Travel Log Wednesday 20th March 2013

Today was a stay at home day. I had writing to catch up with and Tom had sleeping and resting to catch up with. I also had to operate the stop tap which was down beside my bed so that I could get a load of washing done, without flooding the flat. Tom availed himself of all the English programmes he could find on satellite. So not much to report – until evening.

Descending into the bottom of the pyramid

Wednesday is late night opening at the Louvre. As with all museums and educational tourist attractions, Tom was eligible again for free admission as he was at the Cluny Museum, because he is from the EU and under 25. Just. He came at the right time. But it is useful to know such facts, and that all these places are free entry on the first Sunday of the month for everyone. Part of the égalité of education for all. So we decided after our peaceful day to see some high culture, fortifying ourselves with a cocktail en route. This time, at the Café St Honoré I tried a blue concoction; it was pungently orangey, which I liked, but pungently sweet, which I did not like so much. I haven’t quite found my favourite yet. I’ll just have to keep trying.

I suggested we should do the tourist thing together, and see the Mona Lisa. We were both as underwhelmed by this old master as I was when I first saw it some 35 years ago. We were visiting Paris on one of our epic voyages to Hungary then, doing the touristy thing. The refrain from Pulp’s anthem keeps playing through my mind…everybody hates a tourist! Nevertheless that's what we are.

One of my favourites of Degas, not in the Louvre

We then chose what we most wanted to see in the hour or two we had and parted company for different wings of this vast building, once a royal palace. I made an absolute fool of myself, asking an attendant where I might find the paintings of Degas, assuming he would be classed with the 19th century paintings. A blank look on her face and a prompt from her co-worker put me straight – Degas’ works were in the Musée d’Orsay “là-bas”. Oops. What a faux pas. But who knew? Anyone in Paris who has any idea about art, apparently.

Medieval foundations of the Louvre

So I had a look at some works of Delacroix and David amongst others, and then had a walk around the medieval foundations of the original medieval building. Tom had found his way here too and it was time to eat.

We popped into Le Fumeur but the wait would have been a long one, and the wait to get served even a drink was dragging so we decided to return to Le Pub St Germain, where we ate an excellent meal and had another discussion about all manner of things. However, the gin fizz was not quite to my liking, so I still have a search on for my favourite.

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