Finally figured out why I was not much of a "Museum person", I was going about it "ALL WRONG"!
With the influence of The Professor, Pluto and a host of others on the MI, I have changed my ways. Yes, I should also cite Cedric, the Concierge, at the AdT Renaissance, who recommended and set up a "Private guide" for the Louvre. Having been a number of times before, I was never too impressed till I took him up on this recommendation. The personal guide met me in the hotel lobby and we spent the next 4 hours getting to, touring the Louvre, and getting back to the hotel. I will never forget the day, and want to share some "Tips" for you should you have the opportunity to visit the Louvre.
First of all, try to buy your tickets early! In my case, he thought I had a ticket, and I thought he had a ticket for me. However, while the lines must have had a 1000 plus people in it, we walked to a little known "Gift shop" in the Louvre, where there was NO ONE in line, bought a ticket for 10 euro and walked right into the museum. Here is a picture of that small place, it's on the West side of the basement, by the small pyramid.
While the amount of scenery is fantastic, let me share some highlights with you!
This place is huge, some say 3 miles of building! Prepare for some real walking and a number of stairs!
The oldest known painting ever found in France, A French King, really impressive!
One of the three top sights in The Louvre, Winged Victory!
Another of the wonderful sculptures! Raw beauty! Prepare for some serious crowds!
Charles my guide, was a wonderful host!
Lastly, everyones favorite, and the most crowded area is The Mona Lisa!(Sorry, The picture was censored?)
A great day was enjoyed at The Louvre, and a lesson was learned by listening to The Concierge! Unforgettable!
No they do let you take pictures of The Mona Lisa. It has a special glass on it that makes it tough to get a good picture. There are a few things that the Louvre would not let you take pictures of, one was a new item that had not been "Checked in". I do not know why MI did not allow me to show The Mona Lisa. It is no big deal, as most of us have seen it countless times.
The Louvre did have signs posted for "No photography", but it was not enforced and most everyone was taking pictures. Here are a few of my favorites as well!
DaVinci's "John The Baptist", very pretty!
Hammurabi's Code! Most interesting.
Most people will not be able to see everything if you had a week! But pick a day, preferably a "Rainy one", to visit the Louvre. Remember, you can take the Metro and literally stroll in from the Metro stop!
I hired a private guide at the Vatican, and thank goodness I did.
I had only a couple of hours, and the line for tickets was down and round the block.
We went right past the line and immediately in.
The place is huge, but he knew where all the most important sights were, so again we bypassed alot of lines and crowds. He had carefully selected the best things that many people were not even aware of.
He had his degree in Art History, but was also well versed in literature and current movies, so was also able to not only explain the piece and the history but also all the references through time in literature and film.
It was an amazing visit!
I don't think I would have accomplished half of it, even if I spent the year before reading up on it, and mapping it out in my museum guides and catalogues.
A couple times it is lucky I did as I had a bad guide visiting antiquities, and was able to sit and read about it from my guide book and notes as I looked at it, but a great guide is well worth the price to take advantage of the time you have.
Last time my wife and I visited Paris we hired a driver to take us to Mont St. Michel. Expensive, but definitely worthwhile. The driver had taught history and told us about all the areas we were passing thru on the way (I think an 8-hour round trip), and also the history of Mont St. Michel. Sure beat reading about it.
Wow, what an experience!
Drove myself, but did not visit the island, as we could not bet across because of the tide. This is a lovely place! Thanks for sharing with us. That is a full day!
Saw some two day trips that included Normandy and St. Michel, but that is pretty intense!