Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Venus de Milos arse,Paris maps and pickpockets everywhere!

 The last, ultimate and final day in Paris was much easier than the rest had been. Our hotel was literally across the road from the Louvre Museum, so it was nice to have an easy lie in, followed by the usual breakfast and then a short 2 minute stroll across the road to the amazing pyramid shaped entrance hall that leads you underground and into the Louvre itself.

The entrance is just over there!
 Our first task was to try and decipher where we were on the map that we got from the information booth. Now, one thing that anyone who has been to Paris will know, is that it isn't the easiest city to find your way around. The Metro for example has different coloured lines and numbers that seem to change from station to station - plus there are RER (express) lines and  normal trains that appear at some Metro stations and act as metro trains themselves. We didnt get lost - but saw a lot of people looking confused everywhere we went! So you can guess that the map of the louvre looks much like it was drawn by the same people.

The louvre is split into 3 areas and each area is either 3, 4 or 5 floors high - depending on whether it has floor 3 and the lower ground floor or not. Luckily, the map is colour coded and the man rooms are numbered. So it should be easy - but as soon as we stepped into the first large open area we saw that the 'single floor' on the map was actually 3 or 4 floors with stairs and balconies that all appeared to be on the ground floor itself. It got better later on when we saw a sign saying we were in room 19 of the ground floor, but we actually knew where we were and room 19 was at the other end of the museum. To get from floor 2 or one area to floor 2 of another you have to go up one set of stairs and down 2 other, before rounding a corner and climbing a different set and going back the way you came. I'm sure there are people walking around the Louvre who entered years ago and just cant find their way out.

I actually found the way out really easily as I took a wrong turn at one point and ended up the wrong side of a pane of glass travelling up an escalator towards the exit door. There was no way to turn around, so I knocked at Buffy on the glass and told here to stay put, while I made my way back to the entrance and to where she was waiting - that was fun!

The museum itself is huge and full of some absolute treasures. We enjoyed most of it, but when you have seen 300 paintings and thousands of similar statues it gets a bit tiring. So I was really happy to find some cool things that were a bit out of the norm...

Cool skeleton statue thing

Little slave ship built by hand thousands of years ago!

Egyptian of Alion? (Alien)

Buff and a huge statue!
We did actually enjoy getting a bit lost in the museum as it was raining outside - the easiest way to know where you were was to find something really famous and then find it on the map. Most of these were obvious by the crowds taking photos...

There are better Statues than Venus de Milo...but the crowds love it

I went round the back....

and noticed something funny!!!
and huge crowds trying to get a photo of the Mona Lisa

I used my zoom and got two pictures of it in one!!

One weird thing we noticed in Paris were the signs warning of pickpockets at all the main sights.
They are the only thing that seems consistent around Paris as the pickpockets are always depicted as a huge red man. They are everywhere....

Happy Pickpocket at the Eiffel tower...
On the metro...

At the Louvre...
Even pickpockets can be hit by trains!!! hahahahahaha

Next time I go to Paris...Im going to wear one of these.......
Kids should watch out for closing train doors...
so should scruffy rabbits!!
So after our 3 hour tour of the Louvre, we spent the rest of our last day sitting in a nice little pub with a cold beer or two and generally lazing out -  a lovely end to a lovely week away in Paris. The only thing left was to pack up our stuff on the Sunday morning and take it to the airport via a short walk and a metro ride to Charles de Gaulle airport. A 40 minute flight to Heathrow airport was over so quick we didn't have time to sleep - then a layover for just under two hours during which we had a cool iced coffee and watched Sebastien Coe walk past us on his way somewhere. Finally, another 40 minute flight home to Manchester and our trip was done.

Our final two views of the Louvre  - the grand entrance place

and people stood in rows taking photos of the pyramid!
Now we are back at home and settled back into the normal life. Work at Asda is easy this week and Buffy is up to date with Wilderness Supply - But away from work it certainly isn't quiet....As we had planned we are now well into the mountain of paperwork we have to compile, sign, fill in, check and photocopy in order to get me back into Canada next year as a resident. Police Checks from different countries, Medicals, photos, a relationship history and lots of other stuff all has to be put together and sent away in the next couple of months, before we sit and wait for the result - so far this week we have put about 16 hours work into it all in - Its giving us sleepless nights, so a nice weekend away this week in Skegness for my mum and dads 50th wedding anniversary is being well looked forward to!
(Thanks to Susan Cowtan for pointing out my mistakes on this post!!) :-)

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