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[Entry 32] There's a museum for that.

31 December 201001:43AMepic-triptravel

The Louvre is many things.

It is big, very big. It's enormous. I'm always very disdainful of people who walk through museums without looking at things, but in the Louvre, you don't have a choice. You really do have to choose what you want to see and go stright there There's no way you can get anything more than a brief overview in one visit. I think you could easily spend a whole stay in Paris visiting just the Louvre - a room per day, or something similarly intense - and still not fully appreciate it.

Big like this pot!

Big like this 'letter' from some ancient king!

It's also very good. The recurring theme in many of our Egyptian guides' spiels was how many of their antiquities were 'stolen' and put in places like the Louvre, but looking at how they're treated here versus in the Egyptian museum, I can't help but think they're better off where they are. Everything is labelled (everything!), every room has information cards you can pick up, and about half the people we saw walking around had touch screen audio guide things. Everything is clean, everything is well organised, and you're allowed to take photos. Someone needs to take the Egyptians in here and show them how it's done.

You have to do these photos in pairs: One to show the famous place...

...And another to prove you've been there.

It's crowded too. Especially the rooms with the well known stuff in them. Case in point: The Mona Lisa.


Yet somehow, I have less of a problem with the crowds here. Perhaps because they're quieter, perhaps because it's less exploitative and less obviously geared towards giving business to guides, or maybe just because the Egyptian way of doing things left a bad taste in my mouth. The ambience here is just nicer, that's all, and that's important when you're going to spend several hours somewhere.

The Louvre also has a definite academic bent to it, I think. I reckon you could go there if you were studying, say, italian art, or ancient greek urns, or something, and take notes and photos and look around, and actually come away with useful knowledge and a better understanding of the subject. Which leads me on to the fact that I totally want to learn more history. Because the amount of stuff in the Louvre is amazing, and it would really be cool to know at least a little bit about each general sort of area, just so it makes sense. I think I might start with the really early cultures in the middle east, because the Ur and Babylon rooms at the Louvre were probably the most intriguing (probably because I know the least about them.

One place we didn't go that I would've liked to was the Musee D'orsay, which is across the river and a lot smaller. Apparently they have a different type of art to the endless repetitions of Jesus dying which seemed to fill the Louvre (and the Uffuzi in Florence too), which might be interesting. Anyway, that's a project for next time I reckon.


The Louvre took almost all day. By the time we'd finished there, checked the times for the sewers (!) tomorrow, and taken the metro back to the hotel it was pretty late. Just on that- the metro is fantastic, and Paris is great to get around on foot or by bike. The traffic lights stop for pedestrians all the time, which is annoying when you're in a car, but great when you're on foot. The city has these bikes you can hire for just a euro. You don't realise how great Perth is for public transport and cycling until you visit Cairo, but then you visit Paris and you realise Perth is pretty crap after all.

Then Dad suggested we go to the Moulin Rouge, just because it's famous, and then we found the local Australian pub (like australian pubs everywhere, full of tacky Australiana and with 'imported' Australian beers) and then we had crepes (mine had blood sausage in it) for dinner, and on the way back to the station we had entrances to various establishments of varying repute offered to us. That was an interesting experience. And in Paris, there's a museum for everything...

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