Thursday, January 14, 2016

Europe Trip: Day 2: The Louvre, Notre Dame, and Sacre Couer

Like every trip with my father, we started early in the morning and had a large breakfast in the hotel’s executive lounge. We walked the 5 minutes to the Opera house, following a busy thoroughfare to the tourist office.

After a quick photo session in front of the opera house, we reached the tourist office to purchase our most important item in Paris: The Paris Pass. With free admission to 99% of the biggest attractions in and around Paris (Including heavy hitters like Versailles, the Louvre, Notre Dame, etc.) and priority admission at the Louvre (skipping a 1.5 hr. line), this pass becomes worth it if you plan on visiting more then a few attractions.

Anyway, we walked to the Louvre, and after flashing our passes for direct admission, began our perusal of some of the world’s great artistic treasures. 

However, they happened to be unbelievably underwhelming; I saw no reason for the hype around the Mona Lisa (puny) or the Venus di Milo statue (same as every other). However, my sister and I enjoyed seeing many of the paintings that seem to be engraved on textbooks for as long as we remember; my favorite was Pieter Brugel the Elder's The Tower of Babel.  

This museum was the first time I had ever seen my dad actually appreciate a work of art; he was quite astounded by the level of detail in The Tower of Babel and impressed with the various Da Vinci's in the museum. 

After leaving the Louvre, we began the walk towards Notre Dame, stopping for crepes and pizza along the way. At Notre Dame, although our passes got up free admission, we still had to wait in an extremely long line in the searing heat to get in.

The interior was awe-inspiring; an iridescent sheen reminiscent of mother of pearl greeted us, along with amazing architectural work and ornate detailing. 
After finishing with the Cathedral, we rested our weary selves in a row on the Seine riverbank. After our quick rest, we began our search for the Center Pompidou, Paris's eminent modern art museum, and our first of many. 

At this point, my mom and sister headed home, while my dad and I headed out to Montmartre and La Sacre Coeur Basilica.

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