The Louvre & Musee D'Orsay

Since we arrived in France I've sort of just let each day come as it may. I had a general idea before we left what I wanted to see (D'Arc, Eiffel Tower, Musee D'Orsay, Louvre, Versailles) but I really did not 'schedule' anything or say "On this day I'll do this". On Wednesday, we had to transfer hotels and when I learned the latest check out the front desk would allow was 12 noon, I figured it would be a good day to hit the 2 museums on my list as I knew for sure that the Louvre would take up a bunch of time. Owen's final seminar of the day was not completed until 4.45pm at which point we boarded a bus for the Hilton, so I had a lot of time to kill.

The day started out really dreary/rainy though and it was one of those days I just wish we could have holed up in the hotel room or just went out for a couple of hours and then came back to our room. But regardless I needed to re-pack our stuff, get it taken to the front desk for storage and be on my way. We also were going to try and get my name on the room so I could end up at the hilton but the rooms were in a block of "Total", not Owen's actual name until we got there.

I stopped at our usual cafe for a baguette and juice then took the metro to central Paris. The first day I went down it was sunny and bright and after looking at a lot of my photos of Notre Dame they were not that great, so I walked by there again and took some more (outside only) then headed down to the Louvre.

Now I have to admit, I did not love the Louvre. Sorry but I hated the crowds, the pushing, the rude people and I'd add line ups to the list, but Owen had made me up a Total Name Badge before we left which gave me free admission. Word of advice to anyone going, pre-purchase your tickets. They have I think 3 or 4 admission stands where you can buy tickets but the line up for that was just crazy!

Another thing to note is that it is not very stroller friendly. When you come in through the Pryamid if you have a stroller you are hushered to one side and told to go to the left where there is an elevator to take you down to the ground floor. That though, is the easiest elevator to find. I also discovered when I left that they are super strict that it is used for wheelchairs and strollers only. An abled bodied guy tried to get on it when I was leaving and the security guard who mans it was quick to point him towards the stairs. Note: This does not apply to the other elevators in the Museum, I got pushed/shoved around and people butted in front of me several times to get on the elevator ahead of me.

That though, is where all easy access for strollers ends. I spent the rest of my time at each section trying to find the elevator access to go up to each floor and once on that floor trying to go up the flights of stairs within that area to get to a certain exhibit. I found it super frustrating! I tried once to use the escalator and the security guy was quick to point me towards an elevator. I know I sound nuts but seriously there are no signs (that I saw) to point the way. All the elevators are down unmarked hallways, through corridors and around corners. If Owen was with me, we would have just take the stairs and he could have lifted the stroller. I considered not taking the stroller but Tash is just too young and would have been too tired to make it the day without it.

Since I was having trouble finding the elevator I explored I think Sully first, which was Midievil and Egyptian. It was nice, Natasha got out and ran around a bit. The took over an hour. I then went to the Denon Wing so I could see the Mona Lisa. It seemed silly go to the Louvre and not visit the Mona Lisa.

See is probably the wrong term to use though. By the time I located the elevator, got there, found it (although it's super close to the entrance and signs point the way) there was a swarm of about 50+ ppl around it. So more pushing ensused as I got in close enough to snap a few photos. I walked around to view some of the other paintings and then left about 30 mins later.

I did break down and spend the 6 EURO on an audio guide, which was really cool. Well worth the money IMO.

I don't want to be a downer about the Louvre, it's a gorgeous Museum, but for someone who hates the crowds, has a 2 yr old Toddler in tow with a stroller it was just not that great of an idea. I fully intend on returning to Paris again so I'll make another visit. I'd advise anyone else who has it on their list to not only pre-purchase tickets as I mentioned but show up right at 9am. Make your first stop the Denon Wing to see the Mona Lisa before it gets to crazy then get the Audio guide (if with a spouse/bf/family I'd get one and share it) and enjoy the rest of the time there.

My other recommendation is to get a Map/Plan of the Louvre so you can view it before you visit and pick the things you want to see the most. There is no way you'll see it all in one day!

After the Louvre I went to the gardens/park across the street from it and let Tash blow off more energy by running around before she decided she'd get back in the stroller. I then headed down to Musee D'Orsay, which I have to say I really enjoyed! So much less crowd, less pushy people and although not as big, just more enjoyable for me. I really loved the statues and the artwork.

It was around 2.45pm after we finished at D'Orsay so I started the 'hike' back to the Chatelet Metro and got back to part of Paris before stopping at Bercy Village for a late Lunch. I ran into B again and we had lunch together then headed back to the Hotel at 4.30pm.

Little did we know that our Husband's final seminar of the day was running late. The CEO that was doing the final seminar of the day was late, did not actually get to the hotel until 4.30! and so the class did not end until 6pm! It was fun listening to B's daughter who is 4 whine that she was tired, sweaty and boooorrreedddd and my toddler run around like a manaic bc she'd not had a nap all day so was all hung strung. heh

Anywho, they were let out at 6pm finally, we got our bags, got on the bus and got to the Hilton Hotel, which right now I hate. I've had to go to the Front Desk to have our room key 'fixed' 3xs because it stopped working in the door, there is no bellman services (I know Pullman Hotel spoiled me), we were put in a disgusting smoking room even though a non-smoking one was requested, but they ran out and our "King" bed is really just one big wooden headboard with two twin matresses pushed together. And if I want to whine even more :p The pillows are super flat and small and the 'blanket' is the thinnest duvet I've ever seen. I really miss Pullman Hotel and Resorts - Bercy. Such a nice hotel!
0 Responses