Sunday, October 24, 2010

Arty Farty

On our first day, we arrived at 6am and couldn't access our apartment until 5pm. This after a 22 hour flight meant that we had to fill in a day, not stop long enough to fall asleep and entertain ourselves until we could muster the strength to carry our sorry tired arses up 100 winding spiral steps to our fifth floor apartment. 

We did this by gulping tiny cups of addictive and delicious espresso, eating croissants and wondering around town to check out the lay of the land.  We walked across to Notre Dame of course, through the backstreets and emerged on a bridge which we crossed and into a courtyard of a rather impressive building before realising that the glympse of a glass pyramid through an arched entrance meant we had wondered into the courtyard of the Louvre. 

Upon reflection, we were idiots, the building is massive, how could we not have known what it was. Characteristically French with it's gorgeous towers, wide open spaces and that Pyramid. I know the French didn't like it but you know exactly where you are when it emerges. 

We didn't go in first day of course but did eventually walk its hallowed corridors and thousands of steps. We barely touched the surface and after a while it became exhausting. I'm sorry I couldn't find the sarcophagus with the 10 Muses on it but Nike was stupendous in her headless glory and greeted us atop the first flight of stairs. The Mona Lisa is, well the Mona Lisa and it's hard not to become rather bored with the size of the collection so here's a few little known pieces that simply took my breath away:




 The building itself is a work of art



Fabulous sculptures rescued from Paris Parks



Very Frenchy, very chic



 Napoleon's Apartments, opulent to the core 



Even the escalator are impressive but few and far between



Walls and floors go unnoticed but are breathtaking



Now that's a welcome at a very ostentatious door


Don't forget to look UP!



Corridors of masterpieces, hard to imagine that they become monotonous. At this point I'm feeling rather embarrassed about my squeaky Dunlop Volleys.



Nike is huge and splendid and pathetic. I loved this thing so much




Wheres Langdon?


Ancient and moving, each monk is unique




Almost too big to photograph, it took my breath away






 
And the highlight. Tiny sparrows fed from our hands in the park outside, just lovely.

37 comments:

Bimbimbie said...

Haha don't feel bad, I had a mother and daughter ask me for directions to the Louvre I told them to turn around - they were Aussies too*!*

Amazing place with beauty everywhere, did you have a favourite section? Why do you say Nike is pathetic?

jeannette said...

You "wandered" into the Louvre? When I went with my hubby and kids we had to stand in a 2 hour waiting line to get in!! What did you do, buy someone of?:)

Elisabeth said...

Wonderful pictures, Baino. I visited the Louvre on a Tuesday, the only day I could and it was closed. So sad, but the outdoors are magnificent. I had to satisfy myself with the gardens and the sparrows.

Isabella Golightly said...

Fantastic photos again... I love Nike too. So moving.

Kath Lockett said...

Your photos are lovely, Baino - I can see how boredom sets in, but it's usually due to exhaustion more than anything else and what miserable bastards the apartment owners were to leave you to fend for yourselves after travelling for so long!

River said...

The Louvre is breathtakingly magnificent and over the top ostentatious.
The best picture?
The sparrows eating from your hands. Clare's hands?

Brian Miller said...

wow. very nice...on the list of places i would love to visit...so cool that you are surrounded by art...even ont eh ceiling...i could use one of those expressos...smiles.

Mim said...

it's been years since I've been to the louvre - but I'll never forget seeing Nike - I was amazed. But I never saw that monk piece - do you know the name? I'd like to investigate further.
your pictures are wonderful - what a great trip this was (despite the evil robber).

Tom said...

know what you mean by overwhelming and exhausting. i always delight in the buildings too, and the walls and ceilings and arches and lightswitches. gads. you mean there is art too?! can't see Nike's head or feet, what, no sneakers?

Harnett-Hargrove said...

I say, give her back to Greece!

Thanks for taking the time to chat. -J

Harnett-Hargrove said...

