Monday, May 12, 2014

That Time I Took A Selfie with Mona Lisa..

Of course, going to the Louvre for the first time, I had to be a typical tourist a take a selfie with Mona Lisa.

Selfie (err.. célfie?) with ma girl!

Sabrina and I went to the Louvre on a cloudy day, so it was nice to escape the chill in the air by ducking into the museum. One of the perks of the horrible hastle of obtaining a visa is that I'm able to get into many (if not all) of the museums in Paris for free! Every Friday evening, everyone under the age of 26 is allowed in for free but if you have a visa, you are able to get in for free at any time. Unfortunately, Sabrina wasn't here on a Friday so we went on a random weekday. I expected there to, therefore, be less people but it was still insanely packed.

Before heading inside the Louvre we took a few pictures outside of the sprawling palace and, of course, the iconic glass pyramid. While we were there they were actually cleaning the pyramid so there was a man sitting along the fountain controlling this little robot going up and down the pyramid, cleaning it. Very entertaining.

In the center courtyard of the Louvre.

Can you spot the cleaning machine?

I wouldn't hate this job.

After getting our fill of pictures, and once we noticed a line forming, we hopped on line and entered the Louvre through the glass pyramid! That was so awesome, I hadn't realized that one of the entrances was through the pyramid. You take an escalator down to a huge, bright lobby with four entrances leading into the museum.

It's the entrance to the Louvre!!
After getting our tickets, we grabbed two maps and decided to head for the Greek and Egyptian exhibits. This museum is absolutely amazing. There is so much to see and so much history that it's hard to take it all in. The palace itself could be a museum (look at that ceiling below!) but then add all of these historical objects and art works and it is mind blowing.

These ceilings went on for rooms and rooms.

Always posing.

We walked around the Egyptian and Greek exhibits of the museum, getting a glimpse into life during those time periods and guessing at the stories behind each piece (as well as what the description said due to the fact that they were all in French...). Those sections alone are compiled of quite a few rooms and floors, we got lost and turned around several times.  We finally decided to make a beeline for the Mona Lisa and took guesses at where to turn until we found the signs leading the way.

Let me tell you, my dear friend Mona lives in a room off of a long, enormous hallway full of paintings. And, you see, she would be easy to miss among all of these other paintings had she not been surrounded by hundreds of people at any given moment. This is a constant for Mona, people just pushing and jumping to get a glimpse at her, spending minutes just ogling at her like she is some sort of circus animal. Ugh, as if. So not the life she had imagined as she sat down for this painting to commemorate the birth of her second son. But, I digress. She handles the popularity well.

There she is.

We spent a few moments looking and being pushed by the crowd before heading out again. The interesting thing about this room in which Mona Lisa lives is that on the opposite wall is this absolutely humongous painting that should take up the attention of the entire room but that barely a soul even glances at due to their mission to get as close as possible to the Mona Lisa. You honestly don't even notice it until you're leaving the room but at that point you've probably had enough of crowds and just want to escape. At least we did. Therefore, we found our way through the museum and to the nearest exit, which happened to be just near the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, a smaller Arc than the one most people are familiar with, built to commemorate Napoleon's military victories.

I'm loving the pink accents.

Pigeons scared me but made for a great shot.

After taking a few pictures of the Arc, and being freaked out by the man with a flock of pigeons surrounding him, we walked through the Tuileries Gardens for a little bit before deciding to grab dinner in the Latin Quarter.  We did so much walking in the Louvre and saw so many works of art but we really only saw a fraction of it. That really made it real how huge this museum is and tells me I'll have to make a few more trips before I leave in order to see everything I'd like to!

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