Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Paris' Best #1: The Louvre (introduction)

 If you only have one day to spend in Paris, spend it at the Louvre. That shouldn't come as a big shock to anyone, because the Louvre is the second most famous site in Paris, after the Eiffel Tower.

As we said after our 2006 trip to Paris, the Louvre is spectacular in most any measurement of a museum you can imagine.
It is perfectly located at the center of Paris, with the Seine River on one side and Rue de Rivoli on the other. As is our style, we did not make it over to the Louvre until noon. We suspect that getting there much earlier would provide you with a museum that is less crowded, but that would mean missing out on the Paris nightlife the night before.
 Rue de Rivoli can be seen on the left of this photo - the ground floor of the buildings on that street are a long string of trinket shops, ice cream shops, and tourist clothing stores. It did work out well that the sidewalks in front of those shops are covered (we had to walk down that street to return to the Metro) as it was lightly sprinkling when we left the Louvre that evening.
 Virtually every window out of the Louvre has a noteworthy view, as this view from the Napolean III apartments shows. The sky looks threatening in these pictures, and as the sprinkles later in the day proved, it was to some degree. And the clouds lend some visual interests to the photos anyway.

There are cafes under the Louvre pyramid where you can eat before you enter and there is at least one cafe inside the Louvre, so you won't starve if you miscalculate and need nourishment during your trip. There are almost NO water faucets in the Louvre, however, so make sure you bring or buy a bottle of water before entering. We recommend spending 4 to 6 hours at the Louvre, and you'll need at least three days to see it all. We spend one day there each trip to Paris (two so far), so we will not have been through the whole thing until we complete our next trip.

In the next post, we will begin to take a quick peek at certain areas within the Louvre. We'll only scratch the surface of the museum's contents, but it will give you a flavor of what to expect.
Below is a copy of the brochure they had you when you buy your ticket. It is very helpful and the museum looks very simple to navigate, but don't think you're not going to get lost a time or two! We had to stop and recalcuate our current geographic location a few times!
You may want to take a quick look at the floor plans below so you can keep track of where we are in the next few posts.

Time Required: at least three 6 hour trips
Stairs: over 100 steps
Walking: over 1 mile
What to bring: water, camera, money for lunch
Photos in this post: Olympus C-5060


Gwen Buchanan said...

Sure looks magnificent... now I have to go read more... this is quite a write up... I'm am going to enjoy it...

J said...

Thanks Gwen,

As for your previous comment about Paris being less crowded than you expected, that's a great observation - looking back through the pics, you're right!

The only time I can remember waiting to take a photo was along 1er de Serbie...for two or three of the pics I took, I waited for white vans to finish driving by (they tend to overwhelm a picture with all that white-ness). Other than that, I just raised the camera and snapped.


Sandy said...

Just have to say your photos are great. New camera worked good for you!!!