Day 3-our last day in Paris…inevitably it was going to be a busy one! On the agenda-The Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay, with a stop by the Eiffel Tower at night. I bought tickets to the museums ahead of time so we could bypass the ticket lines and get in as quickly as possible.
We started at The Louvre and arrived at 9am right as they opened and once inside we were on a mission…get to Mona! We entered through the main entrance at the large pyramid and on our way to Mona we passed the famous Nike of Samothrace or Winged Victory of Samothrace perched at the top of her very own staircase. Even though my plan was to go straight to Mona, we stopped and took a few pictures here and I’m so glad we did…when we passed back around after seeing the Mona Lisa the crowds around the Winged Victory had probably quadrupled. This was my favorite piece at the Louvre so I’m glad we had a few minutes to see her without throngs of tourists everywhere.
We continued on up another staircase or two, made our way down several long halls, and finally we had found her! The Mona Lisa will always be one of the most crowded stops, but it was a manageable sized group when we got to her around 9:30am. I can’t even begin to think what it would be like any later in the day…
After getting all our pics of Mona, we continued on to see the other selected works I had picked out prior to our trip. I had a mini meltdown at this point because my pre-paid SIM card had stopped working and I couldn’t access my email where I had stored my list. Talk about poor planning! Luckily I remembered most of my must-sees, and it helped that they were mainly the popular ones that were listed on the Louvre’s map anyways. Still, the Louvre is so incredibly massive and spread out and I am probably the worst person when it comes to navigating with a map so I was thoroughly frustrated. Luckily Mike is pretty great at this kind of thing and he took it from there! We stopped to see a few of the more famous French and Italian paintings (Wedding Feast at Cana, Virgin of the Rocks, Madonna and Child with St John the Baptist, The Raft of Medusa, The Coronation of Napoleon) before heading over to the nearly empty wing that houses the Napoleon III Apartments…all incredibly cool things to see.
We walked through some of the Egyptian rooms and the sculpture halls, found Venus de Milo (circled by hundreds at this point), and then called it good on our first trip to the Louvre after about 2-3 hours.
The buildings and rooms are beautiful to walk through in their own right and every room has something you can stop to see…it would take weeks upon weeks to see it all. We were happy with what we saw in such a short period of time and hopefully we’ll be back someday to see a little more!
Next up was a quick bite to eat followed by the Musee d’Orsay. At this point we were pretty exhausted and our patience was waning…luckily there were little to no crowds at the Musee d’Orsay so we were in and out in no time at all.
The Musee d’Orsay is an old train station and the building itself is incredibly beautiful. We headed up to the 5th floor to see the impressionist paintings and then worked our way down, stopping to take a few pictures of the clock and of the museum itself, and finishing with the Van Gogh and other post-impressionists on the 2nd floor. We could’ve stayed much longer as there was a ton to see here as well, but we were exhausted and ready to head home.
After a short nap we headed back out for our last night in Paris. We walked from our B&B to the Moulin Rouge area, stopping for a few drinks and finally getting my escargot on the way! We returned to Dirty Dick for a couple more tiki drinks and then, once it was dark, we made our way to the Eiffel Tower to say our final goodbyes to Paris! From right outside the Trocadéro metro stop we got a beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower and the light show begin just as we got there. It was quite the sight to see and a great way to end our final night in Paris!
All in all I really enjoyed Paris, I can’t say I truly loved it like many people do, but as the days went by it began to grow on me more and more. To me, Paris is very similar to New York City…if you replaced all the skyscrapers with super old buildings and added in a palace or two. Paris is big, it’s kind of dirty, I felt like I was about to be Taken by nearly every man in the subway, and the people outside our B&B weren’t always the most pleasant, but there was always just that buzz…the same alive feeling I’ve had standing in the middle of Times Square at night, watching all the craziness unfold around me. I feel very fortunate to have added Paris to my growing list of places travelled and I hope that someday I can return to experience it all over again.