Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Paris, Day 7 – Buttes-Chaumont and Musée du Louvre



On Wednesday we had trouble waking up, again. We got dressed and had breakfast downstairs, where my mom decided to take some pictures. They turned out quite hilarious, because we both look very tired and gloomy, so we had to retake them.
We had to decide what to do on this day, because this was our last full day in Paris. We would leave the next day, although in the evening. There were two things we really wanted to do: go to Parc des Buttes-Chamont and Musée du Louvre, so we decided to do both! We had heard it was possible to purchase Louvre tickets in advance at FNAC shops, so I asked the hotel girl whether she knew where we could find one. She showed me on the map and wrote it down for me. We got our things and decided to leave. Of course we wanted to take an outfit picture first, but I realized I had forgotten my camera (like… how?), so I went upstairs again.

Outfit Shots: Matching
We matched on this day!

We took the metro to Gare Saint-Lazare, but when we got out I had no idea where to go! We randomly walked left and I saw a sign, yay! We passed some cute shops and entered a shopping center, after which we found the FNAC.
The FNAC shop sold a lot of stuff and electronics. We asked where to purchase the tickets and went to the right floor, where televisions were sold too. One tv was playing a Japanese movie I didn’t know, but it looked nice.
At the back of the floor we found the ticket service and it was totally empty! The poor guy behind the checkout had nothing to do before we came, haha!
We only had to buy a ticket for my mom, since I belong to the category ‘age 18-26’, which means free entrance.
We bought the ticket and went downstairs, after looking at a tv playing Adele’s concert in the Royal Albert Hall.
We took the metro to Louis Blanc, where we transferred to line 7bis. Now as you may or may not know, the Parisian metrolines are always busy and crowded, because the metros are always passing several big stations. Line 7bis doesn’t: it’s like a little side line without any big stations. The metro that we took was old fashioned and creaky and moreover: deserted.
We arrived at station Buttes-Chaumont, where we got out. The station was just like the metro: old and without people. It scared me a little…
When we exited the station (after standing in a big, scary elevator), the surroundings were very different from the Paris that we knew: it was a little like a village, with lots of trees. We quickly found the entrance of the park and followed the road that would lead us to the well-known pavilion on the big hill.

Girl in the Park
The park had lots of stairs between the bushes and the trees.

When we arrived at the top of the stairs, we heard music playing. When we followed the sound, we arrived at a little pavilion where Asian women dressed in red were doing some kind of workout, which was a mixture of dancing and maybe yoga. It looked pretty nice. ^^
We decided to keep on walking by just following a path. We had gotten quite high, because we could see Sacré Coeur in the distance! There were some beautiful flowerbeds with pink and red flowers. We kept on walking and saw the pavilion in front of us! On our left was a beautiful bridge, but we decided to go to the pavilion first. There, a couple of people were having an elaborate picnic. And when I say elaborate, I mean elaborate, with wonderful salads and bread and champagne etc. We had a little chat and they told us they were from Australia! They had come to Paris to celebrate one of the women’s birthday. ^^ We congratulated her and they took a picture for us with our own camera!

Pavilion
It’s a shame that every piece of art gets besmirched… I do like this picture though.

We enjoyed the view for a while and then went down the stairs again.

Famous Pavilion
In front of the pavilion.

We walked up to the bridge we had seen. It was beautiful to walk on it, looking at the big pond underneath. The park is surrounded by houses, which gives a lovely effect.

Buttes-Chaumont Bridge
I really liked this bridge! It was so beautiful!

My mom asked me to walk on the bridge again while she took pictures from between the trees a little further away.

Bridge into the Trees
I switched umbrellas!

Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is famous for its pavilion on the rock. I had seen it on many pictures before and now I could finally see it myself, so I took pictures of it from every angle! It’s a shame the sun didn’t shine though. Hopefully next time!

Park Jump!
This is my favourite of all jumping pictures! You can see the pavilion behind me.

