My intention during my short stay in Paris was to climb the steps to the top of the Eiffel tower but after what started out as a leisurely stroll to the tower, ended up being a 6 mile hike, by the time I got there and looked up at all the steps I had to climb I decided instead to saunter on down to The Louvre, to see what all the fuss was about regarding the Mona Lisa painting.
Once I seen the first glimpse of the glass pyramid poking out of the ground I was then greeted with a queue almost as long as long the Eiffel tower. Being dismayed at the amount of time I’d have to wait I gave a little chuckle to myself to ease the stress, as luck would have it three middle aged housewives watched my insanity and must have viewed me as a friendly jovial chap because they came out of the queue to ask me to take a picture of them while they were next to the pyramid, I happily obliged in exchange for a place with them in the line, ‘Oh go on then, seeing as its just you I’m sure no one will mind’ they nodded. I think the perturbed Spanish couple behind them seemed to mind but I just smiled and they kept their traps shut, result! I must have shaved a good hour’s waiting time off, it only took around fifteen minutes before I was entering the museum and moving down the escalator.
Inside there are separate wings each with there own distinct collections of art. As well as the Mona Lisa, I was looking forward to seeing ‘a colossal’ statue of ramses II, which turned out to be not so colossal after all, it was barely much bigger than me.
At times it was difficult to know exactly which way was which, but there were plenty of staff to help you find what you are looking for. Annoyingly each artifact that has a description and information about the piece is in French, something I really couldn’t understand since the majority of tourists going to The Louvre were from other parts of Europe.
Eventually I reached the Apollo gallery, probably my favourite area, where there were lots of dazzling paintings in a grand hall.
Close by the crowds had began to gather for what I could see was the Mona Lisa. Protected behind a thick sheet of bullet proof glass was this rather small painting, I had expected a large portrait for some reason, the amount of people taking pictures meant it was quite difficult to even get close to the painting.
I thought it was a bit over rated to be honest. Some people say the painting is priceless others say it’s worth over five hundred million pounds. Alongside the other 35,000 pieces inside the museum the building is potentially housing billions of pounds.
You’ll need to set aside a good half day if you want to explore The Louvre properly, and being able to read French will obviously help! I think art and historians would get a lot out of their visit, otherwise you may feel just a couple of hours will be enough to satisfy your curiosity.