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Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

The Louvre

Today we got up early and headed to the Louvre before they opened.  That allowed us to be first in line, and as a result, we had almost 2 hours with the master painters on the 2nd floor in the peace and quiet before the crowds set in.  I like the Dutch and northern European masters better than the Italian.  They at least have some paintings that aren’t biblical (those get old after a while).  The crowd in front of the Mona Lisa when we got to the 1st floor was already so big we didn’t stand in front of it as we had no desire to push our way through the crowd.  We walked through the grand hall, and then went to explore the rest of the museum.  We walked 6 miles through the halls of the Louvre in one day.  We saw the whole thing.  Well, not every single thing in every single display case (just how many Greek pottery urns can you look at?), but none less we saw all the halls.  Overall, I think my favorite was this painting of a woman in a window by Jan Victors, a follower of Rembrandt.  It has the most amazing lace on her dress.  Dave’s most memorable was this lion.

The Americans in Paris redeemed themselves today with respect for other cultures.  The Louvre is filled with a lot of statues – most of which are sitting on the floor or on pedestals where you can walk right up and get a close up look.  There are signs everywhere and museum attendants that tell you not to touch.  This was violated by numerous tourists who would lean on them to take pictures and so forth – the worst offenders appeared to be Japanese with their cameras, but no Americans.  Taking pictures of the art was a phenomenon neither Dave nor I understood.  Your picture will never be as good as the professional one in the book you can buy in the museum store.  Yet people snap pictures constantly.  But to climb on the statues for an “I was here” picture is completely over the top.  I wanted to start smacking people over the head with my map.  Sheesh.

We went back to the hotel and I looked up the location of Lafayette’s grave.  What better way to celebrate the 4th of July than to pay homage to Lafayette?  But alas the grave site is closed Mondays.  Some internet reports of events there on the 4th of July, but nothing indicating whether there would be any activities today.

For dinner we decided to go on a cruise around historic Paris on one of the dinner boats.  Based on some quick Internet research we choose a smaller single boat operation called Calife.  The internet reports said the service was good and the food was good.  All the other larger commercial operators were mixed reviews – some good, some not so good.  As usual the Internet was right.  The cruise was very nice and much better food than one would expect from a mass production kitchen – albeit not as large as most of the barge like cruise boats on the canal that night.

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