Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Being Amazed and Pushed Around at Musee du Louvre

A trip to Paris is not a trip to Paris if you don't go to Musee Du Louvre, do you know what I'm saying? It's an absolute must for any first time visitors to Paris, it's so famous, so beautiful and filled with so much history and amazing paintings. I'm taking a slight break from all the London posts, and decided to create a post about one of the most famous museums on Earth. On the second day we were in Paris, we made a plan to go to the Louvre, however once we got there, we realized our ignorance. The line to the entrance was about 500 meters long, no kidding, and this was quite early in the morning. After we saw the huge line, there was no way we wanted to waste our time by lining up in a line that seemed never ending, so according to my mum's Japanese guide book, there is a smaller entry, a little further away from the glass pyramids (which is the main entrance), it's said to be less busy, so the waiting time will be less compared to the entrance at the pyramids. However, it was closed that day. So if I can give only give you one advice about museums and tourists places in Paris, buy a Paris museum pass. You won't regret it, I promise. Click here for more information.

Here are a few details:
  • Don't buy it if you're a student in Europe or under eighteen, because most likely it'll be free entry, I'm not sure if you're able to cut queues though.
  • Entitles you to free entrance to over sixty museums and monuments in Paris
  • You can skip the massive queues for the majority of places (it'll tell you where you can and can't)
  • You can buy a two, four or six day pass (all vary in price)
The pass works on a consecutive basis, ie. if you purchase the four day pass, it'll be valid for four consecutive dates, and you're able to start whenever you want, just write your name and the date of first use. Even if you don't gain back the money you spent buying the pass, in my opinion, it's totally worth it, because you get to cut the line, you don't want to spend most of your trip standing in line, when there is so many more things to do.

The building itself is spectacular, and again it was surreal to be in such an iconic landmark. The glass pyramid itself is a piece of architectural artwork, the the Parisian buildings are so aged and beautiful. And my God, is the Louvre huge. You won't be able to cover the entire museum in one day, I think you'll need a week, it's underground, above ground, numerous rooms, walkways and thousands of artworks and artifacts. Once you get in, grab a map and head to the ones you want to see most first.

Inside is so busy, there were so many tourists, locals and students, the spots where they have the most famous artworks is especially busy because everyone wants to see it. The Louvre also allows you to take photos without flash. 
It's incredible to look up at the pyramid's apex when inside The Louvre.

The crowd in front of The Mona Lisa is ridiculous!
I am also happy to say that I have seen the world's most famous painting, The Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci. Even though you have to practically climb through the crowd surrounding the painting to get a good look at her, it was amazing. I can't believe something that is hundreds of year old, still exists in such good condition. She's behind a glass wall and there's a rope keeping everyone about five meters away. I just wanted to jump over the rope and examine really close, I wanted to see the cracks in the paint and the brushstrokes. It's draining, to be in such a big crowd, where everyone was admiring the work albeit pushing forward with one hand clutching an iPhone in the air trying to get pictures. I have to admit I am one of those people, you just have to be firm like a rock and push forward subtly until you're right at the front. Other super famous works include, Venus de Milo a Ancient Greek marble statue by Alexandros of Antioch, Liberty Leading the People by Eugene Delacroix, The Raft of Medusa by Theodore Gericault and The Coronation of Napoleon by Jacques-Louis David, just to name a few.

The Coronation of Napoleon
Venus de Milo

There's a Ancient Egyptian sector, which has amazing artifacts like jewelry, pots, vases, weapons and mummies!
The ceilings are works of art too, make sure you check them out!
It's seriously amazing how in Ancient Greek, people were able to sculpt something that is so defined and intricate.