Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Mona and the Gang

To finish off the tour de Paris, Sunday we went back to the Louvre to actually go inside! We got in for free with our Strasbourg school IDs, grabbed our Louvre maps and found the ten or so things we wanted to see and bee-lined it to each exhibit. We saw some great stuff! yes there was a lot of marble statues and paintings I couldn't care less about but there was some things I was definitely glad we found. 

The Exhibits that were worthy of our attention included: 1. Mona..obviously! how can you go the Louvre and not see the Mona Lisa!..yes small and not very exciting, more of a hassle to push your way to the front than anything, but still famous all the same.
2. Venus de Milo: Lady with no arms, no top, decent abs and a robe that was pretty slutty because it looks like its falling down and it reveals a nice plumbers butt. 
3. The crown of Charlemagne: I'm a was a crown..jewels, gold..count me in! obviously we went to see it. It wasn't as spectacular as I would have liked but it was pretty good for about 800 AD. There was a pretty girly crown next to it though that I loved! I wish I knew what it was!
4. The Dying Slave by Michelangelo: Yes it was just a marble statue, but it was made my Michelangelo! and he did a whole series of them, and it was pretty impressive.
5.Statue of Ramses II, the Sarcophagus of a Married Couple, and a Sphinx: I have always been fascinated by the ancient Egyptians. They lived soooo long ago, but accomplished sooo much and had a culture unlike anything we can possibly imagine today. All the hieroglyphics and statues, bowls jewelry and statues that we saw were really really cool. I could have spent way more time looking around in there but with 5 girls and trains to catch, we had a schedule to keep!
6. The Winged Victory: Another statue, with no head, and no shirt, and no arms. Basically a headless Venus de Milo with Wings. Apparently very very famous for a reason I am oblivious to, yet we were sucked into the tourist trap and spent some time with the statue.
7. Code of Hammurabi: By far one of the coolest things we saw in the Louvre. This is the code that states "an eye for an eye".They had the translation written on the walls next to it and it was pretty intense. If you hit your father, you lost your hand. If you accused anyone of something without reason, you died. If you killed, you were killed. It was pretty unbelievable to read it and to look at the actual code written there on the rock.  But that was our last stop at the Louvre and then half the girls hopped on a train to Strasbourg while me and Chelsea stayed one more night to see Versailles on Monday morning.
Versailles..what a great idea!! Who wouldn't want to go see the best castle ever! Well I did, so we took the 1.5 hr train ride to the outskirts of Paris and went to the old stomping grounds of Louis and Marie Antoinette. To our surprise, when we got off the train, what did we see?..a Starbucks! We had to stop! It was a necessity to get a grande vanilla latte TO GO! You can't get anything bigger than a double espresso here nevermind to go! It was heaven needless to say and made up for what we discovered next. As we walked up to Versailles, completely mesmerized by its grandness and extravagance, we realized there wasn't a lot of people around. No lines, no nothing...weird. Needless to say, the Chateau Versailles isn't open on Mondays, like most Paris monuments and museums. That was a nice little discovery. It worked out okay though because  the gardens were still open so we walked around the HUGE grounds for about 2 hours. The gardens here are supposed to be breathtaking, something we couldn't quite experience in the middle of winter when nothing was in bloom and the fountains weren't turned on! At least the sun was out and it turned out to be a nice day just walking around. The restaurant in the gardens was open so we had a nice little lunch at Versailles and we made the best of the situation. We stopped and got McDonald's icecream on the way back (don't judge it was delicious and McDonalds is like chic and really nice here!). The Starbucks and McDonald's alone where worth the train ride out there..Versailles' gardens were a plus.

Even though we didn't get to go into Versailles, it was totally worth the trip to walk around and see the outside. At least now I have something else to look forward to next time I come to Paris, and I'll know to come when its warm and not on a Monday! 

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