Saturday, August 20, 2011

J'adore Paris (Part V)

The Eiffel Tower kept popping up everywhere.  Seeing glimpses of it down
alley ways and above buildings was probably the most surreal part of the entire trip.

My trip to Paris was rounded off with a trip to The Louvre...sans camera, unfortunately.  I'm almost relieved about it, though, because I know it would have been impossible to capture such an incredible place on film and do it justice.  The building itself is something to marvel at, having served as the royal palace until 1682, when Louis XIV chose Versailles for his household.  A few times I found myself distracted from the exhibits by beauty of a ceiling fresco.

(image source)
It has been said a million times that it is impossible to see The Louvre in a day, and it's true.  We only made it through one wing in our two hour stop, and even that felt rushed.  Walking through the exhibits I was surprised how many of them I recognized from my Art History courses -- it was a surreal experience, seeing things before me that I recognized my entire life through photographs alone.  When we made our way to the Mona Lisa, I was more surprised by the crowd than the painting.  There was practically a mosh pit of Louvre-goers, all pushing and nudging their way to the front, cameras held high.  It's also been said a million times that the Mona Lisa is smaller than one would expect.  Having heard that so often, I actually found it to be bigger than I imagined.  The painting, frame included, is just a bit smaller than an average sized poster.

(photo via my friend Amber)
My favorite exhibits, however, were the Egyptian and Greek ones.  I was amazed by a page from the Book of the Dead, shining Greek coins, and vases that looked like something straight out of Disney's Hercules.

(photo source)
Last but not least, here are my left over photos from last weekend:








Paris was everything I dreamt it would be, and I feel I've only experienced a tiny piece of it.  I cannot wait to go back and see more.  I want to browse the entire Louvre slowly, sample more of the amazing food, take the train out to Versailles, revisit the Arc du Triomphe, see Napoleon's tomb, climb the towers of Notre Dame, and so, so much more.  But if, in the end, these two days are all the time I had, I won't be disappointed.  I've come a long way from my tiny hometown in Kentucky; I am not the same girl I was when all I knew were winding country roads and sunsets over rolling hills.  When I am old, with a grandchild on each knee, these are the days I will remember most.  These are the stories I will tell - how I ran away to Europe with a full heart and heavy suitcase, delved into the ruins of ancient castles, and saw the world from the tip of the Eiffel Tower.  Who can ask for more than that?

6 comments:

  1. those last few sentences are great. i also got super excited when i saw the moulin rouge picture. that's one of my absolute favorite movies.

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  2. Sarah -- It's one of my favorites, too. ;)

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  3. Oh wow!! I love that you got to do this trip.... thanks for posting all of these... I've really enjoyed them.

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  4. Aw, thanks, Holli! And you're very welcome. :)

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  5. oh gosh, I can't wait to go now :) you really can't ask for more than that Carrie, lovely :)

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  6. I wish I would have had more time in the Louve! I thought it wasn't that big... the mona lisa. Glad you had a great time!

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