Off to the Louvre and Beyond: July 26, 1994

August 08, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

I usually keep a diary when I travel, so this morning I was glancing through my Paris diary to see what I did on this day 21 years ago.

I have decided to write it down for you just as I did then for myself...no edits.

5:15 PM :Just returned from a long walk that started this morning at 11:30. I walked to Hotel de Ville and then crossed to the Ile de la Cite to walk along the Seine.

It was so smothering hot even at that time that I sought out any shade that was to be had along the sidewalk.

In places there were lovely trees hanging over head which helped a lot. I was planning to go to the Muse D'Orsay, but when I got to the Port Royal opposite to the Louvre, I was getting tired of walking, so thought that I would go there another day.

Today it was going to be the Louvre...or the “High Art Cathedral” as I think of it.

I crossed the bridge and swung into the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel...a large open area leading to the Louvre.

I took many photos along the way, and then I saw a sign saying “Louvre entrance”.

A spectacular glass pyramid marked the spot, and I descended maybe twenty steps, went through a set of glass doors and found myself in a huge , underground complex of shops, restaurants etc.

I was so hot by the time I got there that I knew I just had to sit down and cool off.

I was incredibly thirsty so made my way over to the restaurant area and had the largest Coke I could get along with a good looking pastry.

I went over and sat down in the lovely air conditioned lobby area for half an hour or more.

This was such a welcome relief from the sauna-like conditions that existed above ground! Having finished my Coke and pastry, I felt quite rejuvenated, so made my way back to where I had seen the Louvre entrance sign.

Much to my disappointment, there were workers doing something there, and the Louvre was closed. Oh man...all that long, hot walk and no art to see! Well, it means coming another day I guess....what else to do?

 

Back up the stairs I went, into the heat and humidity, but at least a few clouds blotted out the sun and a bit of breeze was blowing from the west.

I crossed over to the Jardin des Tuileries and spent the next hour and a half or so exploring it and taking many pictures....

at least two rolls of film. The Jardin is quite immense...many acres of beautiful trees, flowers, sculptures and benches to sit on.

What an oasis!

Far off in the hazy distance is the Eiffel Tower. I won't get there today, but some day I will...have to see the icon of France close up.

At the extreme west end of the Jardin des Tuileries is the Place de Concord with its towering Obelisque, fantastic fountains gushing water, and cars and pedestrians carrying out some bizarre choreography.
Cars honked their horns, swerved and dodged each other as they raced around the traffic circle, and did their best to leave cyclists and pedestrians alive and well.
It was crazy! Apparently this is where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in 1431 at the age of 19 for supposed crimes against the English. What a tragic end!
Just before leaving Canada, I had watched a Hollywood movie about Joan starring Grace Kelly.

Looking westward from there you could see the Arc de Triomphe and the famous, glitzy, Champs Elysees...the glamorous high fashion, restaurant , and art gallery strip of Paris.

I eventually made my way back to #2 Rue Pecquay...tired, hot and glad to be home.

What a day it was! No tour of the Louvre, but I'd seen many other spectacular Paris landmarks.
There was still more exploring to be done....but that could wait until another day.”

 

 

© Blair T. Paul, all rights reserved
Edited and posted by: Chris MacFarlane Photography

 

 

 


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I'll be writing on a regular basis about my experiences as a painter over the last forty years. I hope you'll share your thoughts and comments with me - it's a great way to be connected.

Blair T. Paul

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