Europe Trip: Paris Day 2 – Paris, France

Europe Trip: Paris Day 2
Paris, France

We slept in and woke up feeling quite good. Going downstairs and had our free breakfast.

We decided we would go to the Palace of Versailles. So we caught the Metro into one of the bigger stations and went to the ticket office only to be told it was closed because they were on strike!

The Louvre
The Louvre
A quick decision and we decided to head off to the Louvre. The Da Vinci Code gave us more reason to visit this awesome and mythical building. We caught the Metro in closer to the Louvre instead of walking this time because we had very sore legs from the 12 hours walking the day before.

We came in the back way and walked through the archways under the building, finally emerging in the giant courtyard with the glass pyramid. We sat in awe of this giant building and the amazing glass pyramid designed by the excellent American Chinese architect J.M. Pei. The number 666 which is the number of individual glass panels that make up the pyramid is considered a demonic number in the western culture; however, it actually means “great luck” in the Chinese culture.

The pyramid covers the entrance to and the foyer of the Louvre. The entry is through the doors and down into the vast cavern that is the entrance to the most famous art gallery on earth. It is a strange conflux of the old and the ultra modern. The ancient Palace of the Louvre has its modern glass pyramid, then in the foyer you know that you are about to see some ancient works of art from an era long gone, but to get in you need to purchase tickets from automatic ticket machines – the old and the new!

The palace itself must have been incredible – there are huge hallways and rooms with incredibly high ceilings and an amazing grand stairway leading from one level to the next. At the top of this stairway stands winged victory – the ancient headless statue from a forgotten civilization.

Inside the Louvre
Inside the Louvre
Obviously we went and saw the Mona Lisa – she stood proudly behind her bullet proof plexi-glass with a queue of admirers and curious onlookers lined up for their chance to get close and get a personal photo with one of the most famous women in history.

We also wandered around some of the rooms and marveled at the incredibly ornate ceilings and delicate cornices and architecture with gilded statues, incredibly detailed frescoes and patterns. It is a truly magnificent building. We decided that we have to come back and visit again and spend at least a week strolling and admiring.

After the Louvre, we went back to our room to have a nap and get rested because that night we were going to the Moulin Rouge!

Before the show we had some dinner in a local Montmartre restaurant. It was a traditional French restaurant with typical French decor, very intimate and was very warm inside and full of people. There was a guy playing the piano and singing and a whole bunch of old German tourists got up and started dancing – it was very amusing.

Moulin Rouge
Moulin Rouge
We met Sam (a lead dancer in Moulin Rouge and Elly and Martin, the neighbour’s daughter) just before the show to get our special tickets. We jumped to the head of the very long queue straight away as special guests of Mademoiselle Samantha. Once inside we sat down and soon had a bottle of bubbly popped open and being drunk and on came the dancers. The show was an extravaganza of dancing, singing, comedy and all manner of entertainment. Most of the time the girls are half naked dancing, swirling and singing on the stage – you can tell they are strictly following the French traditional value of beauty which is women’s breasts should be exposed in art. Ying wanted to get up and dance with them! (but with her top still on!)

We enjoyed the show and decided that we didn’t want to miss the 1 am curfew at the hostel, so we hopped in a cab and were back in our room in about 15 minutes.

Another sound night’s sleep overtook our weary bodies.

8/Morning Coffee
5.6/Train Tickets
17/Admission to the Louvre
9/Lunch: Sandwiches
87/Moulin Rouge Tickets and a Bottle of Champagne
50/Dinner in a local restaurant opposite to Moulin Rouge

Young & Happy hostel (Latin Quarter)
80 rue Mouffetard 75005 Paris
phone :01 47 07 47 07