The Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Night Shots, Paris in the Rain

The Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Night Shots, Paris in the Rain

So yesterday I mentioned that the Louvre’s availability might be disrupted today because of a strike going on here. We headed out this morning hoping for the best and when we arrived at the Louvre, we were happy to see that they were letting people in. We got in line and made our way down into the pyramid via escalator. We purchased our tickets and audio guides in English since everything is written in French. We immediately headed over to see the Mona Lisa since that is the big attraction and we were very excited. She is enigmatic although the painting is actually smaller than I had imagined. There were so many people crowding around to look that it was a little hard to get a look, but we finally made our way to the front and enjoyed the unobstructed view. She was worth the wait. In general there are a few things that are very different about this museum from museums at home. For one, there is rarely glass or dividers separating visitors from the art work. This means that some people even though it clearly says not to, feel the need to touch the artwork and sculptures. The other thing that is different is that they don’t enforce the rule about no flash photography. Apparently, it can damage the works of art, but no one seems to care. I say if you want to see some of this great art, do it soon before the flashes of a million tourists ruin it for all.  The other thing we really wanted to see was the area on Egyptian art and artifacts. It is the largest collection outside of Egypt. Unfortunately, we didn’t look too closely at the signs for closures so we wandered around for about an hour trying every entrance possible with no avail until one of the workers said “ferme” (closed). Oops, I guess we should have read the sign. The good thing about it was that we saw lots of art that we normally wouldn’t have visited. Our favorites were the Venus de Milo and the Winged Victory of Samothrace, both pictured below. They were just breathtaking. After we finished at the Louvre, we took the Batobus down to the Eiffel Tower to get some closer shots. People warned us about the beggars and people selling cheap imitation souvenirs, but they were everywhere. Usually if you say no they leave you alone, but there are just so many that you seem like you are constantly saying no. Plus there are some other generally shady characters down there as well. Nonetheless, we got some great photos of us in front of the Eiffel Tower.

After that we headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. We asked the concierge for his recommendation and he made reservations for us at Jamin, a 10 minute walk from our hotel. Jamin turned out to be Modern-French Asian fusion cuisine, and offered a great selection of comfort foods with the delicacy of french dining. We both ordered from the tasting menu, I ordered the goat cheese starter and Sea Bream and Andrew chose the salmon starter and duck skewers. For dessert, we had pear tiramisu and chocolate ganache with pralines. Everything was delicious and the restaurant staff was  friendly. We had heard that some restaurants allow dogs inside, but this is the first time we saw it. A French woman came in with her small pooch and he sat under the table with her while she ate…inside. We were a little surprised by it even though we knew it was possible. He even barked a few times during the meal. Dog or no dog, Jamin was the perfect way to end our last dinner in Paris.

After dinner we realized it was raining but that didn’t stop us from heading over to the Arc de Triomphe. On our way, which we thought was the right way, we ended up at Musée national de la Marine which is directly across the river from the Eiffel Tower up on a hill. The area was a huge courtyard area with buildings on both sides, and down below was another courtyard area that is overrun by skateboarders during the day. It was perfect location to stop and enjoy the tower without any obstructions. We stayed there for 20 minutes admiring the view along with all the other tourists that found this great lookout.  Again the peddlers were present but they’ve upped their game with LEDs and light-up tchotchkes . From there we headed the right direction to the Arc de Triomphe about a mile or so walk. No trip is complete without a hooker sighting and lucky for us, two were fighting, yelling, and making quite a scene.  An entertaining change from dodging motorcycles, crazy taxi drivers, and winding roads. We knew the Arc is spectacularly lit at night and can be seen from afar, but nothing can prepare you when you walk out and see it in its entirety. The building is so amazing large and beautify lit. The traffic is continuously circling creating such a focal point of the Champs-Élysées. Andrew stopped to take many photos of it before the rain kicked into high gear. It was an fabulous way to end our evening. Au revior, Chelsie and Andrew

Andrew inside the Pyramid of glass at the Louvre

Nike... Just doing it (Winged Victory of Samothrace)

The Mona Lisa

The Louvre

Venus de Milo. Pretty hot stuff for not having arms.

Creepy Greek Statue

Us in front of the Tower

Eiffel Tower Upskirt Shot

Restaurant Jamin

Eiffel Tower at night

Arc de Triomphe in the rain

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