21 Jan How to do the Louvre in 2 hours or less & 1st purchase
Before I get to chronicling our first day in Paris I will give first time travellers to the Louvre some practical tips for viewing the museum with kids or friends who don’t think they are fans of art. I say that because every person appreciates the Louvre once having visited and most assuredly becomes an art lover. When I am with someone who may never get back to Paris, I consider it a moral obligation to show them the highlights so they check it off their “bucket list” and die happy! While they may now be an art lover, they may not have the stamina of one. So here’s my strategy for getting in and out in two hours or less:
- buy tickets in advance online to avoid lines
- avoid going on a weekend or rainy days which tend to be more crowded
- be the first people there when the museum opens up in the morning
- once inside, head straight to the Mona Lisa and work your way backwards, do not stop on the way you will lose ground on the Japanese tourists who have the same mission!
Ok, now onto our first day in Paris for 2010 – Corrie was quick on the VISA draw and the first gal pal to purchase a fabulous Parisian item. She bought a gorgeous winter white Choklat puffy jacket within 30 minutes (a record for the gal pals) of arrival in this fantastic city! Rob (Corrie’s new husband) – be scared, be very, very scared!
Among the highlights for today was lunch at Café Marley with the epitome of style herself, Marie-Charlotte, where very famished gal pals enjoyed a nice meal at a great table that had a view inside the Louvre. We were then treated to an insiders tour of the Louvre by Marie-Charlotte. It was gal pal Corrie’s first visit to France so we made sure that she received the highlighted tour where she took many photos of classic favorites along with a newly exhibited contemporary piece by Soulages who also is being exhibited at Centre Pompidou. Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo did not disappoint and touring the medieval section with the original moat exposed was grand! In and out in two hours and Corrie is with bebe and jet lagged!
After confirming that Marie-Charlotte will meet us again next trip to Paris, we left her and headed back to St. Germain to shop a bit and sit at our rendez-vous café (Café de Paris) for chocolat chaud and vin rouge before checking into our hotel.
Dinner was at the oldest café in Paris called Le Procope. Not intimidated by the menu or the fact she took many years of Spanish and none of French, Corrie ordered the escargots and trout for her main course. She was able to take a peek at the room where Voltaire once roamed the halls and see firsthand why this historical restaurant is a popular haunt for locals and tourists alike.
Dessert consisted of take-away patisseries of eclairs, chocolate brioche and beignets. Gal pals are full, tired and happy!
Off to sleep and up early in the morning headed to Sacre Coeur!