find our map, and were lost in a labyrinth of Greek sculptures. My bladder was not happy, and when we finally found one of the exhibit employees, he didn’t seem to find my dry American humor about being lost in a labyrinth of Greek artwork humorous. Oh well. I’m not here to make him laugh. Seriously though, at one point I thought we were going to run into David Bowie’s ghost and he was going to show us our dreams.
One of my favorite sculptures of Hercules
This statue of the Sphinxes reminded us of The Neverending Story (I’m not quite sure why the Greek exhibits kept reminding us of 80’s fantasy movies)
After we found our way to the restroom, we looked around a bit more. After three and a half hours, we were exhausted, and we still didn’t make a dent! On our next visit, we will check out a different area that we didn’t get to. In the meantime, here are a few more photos for your enjoyment.
To skip the line or not
If you ever get the chance to visit the Louvre in the winter, the skip the line pass will most likely be unnecessary. I did some research, and several people said that the lines aren’t that long in the winter, so I opted to save the extra money. Don’t get me wrong, the museum was crowded, but from what I understand, not nearly as crowded as it can be. I imagine that if you choose to visit Paris and the Louvre in the spring or summer, the skip the line tickets would be a good investment. Either way, you should try to get there at least once in your life.