After a fairly late start, we decided to put off touring the Cathedral of Notre Dame until tomorrow, and concentrated our touring day on the Louvre. It was a good choice.
We started off with a quick breakfast at a sandwich shop around the corner from the hotel. The hot ham and cheese on a baguette was very good.
Our friend Cindy came into town from their hotel near the airport and met us in front of the museum.
The Louvre is every bit as impressive as it is said to be.
A view from an upstairs window, with the Eiffel Tower in the distance.
I was a little concerned I would push Birdie and Ron a little too far, but that was not the case. We arrived at noon and didn’t walk out until 6:30 pm. They were as interested at the end as they were at the beginning.
We started with the ancient Greeks
Hall of greek sculpture
Cindy (on the left) assuming a classic pose.
and then moved to the Italian Renaissance section. Before we were done, we managed to hit many, many of the highlights.
A special exhibit hall
Birdie -- posing for a Peter-Paul Rubens portrait. Sorry, Birdie, you may have a Rubenesque figure, but it's not going to work.
Way back in high school, I took a two-semester course as a senior on Humanities. It covered art, music and architecture. The music part is still pretty-much lost on me, but some of the other material stuck. More than 40 years later, it paid off. Thanks, Mrs. Bailey!
Birdie has been a never-ending source of material for these postings. Today, as usual, he was wearing his University of Alabama ball cap. Some other guy, apparently an Auburn fan came up to him and got face to face. The exchange went like this.
Other guy: “War Eagle!”
Birdie: “Excuse me?”
Other guy: “You red elephants are all the same.”
Birdie: “Pardon me, sir, but you really need to take your comments to someone else.”
You go all the way to the Louvre in Paris, and you can’t escape!
As we were wandering through the section with the Dutch and Flemish masters, Birdie asked me if we could find the original painting of the poker playing dogs. I told him I believe that was located — along with all the portraits of Elvis Presley painted on black velvet — in the “Red Neck Museum of Tacky Modern Art” in Talladega, Ala.
Both Ron and Birdie has special interest in any of the art that related to hunting or already-dead animals. This bronze of a hunter slaying a stag was their favorite.
Ron & Birdie with the stag hunter
We took the crowded Metro back to our hotel.
The rush hour Metro
I let myself get distracted by a very cute little girl of about 9 months of age. She was very interested in making faces at the strange guy standing next to her mother. (Mrs. Poolman will tell you that is an occupational hazard of traveling with me.) We got off at the right stop, but in my distraction, I forgot that wasn’t our final destination. We were outside the ticket gates before we realized we had to get back on another train to reach our hotel. Of course, neither of the other guys picked up on it either, so I didn’t feel too bad. It amounted to just one wasted Metro ticket, so no serious harm done.
When we got back to the hotel, Birdie and Ron started wondering about the strange towel in their bathroom. It is a towel-heater. They turned it on just to see how it would work. Apparently it heated up just fine, because Birdie commented, “Damn, Ron, you could cook a chicken on this thing.”
On the issue of hotels, ours is quite nice. It is a small city hotel. The rooms are not all that large, but they are very nice.
My hotel room.
The view out my window.
The two young ladies who have run the front desk this week have been super helpful. (I do think they are amused by our efforts to communicate in French. They both speak English quite well. ) I’d come back to the Holiday Inn Paris Elysees in a heartbeat.
We had a nice dinner at a café right down the street.
Tomorrow, we will head out to the airport hotel early to drop off our bags for the next night and pick up my bother, Dan. If the weather holds, we will tour Notre Dame and the Musee d’ Orsay (Impressionist art).
It’s been two good days so far. We’re looking forward to hooking up with the tour group and the rest of the trip.