Sorry, I cant seem to get onto your e'mail from here... as to your
"Well it took you long enough!" I know that words aren't my first language so I danced around the idea for a spell... -J

savannah said...

you bring back memories, sugar! the first time i was there, i stood facing and taking a series of photos to form my own panoramic view later. yes, i had to get the pics developed once i got home! fortunately for me, i'd over shot and had enough images to construct 2 versions!! xoxox

hokgardner said...

Gorgeous pictures. I look forward to making it to Paris someday.

Don't Bug Me! said...

The sparrows were the higlight!?! Now, I can understand that, but I am not sure many other people would agree ;o)

Grannymar said...

Glad I don't have to clean that place or pay the bill for so doing!

Great pics.

Janice said...

Thanks for taking me back to the Louvre, an amazing experience. Overwhelming, actually.

i beati said...

fascinating pics in contrasts- opulence was truly the French

unstranger said...

Mother nature will never be bettered. Nice stuff Baino. I think I may want visit that place eventually.

Boom Boom Larew said...

Another place for my bucket list! Wonderful photographs!

00dozo said...

Beautiful pics. And, you are right - don't forget to look up! I noticed the Seven Sisters motif above the arched corridor.

Beside the art, the architecture alone is just stunning!

Nicky S (Absolute Vanilla) said...

I love the Louvre, but have yet to manage to get through the whole thing! Gorgeous pics, Baino , I love the modern architecture alongside the classical!

AngelMay said...

Lovely! Napoleon's apartments not so bad.... but could use a little more light, I'm thinking.

Perpetual Chocoholic said...

Wow!

e said...

Your photos are great and reminded me of what it was like to walk in there as a thirteen-year-old with my neck craned, looking up a the ceilings, amazed...

Liza said...

OMG!!! Thank you for sharing these marvelous photos.
Nike is exquisite!
I love the pose in front of the doors. I have always wanted to do a similar thing in Times Square.

I am in awe.
Arty Farty...: )

kj said...

honey hells, i'm still into orgasmic sounds from all these photos :)

JB and i spent considerable time at the louvre paramids, trying to decide whether to go in for the afternoon or whether to hightail ourselves to the fashion district where a friend had told us about a tiny designer who sold quite affordable coats.

decisions, decisions. we did not go to the louvre, JB bought a coat. i spent an hour sipping thick african hot chocolate.

being a tourist in paris is abit exhausting, don't you think? but SO worth it!

more more more please.

love
kj

laughingwolf said...

great stuff, baino... those sparrows are neat in this country, too :)

Annie Ha said...

I couldn't get a shot of the underside of that pyramid without someone walking right in front of it.
it is funny how similar some of our pictures are :)

Megan said...

Pareeeeeeeeee!

Great shots, Baino. As per usual!

nick said...

Museum ceilings can be just as amazing as the exhibits. The ceilings at the Uffizi in Florence are breathtaking but I was astonished at how many visitors didn't even notice them, they just never looked upwards.

steph said...

Woh! Terrific shots, Baino

Makes me very ashamed to admit that we've always bypassed Paris because of the nightmare traffic.

You make it all sound so very tempting!

Now, definitely on my bucket list (sans voiture).

Robyn said...

arty farty awewome!!!

thanks for sharing these.

xx Robyn

Megan said...

Where you at? Internet woes continuing? Boo!

Darlene said...

You made me nostalgic for the time I spent the better part of a day in the Louvre. I don't think you could see the whole thing in a week. It is magnifique !! I, too was impressed by Nike and also loved Venus Di Milo.

Your photos show you have a good eye and they, too, are magnifique.

Jill said...

Each photo is a masterpiece. A magnificent place.

I am particularly fond of the sparrows...I have never seen sparrows eat from a human hand.

PattiKen said...

Call me a Luddite, but I was sorry they let I.M.Pei have his way with the Louvre. The pyramid just seems to be such a clash to the graceful architecture of the original.

Were you shocked at how small the Mona Lisa actually is?

California Girl said...

did you take the photos inside the Louvre with your cell phone? I didn't think they allowed cameras there. It's been over 30 years since I was there but that's true in most museums. Anyway, great photos of the Louvre. The I.M. Pei of course had not been built when I visited. I remember the furor over that design. I think it's cool.