Day at Musee du Louvre

7 July 2012 Breakfast at the Hotel Le Littre then train to Chatelet. Oh no the line is closed to the Louvre! Get off 2 stops early and find my way down the Champs Elysees then along the Seine River to Le Louvre. No I didn’t get lost which is a miracle.

The line at the Louvre was a mile long but with my trusty Museum pass I slip straight in the group entrance at Richelieu Pavillon. Then in to see another queue to pay but no my pass gets me straight in. It saved so much time! What a lifesaver! I managed to see the French paintings then on to the Mona Lis (La Joconde). The people were 6 deep and you had to jostle to get a spot close enough to get a photo (yes you can take photos!). She’s the size of A3 not A4 as I was led to believe but is beautiful. Had lunch in Cafe Mollien and then went off to find the Venus de Milo. That is beautiful too. Although I was very taken with a marble sculpture of a woman reclining on a bed (no name sorry). You wouldn’t have believed it was made of marble it was so lifelike. Then walked through the Tuileries Gardens (cafes, statues, carnival), along the Seine to Bateaux Parisien for a cruise. It was very breezy. Caught Les Cars Rouge (the red bus) back to Musee d’Orsay slowly and then on the Metro to Montparnasse station. The station is massive with lots of stations within it and I went the wrong way yet again. Time was tight to meet my fellow bike riding companions at 6.30pm. To top it off the room key wouldn’t work so I had to get another one before I could get a shower and go out again!

The bar at La Littre Hotel is a cosy affair with lounge chairs, the obligatory bar and a cute French barman. Kate Stedman is talking to him in rapid French. She greets me and buys me a drink. Eventually all the others turn up and the conversation really gets going. Where do we come from? Kids, husbands, wives etc etc? Seem like a lively bunch and I am hopeful it will be a great trip. Dinner was a casual affair at a pizza restaurant (of all places). The conversation is very lubricated and we don’t leave until about 10.30pm. By then the sun is just going down!

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