As mentioned in my previous post, Paris is a beautiful city. Perhaps its greatest beauty lies in its museums, and today, we got to behold so many magnificent works of art. Our morning began with the Louvre; having been to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the British Museum in London, I have been anticipating this day nearly my whole life. Our excitement was building as we walked through the entrance, and immediately I was taken aback by the splendor. Rooms and rooms and rooms of the most exquisite paintings, sculptures and decor were around each corner, and I could not wait to begin.
We ventured first to the museum’s most famous piece, the Mona Lisa. Approaching her, we could see the hoards of tourists with the cell phones raised in the air, snapping pictures and taking selfies with Leonardo Da Vinci’s masterpiece. A wide barricade keeps the masses at a distance from the Mona Lisa, so my time with her was short. But I was still able to be entranced by her wandering eyes and delicate smile that have drawn in crowds for centuries.
Moving through the rest of the museum, we were transported through the Middle Ages and Renaissance of European art, our eyes trying to take in as much as possible. Alex, Jordan and I also explored the halls of Ancient Greece, Rome and Mesopotamia, witnessing mind-blowing sculptures and artifacts straight out of history.
I was sad to leave the Louvre, but it is impossible to even scratch the surface of all its treasures during one trip to Paris. Moving on, we ate lunch at a delicious Parisian cafe and strolled through the park outside the museum, admiring all the beautiful flowers and fountains.
Our next stop was the Musée De l’Orangerie with Monet’s famed “Water Lilies” and other incredible Impressionist paintings. I knew I was going to enjoy seeing these works of art, but I had no idea how mesmerized I could be. Sitting in front of the vast scene Monet depicts takes your breath away: I could have spent hours staring at it because your eyes continue to be refreshed with a new image. I may sound very corny saying this, but I really felt something when I looked at these paintings. It was beautiful and haunting and peaceful all at once, and I hope everyone can have this sort of spiritual experience with art.
After seeing many more spectacular paintings by Renoir, Cezanne and Picasso, we left the museum and walked along the Seine to the Champs-Élysées. It was quite the trek to get to the Arc de Triomphe, but luckily our pit stop consisted of purchasing macaroons from the famed Laduree! Having spent the entire morning and afternoon walking around Paris, we headed back to our flat for an afternoon rest. Tonight, we go to the Moulin Rouge, so au revoir for now!