All good things must come to an end.. or so “they” say. Our last day in Paris was a memorable one to say the least.
This morning at breakfast I had a run in with a renegade bowl of oatmeal! How exciting… the doctor was called to the ship and he fixed me all up but I ended up with 2nd degree burns on my wrist and hand. I am a trooper though and the show must go on. I did send Ilyse off on a morning excursion of the Latin Quarter and Notre Dame Cathedral while I waited for the doctor to arrive (he looked more like an artist you would find painting on the Seine… flip flop sandals, cargo shorts and long wild gray hair)
What was the most exciting thing that she saw while on the walking tour? A bridge of locks! Just near Notre Dame; people have taken over a bridge by locking pad-locks to the bridge’s railings. Locks have love messages or hearts on them. They’re called “locks of love” and are very symbolic as you can see but hey Ilyse.. what did you think of the Cathedral? “It was nice”…. hmmm
Before oatmeal changed my life that morning, we had planned to go to the Louvre Museum and spend the whole day there. We were able though to modify the plans and instead took an afternoon optional tour with the ship that brought us to 4 or 5 of the most famous art works in the Louvre.
If you wanted to see every piece of art in the museum, and could spend 5 seconds in front of each, I believe the guide said it would take 8 months to view everything! She said that they are currently working on the two “new” Louvre Museums. One will be in the north of France and one will be in Dubai.
The tour took us to Venus de Milo, The Winged Victory, various painting of Leonardo’s but you can see after just a couple of hours many of us on the tour were staring aimlessly in Art-Overload. I did have a purpose though.. trying to read the icons on my damn camera that I can’t see without my reading glasses!
And here comes the body of the teaser in my headline of this blog. I had been to the Louvre many moons ago (as many moons as you can fit in a 30 year span). My whole purpose of going back was so that Ilyse could also see the Mona Lisa… one of the few times in my life that I totally remember everything about it… entering the room.. seeing the guard standing next to it… Mona in her plexi-glass case… and I just stood and stared thinking “Wow, I am actually standing here looking at the Mona Lisa”. I have seen many pieces of art since then all over Europe but I best remember that moment. It was more memorable than my first marriage. (and maybe the second one too).
But when we entered the Louvre from the underground parking lot… walking past the Food Court and McDonalds at the entrance to the shopping mall and then rounded the corner to see the inverted pyramid I had to ask the guide “When did all of this happen???” 1989 or so she tells me.. ah.. I was here in 1982. I felt much the same way I did when I went back to the Hoover Dam last year after about a 25 year hiatus. “Where did that bridge come from? Wow look at this parking garage! Where is the little building that shows the movie?” It was like I was there for the very first time!
So, word to the wise… if you have been working on your bucket list like I have been for over 30 years now, you might have to pay a second visit to some… you will be amazed at what the world has been doing while you have been busy living your life!
All in all it was a wonderful trip on the Seine. On a cruise that I didn’t really go on with any huge expectations but walked away with wonderful memories and the knowledge that I will be coming back to the Normandy area again and there won’t be 30 years between visits!
Broken record time but I always have to say, you meet the best people on river cruises! Those that love travel and history. Ready to head out and conquer the day! Ilyse and I started out on this adventure just the two of us but ended it with many new friends and lots of stories to tell. I want to thank everyone that cruised with us and all of you that have joined us via my blog. I will leave you with some closing pictures.
Au revoir, A bientot, A demain and Adieu!
Notice the pickpocket signs on each side of the picture. The Louvre is one of the highest areas in Paris with pickpockets… and I swear as I was there I saw quite a few people that looked like that was their sole purpose in the museum. So be-aware!