On Friday, Hannah, Victoria, Savannah, and I met at the Louvre, a national monument and French museum in the heart of Paris. The Louvre is home to original works of art, among them, Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. At Louvre, we all were separated so we got a chance to explore some of the things we each wanted to see. Fun fact: the hallway in the Louvre where the Italian exhibits are is the largest exhibition gallery in the world. I checked out the Greek and Etruscan exhibit, the Egyptian exhibit, the Italian exhibit, part of the French exhibit, and Napoleon’s apartments.
I really enjoyed the Italian paintings and Napoleon’s apartment. Seeing the Mona Lisa made my heart beat uncontrollably and caused my skin to tickle. The hairs on my skin stood erect – I had goosebumps. What I saw at that moment was one of the greatest masterpieces ever created live and in person. This wasn’t a book or a magazine. It wasn’t a 6th grade homework assignment – it was just me enjoying what was truly meant for the entire world to see.
Napoleon’s apartment aroused a similar feeling inside. That is to say, I felt natural, cozy, and accustomed to such decorative beauty. I felt like I could stand there for days, but as it was, we had already been at the Tulleries (located just outside the Louvre) and the Louvre for three hours. With our timing running short, we realized, albeit sadly, that it was time to move on.
After the Louvre, we had a quick lunch and made our way to Notre Dame, one of the most renowned churches in the world. Only by this time, the group had narrowed, it was Savannah and I, and together we made our way across the bridge. Photo after photo, we got distracted on the bridge, but I took some cover photo worthy shots of Paris.
At Notre Dame, we were fortunate enough to sit in on a service that was taking place. Now I can say that I have attended a service at Notre Dame. Who else can say that? I took pictures of each of the bells, each that mean something different. An hour and a half at this touristy spot was enough, though. After all, we had much more to see.
We crossed the bridge of locks, a place where thousands of couples clamp small locks onto a crowded chain link fence with the hope of probably finding their lock again on their 20th anniversary or something. It seemed as though the city of Paris might actually cut locks off after a couple of years because the earliest lock I saw was from 2007.
The bridge led us to the Museum of modern art, a place where abstract expressionism was king. It is a place where things you didn’t think would ever be art, were art. Things like a beanbag chair, or three chairs stacked vertically were in my opinion, mislabeled art. Never in a million years would I think those could be considered works of art. But here they were in Paris, France. I suddenly wondered if I had a right to argue that fact.
I wanted to take a second to mention that Paris has the nicest, cleanest, most modern public transportation system in the world. Barriers prevent stray tourists from falling into the tracks, subsequently avoiding the infamous death of one New York resident in 2012. The trains run every ten minutes, so hardly ever would one be waiting for a subway train for more than eight minutes. Apparently, anything longer is grounds to complain to the ticket attendants in Paris.
After the museum, we took the metro to the Arc de Triomphe. From the top of the Arc, Savannah and I saw dozens of flashes beading from the street below, we saw the Eiffel Tower sparkle like it does every hour, and we satisfied a dream. A dream that something as breath taking as the Eiffel Tower was within our reach. It was something that was within our view, too. I can only describe this view with one word and I’ll have to let my pictures do the talking: Unforgettable.
Stay tuned for my day three recap of Paris, the city that never dies, tomorrow! Or view my gallery.