April 28 - The Louvre
I really like the orange juice machine at our hotel for breakfast. Fresh oranges are very sweet.
We left the hotel a little after 9:00 but had to return so that Ann could change into her walking shoes. While she did this, I walked over to a tobacco shop and bought a carnet of Metro tickets - 10 tickets. We caight the train at La Tour Maubourg, transferred at Place de la Concorde and got off at the Louvre. Did you know that street musicians entertain you on the Metro? We had a man playing a baritone horn accompanied by French tunes on his boom box. I thought that it was pretty good but Ann felt it was intrusive. It confused us enough that we got off the train too soon and had to catch the next train.
We spent about four hours at the Louvre. The crowds were massive in the popular exhibits - Mona Lisa, etc. We battled the art lovers all morning until we got hungry. We left the museum, walked underground to the Carrousel du Louvre and bought lunch at the fast-food eateries. Ann had Italian while I had Spanish. Next time I will eat at one of the restaurants in the Louvre. It was nice to get away, though. The noise and the rude photographers were too much for us.
We returned to the museum and found the Holland and Flemish paintings. These rooms were much less crowded and much more quiet. The lines for the toilets were very short and the facilities were a lot cleaner than the ones on the main level. The quantity and quality of the paintings were wonderful. We recognized many paintings from before and many from school texts, magazines and other books that we have read.
We were worn out at around 2:20, so we picked up our checked coats and headed for the nearest sortie.
The Metro ride back to our station was much easier. When we got to the hotel, our room was being cleaned so we sat in the lobby and watched as a Rick Steves tour group gathered for a Paris to Rome trip.
When our room was ready, Ann took a rest while I went to a grocery store on Rue Cler and bought some dates and almonds for our snack time.
We went for dinner at Le Petit Cler, a small bistro that was a short walk form our hotel. Ann had grilled chicken with potatoes and a small salad. I had Beef Bourguignon with noodles. We had a Cote du Rhone to drink and baba au rum for dessert. We really enjoyed the lively energy of this bistro that had mixture of locals and tourists. We will go back.
After dinner we strolled over to the Eiffel Tower.