PARIS ’97: day 6:all dressed up and no metro station to change at….

Well, today was the designated Louvre day, still extremely cold. Deb was to meet Ack et moi at the Palais Royale metro station at 11:30 am to go and subject ourselves to the three impossibly large wings of the Louvre and its treasures.
The French decided to make it a little more difficult.
We get to the metro station, Ternes, and are about to go to Charles de Gaulle Etoile metro and change to a direct route to Palais Royale, when I hear a garbled message informing us that Charles de Gaulle Etoile has been closed for all traffic. You can coast through it but you can’t change to other metro lines. Rather inconvenient, but I find a roundabout way to get to the Louvre.
We meet Deb at the entrance of the pyramid and find out that it is Liberation Day, the day the French finally got rid of those pesky Nazi’s in WWII. Ok, so I don’t begrudge them a celebration, I do begrudge them closing off the metro station for the stupid parade.
Deb did tell me a nifty little fact while we were prowling around the Louvre though…apparently the Resistance found out before the salles boches were stomping into town and in one night EMPTIED OUT THE LOUVRE and put them in a safe place until after the war.
Cute trick.
Squeezed past the Mona Lisa and her cult, and Deb nearly had heart failure (as did the guard when she threatened to take hostages when she couldn’t find the Madonna of the Rocks) but we found it around the corner and averted yet another international incident. I may be taken out and shot for this, but quite frankly, I don’t see the attraction of the Mona Lisa on the scale that it is.
Saw the Winged Victory of Samothrace (now there’s a sculpture worthy of it’s fame), had a good laugh about the children’s book, Eloise, where she leaves her parapluie (umbrella) behind winged victory and argues with the guard to get it back. I carried mine around, thank you very much.
I was more interested in the museum itself than a lot of the art there. Sacrilege, I know, but hey, I’m a photographer. I love the play of light on shapes. Major amount of film used on stairs, doorways, patterns in sculpture and I was all over the floor getting very dusty in the Sumerian and Etruscan wings. The guards found it rather amusing.
After about 3 straight hours of wandering and getting trapped in the late renaissance French painters wing (it was horrible, I’ll have deep emotional scars for years now) we ran outside gasping for air and needing coffee. Just down the Rue de Rivoli at the Place Jeanne D’Arc we ducked into a cafe and had cafe creme and Deb had tea for her afternoon snack.
It was frigid, we were pooped, so we went home and had risotto and chicken and passed out.
miles walked: approximately 5 miles

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