We decided to just follow the path along the pond, where several beautiful big trees were standing. We also found a little piece of art on the ground!

Bird Art
Unintentional bird art! I think it’s so cute! Later we found a second one.

We walked and walked and enjoyed our surroundings. I took some hilarious pictures of my mom sitting on the top of some stairs with two umbrellas as if she was protecting herself with them! XD
Suddenly we heard the sound of falling water and we found a waterfall within a beautiful cave filled with stalactites!

Waterfall Cave
The cave was very beautiful and I love the sound of falling water!

A girl was sitting against one of the walls, painting the waterfall. We took a feet picture and left the cave again.
We decided to leave the park, but somehow we couldn’t find our exit anymore! We ended up at an exit we had passed before (which was like at the other side of the park) and went looking for a metro station. The general rule ‘Everything in Paris is within a 300m distance of a metro station’ did not apply here! We walked around half of the park, uphill! We even doubted about taking the bus, but I didn’t know which one to take and whether they accepted our Navigo tickets. It really bugged me, because I wanted to go to the Louvre so badly!
Finally we found the station. I can tell you: I did not like this metro line. It was very old and deserted again and I didn’t feel safe at all. I was glad to transfer to a ‘normal’ line!
We finally arrived at the Louvre! We sat down on the benches next to the fountains first to rest for a little while, but then we finally decided to enter!

Ticket to the Louvre
Mom with her ticket! We were finally going to enter the Louvre!

There were two lines: one for people who still had to purchase tickets and one for people who already had them. The first line was veeeery long, but the second line only had like three people in it! We felt so cool entering the short line!

Almost time to go in!
Almost time to enter!

My mom showed her ticket and while I thought I had to show my passport to show them my age, I could walk right through!
Then we were in! Finally, we were inside the pyramid! I was so excited!
A guard pointed at a little desk where you had to show your bags, but we didn’t really understand whether we had to wait or not. He walked away and didn’t return and since nobody else told us what to do, we decided to walk away. We didn’t have anything dangerous with us.
We asked someone to take a picture of us.

Inside the Louvre
Our first picture together inside Musée du Louvre!

We went down the escalator, where we arrived in a beautiful, big hall with lots of people. I immediately noticed more lines! It turns out that the line above, in front of the pyramid, is only the line to get into the hall. After that, you have to stand in line again for tickets! I was so glad my mom had hers! Please buy tickets in advance if you can!
We went to get a museum guide, but since there were none in our language, we took an English one. We bought a book with famous art pieces at the gigantic bookstore and then went to get something to eat. There was another shop from Paul, so we bought sandwiches there. I could finally eat my beloved tomato-mozzarella-pesto sandwich again! ♥
Suddenly a museum guard walked up to us and asked if we could make some place for three teenagers. It was so weird: why did they have to ask a guard for that? They didn’t even ask us first! It’s not like we had refused to make some place. =S
We finished our food and then it was time to enter the museum officially! I read a little in our new book and we chose the wing on the right. Before we could enter, I had to put my umbrella into a wardrobe cabinet. We went back to the entrance, my mom showed her ticket and we walked into the museum!
Now I have to be honest with you: I cannot really describe well what we did and saw at the Louvre. Many people say: ‘It’s so big, it would take you weeks to look at everything in peace!’ I always thought that was exaggerated, but it’s not! The Louvre is huge and an artwork at itself! The halls, walls, floors, everything is beautiful!
Since it’s so big, we sometimes ended up lost. I have no idea to what places we have been, but I can tell you a little how we walked and some of the things we saw! I must warn you: when it comes to art I’m kind of a barbarian… I picked up a few things at school (I really tried, but art classes were terribly boring), but that’s about it. So it might be possible that I’ll tell you: ‘Oh I quite liked this sculpture!’ and it turns out to be a world famous masterpiece. In that case I apologize!
First, we followed a route that said it would take us to the Mona Lisa and we ended up in a beautiful room filled with sculptures.

