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(17) Paris Untour 2010 (Day 18) A Commotion of Emotion at the Louvre


Day 18   A Commotion of Emotions at the Louvre


Friday   May 7, 2010


Vendredi   7 Mai 2010


At 6:41am we were both up.  The forecast for the day was partly cloudy with a high of 14ºC (57ºF) and a low of 7ºC  (45ºF).  By 7:43am I was out the door to buy 2 croissants and 2 chausson aux pommes (apple turnover).  Chausson aux pommes had become my favorite pastry.  They are not at all like the apple turnovers back in the States.  They are absolutely delicious. 












The duct tape repair of the wheelchair tire did not work.  The tube was once again bulging out.  We left the apartment at 9:45am, and caught bus #69 near the Bastille Metro station entrance.  By 10:15am we were waiting in the glass pyramid for the lift down into the Louvre.  There was no waiting for us.  They have a special disabled visitors entrance.                                                                                                                                                           

We had seen all the major tourist attractions at the Louvre during our last trip in 2008.  So we were under no pressure to battle the crowds.  However, we did plan to revisit a few before leaving at the end of the day.  For now our time was spent wandering the halls of art.  I was looking for some interesting photo opportunities.   We find it interesting to watch some of the artists making copies of the masterpieces. 

Time flies when you are having a good time.   We wanted to get to Cafe Mollien before the line started forming.  So at 11:05 we made our way to our lunch time destination.     

During our 2008 Paris Untour we had lunch on the balcony of Cafe Mollien at the Louvre. The Maitre'd, Alain, allowed us to move to the edge of the balcony for a better view of the Pyramid. During our meal, Eleanor asked him for his autograph and permission to take a photograph.  I printed a number of photos taken of Parisian friends during our 2008 visit to Paris to give as gifts of fine memories. The cool weather did not allow for lunch on the balcony. So we decided to have a Cafe Mollien lunch at a window inside. However Alain was nowhere to be seen. We showed Alain's photo to our waiter. He said Alain wasn't there, but he would give it to him.

Eleanor ordered Salade italienne (coppa, mozzerella, artichauts et tomato marinés). My choice was Penne au poulet et parmesan.  A 46cl carafe of Bordeaux de Monsenac was also included with the meal.  So there we were having a nice lunch overlooking the Louvre courtyard when a waiter approached. It took several seconds, but I realized that it was Alain. What followed was a commotion of emotions. Hugging, kissing, more hugging and kissing. Alain was beside himself with happiness that we would remember him with a photo gift taken two years earlier. He was close to tears. So were we. His reaction to our photo gift was totally unexpected. We created such a commotion that people were looking to see what was going on. One of the men at a nearby table offered to take a photo of us with Alain. What a great moment that was! 

Alain remembered that we had been celebrating our anniversary the last time he saw us.  We were again celebrating another anniversary with him.  For dessert Eleanor ordered Molleux Chocolat (soft chocolate cake).  My choice was Tartelette Framboisses Limoncello (raspberry and limoncello tartlet). 








Alain treated us to the desserts as well as two cafe cremes.  Total cost of the meal (minus the desserts and coffee) came to 23.80€ ($30.94 U.S.) plus a well deserved 4 € ($5.20 U.S.) tip.  As we left Alain gave us a souvenir menu and said "In two years!"  By then it was 12:55pm.  So we headed for the Mona Lisa.  

Tourists can be very rude. That includes me.  I was doing my photography thing. I spotted a set of stairs that I could use to get a better view point above the crowd. A lady sitting next to the stairs said "non!" along with some other French words. Embarrassed, I scooted away. Eleanor said "You should apologize. The lady has a big frown on her face." So I went back to the lady and said "Désolé Madame." The frown turned into a smile as she nodded. So if you inadvertently upset someone during your travels, apologize. In France the word is "Désolé" (Day-so-lay). It means "Sorry." It is a powerful word. It can turn a frown into a smile.


We headed next to Salle 6, the room in which Mona Lisa is on display.  During our last Louvre visit in 2008, the room was wall-to-wall people.  This time we were shocked.  It was fairly easy to get within view of the famous painting.


The Winged Victory of Samothrace is hard to miss.

The first time we ever visited the Louvre was in 1973.  At that time we purchased a copy of this statue, measuring about 18 inches high and made out of a plastic-like resin material.  Later when visiting the gift shop, we checked out the prices of the Winged Victory souvenir statues.  A Winged Victory statue similar in size to the one we purchased in 1973 was now priced at 220€ ($286 U.S.).


Before leaving the Louvre, we made a point to pay our respects to Venus de Milo.   Once again we were surprised to see a much smaller crowd around the statue compared to our 2008 visit.



At around 3:00pm we exited the Louvre via the underground Carrousel du Louvre shopping mall.  A bike in one of the store windows caught my eye. 

We briefly stopped in the Apple store, and looked around.












When we once again were back at street level, Eleanor sat at a nearby bench while I took some photos of the Louvre fountains. 


At about 3:32pm two Gypsies showed up looking for handouts.  They are much more numerous than back in 2008.  They also show up at many more tourist sites instead of just at the Eiffel Tower.  They approach you with a card and say "Do you speak English?"  We always say "Non!"  They then move on the next potential victim.


Finally, we decided to take the #69 bus back home.  By 4:33 we were back in our apartment to refresh ourselves before going to Cafe Hugo for dinner.




We started off with Soupe a l'oignon "maison." Eleanor asked the waiter what kind of steak is "Entrecote." He pointed to his ribs, but couldn't think of the English word. He pointed to the next table of young ladies, and said "Ask them. They speak English." They called it a rump steak, and said it is very good. The waiter was actually correct. Entrecote translates to "rib steak." Eleanor ordered Entrecóte Poelée Bérnaise. My choice was Cote de Boerf. We each ate half and then switched plates. Total cost of the meal with wine was 52.10 Euros ($70.33 U.S.) plus an extra 2 euros for our good waiter. He was excellent.























                          Cote de Boeuf                                                          Entrecóte Pôuleé Bearnaise     










After our meal at Cafe Hugo we relaxed a while at Place des Vosges before returning to our apartment at 7:40pm.




























We were in bed by 9:30pm.








Total distance walked that day : Bill - 4.09 miles  Eleanor - 3.35 miles

Views: 356

Comment by Norm and Barbara Graca on September 6, 2011 at 7:08pm
Your videos made me feel like I was back at the Lourve myself.  They are really wonderful!


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