A One Way Ticket to Paris, Please – Day 11

This is it, our last full day in Paris. With mixed emotions on leaving
this wonderful city tomorrow, we were up early, as today would be spent
at the Louvre. A quick metro ride to the Palais Royal Musee du Lourve,
we entered the museum through the Carrousel entrance to avoid
the long lines through the Pyramid. For the first time ever, I did not
purchase a museum pass, which I will never make that mistake again.
But with a lot of luck, the ticket line was pretty short and we breezed
through and quickly made a decision to start in the Richelieu wing to
visit Napoleon III’s Apartments, which are absolutely dazzling.

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The Grand Salon is an opulent and dazzling room that is one of the main
areas of the apartments. You stand here only to imagine the men
dressed in their best apparel and the women in their full crinoline hooped
gowns, sitting in this room, maybe listening to a piano recital or exchanging
conversation with others in this magnificent setting.

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Just look at this marvelous ceiling with these gorgeous chandeliers casting
a sparkle from the crystals.

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Can you imagine sitting in this Dining Room amongst the many guests
having a sumptuous meal with Napoleon III and the perfect Empress
Eugenie.

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The ceilings just amazed me in the Louvre. Not only in Napoleon’s
apartments but throughout the entire museum, but after all, this was once
a royal residence for the Kings of France for several hundred years.

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A portrait painting of Empress Eugenie.

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The Winged Goddess of Victory standing on the prow of the ship on the
island of Samothrace. One of my favorite movies is Funny Face, when
Audrey Hepburn is running down the steps of this beautiful statue for
a photo shoot. Seeing this always makes me want to be her and run
down the steps with a beautiful flowing wrap, as she did. Thank goodness there is always a crowd, because I would surely fall on my face.

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This really is a beautiful piece of art. We were very lucky to be able to
view it, as it was taken off exhibit for cleaning and just recently went
back on display.

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Then there is the Mona Lisa. You immediately know when you have
reached the room that holds this small but interesting painting. It’s
almost more interesting to see the crowds of people trying to view this
painting, heads poking up, people standing on their tiptoes, as I was,
just trying to get as close as we can. It’s interesting to listen to the
comments of those around you as you view this painting. Some are
star struck and others are maybe a little disappointed. Not sure how
I feel, yes it’s small, but yet powerful at the same time. Being small,
Leonardo da Vinci carried this painting with him towards the last years of
his life and lived in France, which is why the French owns the painting and
not the Italians, which some are still bitter over that, to this day.

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I was surprised to see so many artist in the museum painting from the
many wonderful pieces of art hanging on the walls. Some were pretty
good, but this particular artist was exceptional in his craft. I thought his work was excellent.

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A view of the courtyard from inside the museum.

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Leaving the Louvre, with my head spinning from all I tried to take in
today, but yet excited and empowered from the beauty of it all, I must
say I cannot wait for my next visit to Paris, and know that the Louvre will
be my first stop.

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There was one place I wanted to find before I left Paris. The Le Grand
Colbert restaurant that was featured in the movie, Something’s Gotta Give.
The movies featured Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson. Situated in the
district of the Bourse, not far from the Galeries Vivienne, 5 minutes from
Palais Royal. It is a lovely Brasserie that has the feel of the old Paris.
Peaking in the windows we saw high walls with beautiful chandeliers,
mirrors, and bistro seating. Unfortunately, we had eaten a big lunch
at the Louvre and was not the least bit hungry. This will be the number
two place I will return to on my next visit to Paris.

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Well it is late evening now and we did our nightly walk and reluctantly
am returning to our wonderful little hotel to finish last-minute packing,
as we need to wake up at an ungodly hour for our flight back to Detroit.

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This has been an unbelievable trip. I did not do all that I wanted but
tried to pack in as much as I could. My travel friend had never been
to Paris before, and being in her late 70’s, I applaud her energy, her
positivity, her hunger for the arts and her passion for this beautiful
city. I have been here many times, and it was surely like seeing Paris
for the first time through her eyes.

Paris is truly an experience you will never forget. Now when can I return?

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