Hall of Sculptures
Just look at this beautiful hall! Not only the sculptures are beautiful, the ceiling was gorgeous too!

There were a lot of incredibly beautiful sculptures of people I had never heard of before. We followed the route and found ourselves in a new room with sculptures, where I discovered a very famous one: Psyché and Amor by Antonio Canova!

Amor and Psyché
Both my mom and I loved this sculpture so much! It’s so stunningly beautiful!

I’ve seen this sculpture in books before, but it’s so much more beautiful in real life!
We walked on and found a sculpture that seemed to be holding a cellphone (I swear) and taking a picture of himself! We liked it so much we decided to make a little parody of it.

Mobile Phone Shot
Don’t we look alike? Haha!

It was very crowded in the museum, but we still had the chance to look at the signs. I was a bit disappointed that all the explanations were only in French. It turns out you could rent an audio guide, but it still would’ve been nice if I could just read a little.
We walked up some stairs and arrived at a huge hall and it was clear that the big and important paintings were here. There were multiple big halls like this one and they contained some of my ultimate favourite artpieces.

Liberty Leading the People
‘Liberty Leading the People’ by Eugène Delacroix, one of those paintings that returns in every history book.

After walking some more, we found a painting that truly captured our hearts. It’s both my mom’s and my favourite of all the things we have seen.

The Coronation of Napoleon
‘The Coronation of Napoleon’, by Jaques-Louis David. This painting was huge!

The painting was sooo big and so detailed! I loved to read that Napoleon’s mother, who is painted in the middle, wasn’t even present at the actual ceremony! I’m glad I know enough French to read that off the sign.
We walked around for a long time and ended up in a hall with a sculpture that appears to be very famous, but I had never heard of it.

Winged Victory of Samothrace
‘Winged Victory of Samothrace’ in the distance. Look at all the people!

We walked on, following the signs saying ‘Mona Lisa’, after which we arrived at a bright hall with more paintings and sculptures. Suddenly, when we went right, there was an enormous crowd in front of a big, empty wall with only one painting: the world famous Mona Lisa. My mom didn’t feel like conquering the crowd, but I did! Somehow, without even pushing, I managed to get to the front and I could finally look at the real deal. Many people say the Mona Lisa is smaller than they expect, but because everyone says that I expected it to be tiny! So it’s actually bigger than I thought! XD

Mona Lisa
‘Mona Lisa’ by Leonardo da Vinci. It was impossible to get both me and the painting clear, unfortunately.

The Mona Lisa was guarded heavily of course. It was placed behind glass and there were guards. The guards also made sure people could leave the crowd by creating openings at the front. This was ideal: you didn’t have to go back through the crowd. That being said, I did feel a bit uncomfortable with the rest of the paintings. There were only one, maybe two guards for each hall and only small gates to protect the artpieces. Although I did like the fact you could examine the art so well, it also gave me a feeling of… unsafety. My bag wasn’t checked at all: I could have brought a knife with me and rip an entire piece out of a painting before the guards could stop me. Of course I would never do that, but the fact the paintings were so easily approachable… Oh well.

Mona Lisa Crowd
The crowd in front of the Mona Lisa.

We followed a new route that would take us to another famous piece of art, a sculpture this time.

Venus de Milo
‘Venus de Milo.’

Ok, I may be stupid but… am I the only one who thought Milo was the artist who made Venus? Milo turns out to be the place the sculpture was found! I really didn’t know that…
We continued our way through the hall. There were more beautiful statues, but I didn’t really know any of them.

Statue Gallery
I was really impressed by all the art around me. I was so happy to finally be in the Louvre!

