Before a late lunch and my return back to London Mary and I set ourselves a rather ambitious challenge… How much of the Musée du Louvre could we see in just an hour and a half?
After grabbing a delicious croque monsieur and coffee from Legay Choc in La Marais, we were ready to brave the Louvre’s queues, crowds and complex maze network of halls.
New fact of the day: the Louvre is the world’s most visited museum and boasts nearly 35,000 objects from pre-history to the 21st century. It’s housed in the Louvre Palace (originally built in the late 12th century) and became the primary place to display the royal collection once Louis XIV chose to live in the Palace of Versailles in 1682.
Before stepping inside we had some fun posing outside the Palace and Pyramid.
And then through the Pyramid we went…
…and the race began.
First up, the Venus de Milo.
Followed by other stunning bronze and marble sculptures.
At times we did feel a tad fatigued with the number of wrong turns we took. It was all a little bit too much for this drama queen…
And we did sympathise with poor old Alice from Alice in Wonderland… which path should we take?
However, we finally stumbled upon Napoleon’s gallery which was quite simply, magnificent.
Although we were at our wits end when we realised we’d reached a dead end and that it didn’t quite lead to Napoleon III’s Apartments…
But, finally, there was success.
The Apartments were worth the wait, extravagantly decorated with rich red velvets, opulent golds and sparkling crystal chandeliers.
We then went on the hunt for other highlights of the Louvre including Veronese’s The Wedding at Cana.
And of course the Mona Lisa, tucked safely away from the public in a thick glass cabinet.
To finish our whistle-stop tour I managed to relocate my favourite gallery in the Louvre – the French sculpture halls!
And here’s one of my favourite sculptures of all time – a copy of the sexy Barberini Faun by 18th century sculptor Edme Bouchardon. Not sure if you can see the appeal?
Exhausted and famished Mary already knew where my final meal in Paris would be - Grizzli cafe on the Rue Saint Martin in Beaubourg.
And naturally I tucked into steak frites washed down with another glass of red.
Before jumping back on the Eurostar home.