Sunday 17 August 2008

More Paris Pictures!

Now a positive tip for all visitors to Paris is the Printemps Shopping Gallery which has a Roof Terrace from which you have an awesome city-view. Oh don't get your hopes up about the drinks though, since the wine wasn't really that good but the view is spectacular! They even provide you with a cardboard diorama disc which tells you what buildings you are looking at, very nice indeed.

As most people visiting Paris, we went to the Louvre. Another tip: there are several Virgin Mega stores in Paris (one is located in the Carouselle du Louvre) and there you can buy tickets to the Louvre museum itself which we did the evening before our visit and it shortened our waiting time getting in the Louvre enormously! The Louvre is another of these highly touristical things to experience: so we enter the museum itself, along with hundreds of other people and everywhere you look there's signs saying "Mona Lisa Salles 6" so the crowd starts a stampede up the stairs towards hall 6. At the top of the stairs is a big statue, I can't for the life of me remember how it's called, and all the tourists (most of whom have a walk-man guided tour thingy) stop in the middle of the stairway to take pictures damming the flow of peoples going up! Then the rat race towards that Eternal Smile is on again. Running past all halls 1 through 5, I cannot tell you what is in there sorry, we were flushed straight into hall 6 for well a very small picture of a woman smiling condescendingly down at everyone, yes madam the joke's on us! After that we dived out of the mainstream of tourists and looked up the less familiar expositions. In the end we had a chance of seeing the ancient Greek and Roman Archaeological artefacts and the halls of paintings of the old French, Flemish and Dutch masters. I can now say I have seen some of the art pieces we hobbyists see in the reference books a lot in person! You know what else is strange? This museum houses one of the world's biggest and most important art collections right? So one would assume the museum has some kind of educational responsibility to the larger world audience right? So why are ALL the signs next to the pieces of art in French ONLY!? No I don't want an audio tour! I want to be able to read what painting or statue I am looking at and then converse about it with the people I came to the museum with. I must be mad...

Crowning of Napoleon and Joséphine

Do I need to introduce this one?

While walking back to the hotel that day we stumbled along a small scene on the side walk I could not help but photograph:

I call this piece of art: "The Toy Soldiers Demise"

Well that's all as far as I am concerned.

Au Revoir!

Back from Paris!

Hoi you all!
Well we're back from Paris and had a blast! We have seen quite a lot of the city's highlights (maybe not all from the inside but hey what do you want if you only have 5 days?) and I am very content having seen all these things. Of course my main interest was our visit to the Musée de L'Armée in the Domes des Invalides, which was great even though the Napoleonic Gallery was closed for renovation. Inside the building one is allowed to make photo's but since it is not allowed to use flash and most of the pieces are behind mirroring-glass making decent pictures is very difficult. Therefore I did not make many pictures indoors, but was fortunate in finding some excellent books in the store with colour photographs of WW1 uniforms of the museum's collection.

One of the things that really bothered me more then I would have guessed up front is how touristic some of the city's highlights are: when visiting Napoleon's Tomb we were rushed on all sides by tourists not really interested in the meaning of the place but rather in being able to tell the folks at home they had been there...

Okay, on to some pictures then!

De Domes des Invalides, where the Empereur has found his last resting place, although I doubt whether he has must rest what with all those people walking in and out...

Me with one of L'Empereurs Petite Filles in the inner courtyard

Me again, this time down at the lower level of the Tomb. Now it feels like I was just as bad as all those tourists running in and out....hmmmm
I will post some more pics in the next topic here!