We decided to go look for the wing with the Dutch paintings, since I wanted to see ‘The Lacemaker’ by Johannes Vermeer.
It was so wonderful to just walk through the Louvre and look through the windows! It was so much fun to see how close the people outside were to the big halls filled with art, yet couldn’t see anything!
We arrived at the Dutch and Belgian wing, but to be honest I didn’t really like it. Unlike the other parts of the Louvre, the walls and ceilings weren’t pretty: they were modern and ugly dark green.
One painting I wanted to see wasn’t exhibited, but after a while we found ‘The Lacemaker’, which was tiny! The frame was bigger than the painting! XD

The Lacemaker
‘The Lacemaker’ by Johannes Vermeer, or as we say ‘De Kantkloster’. ^^

It’s a shame so many paintings in this wing contained dead animals. -_-’ I’m not really into that.
My poor mom got more tired by the minute, but she wanted to see ‘La Cour de Marly’ so badly! We left the Dutch and Belgian wing and quickly went into the wing with the chambers of Napoleon. We also visited a temporary exhibition for a minute. After that, we descended some stairs. My poor mom was sooo tired! We walked around the corner and finally arrived at the Cour de Marly, where the sun started to shine through the glass roof!

Cour de Marly
My mom enjoying the sun at la Cour de Marly.

La Cour de Marly is like a courtyard with different sculptures of mostly horses. The sun shining through the glass roof made the beautiful place even prettier!

In the sunlight
One of my favourite pictures of me in Musée du Louvre!

It was so nice to just walk around looking at the sculptures, but we were both quite tired. We took some pictures around us, trying to make sure there weren’t any people in it (which is very hard).

Art Admiration
Cool picture of my mom, looking at a non-horse sculpture.

My mom was so tired that we decided to leave. We returned to the big hall, where we briefly visited the bookshop again (they sold jewelry that was copied right out of paintings, so gorgeous!) and I went to pick up my umbrella.

Leaving the Louvre
Leaving the Louvre.

It was finally time to leave. The weather had become quite nice outside, which resulted into beautiful light entering the glass pyramid.

Last Shot at the Museum
A last picture inside Musée du Louvre, with my mysterious-looking book. ♥

We left the pyramid and were outside again. We decided to sit down for a minute, to get a little rest. Then it was time to go back to the hotel. We bought two pastries at the boulangerie and my mom slept for a while.
That night, we decided to eat one last time at Café d’Albert across the street. We both wanted a salad with chips: my mom chose salmon again, I chose bacon and cheese.

Chips Salads
Our delicious salads! I would love to eat this more often!

Because it was our last night in Paris, we decided to have dessert. While we were waiting for it to come, we took some hilarious pictures of my tired face. XD
I don’t remember the name of what kind of dessert we chose (something with ‘Minuit’ in it maybe…?), but I was expecting something like a crêpe with ice cream, but what we got was so much better!

Delicious Dessert
The most delicious dessert I had eaten in a long time! ♥

It tasted sooo good! It reminded me of the brownie/ice cream combinations from Burger King, but this was even better! Such a perfect way to end a wonderful day!
Back at the hotel we decided to skip packing. The next day we would have enough time to do it, so we looked at our pictures, read and went to sleep.

3 comments:

  1. hehe! I miss the Louvre! You took pictures of a few of my favorite things! However, I think when I went to see the Lacemaker, she was gone! I love Vermeer! And, I like that park too. It is really nice. I felt like the city was far away! ♥ ♥

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    1. Thank you for commenting dear. XD <3
      Awww really? It's always a shame when something you want to see isn't there. -_-
      I want to see the park in the sunlight. ^^

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  2. Wow! This post definitely makes me want to go to this museum! Beautiful shots~! And you would think that with this place known to have some of the most rare art pieces in the world, it would have more security. Guess that is why this museum sadly also has the highest theft incidents. =/ I also heard one time that there is a museum that is supposed to have the real Mona Lisa. I'm not sure if it was this one or the other museum. But in any case - this is definitely a place I need to visit!
    Kieli~♥

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