As I walked this morning I looked at all the doors on all the streets. Each of them has what I call a digi code thing. I am not sure of the official name of them, but this is what they look like.
I am not sure if other countries have these, but they are all over Paris. It used to be that when you rented an apartment here you were given the code to open the doors attached to these little boxes. Sometimes there was just one code. Sometimes you had a code on the street door and another on the door further inside the building. I would normally write this code on a piece of paper in my wallet and by the end of my stay I may have memorized it. Well now we have a little fob to open the doors, which makes life just a bit easier. Of course, we still have a key to get into our apartment, but perhaps that to will change some day?
Today we headed to the Louvre. Us and about a million other tourist decided today would be a great day to see Winged Victory and her friend Mona. I have been here many times and I can honestly say I have never seen it this crowded. Yes, it is a big week here, but I have been here this week before I swear there are more people here than ever. And most of them have no concept of personal space or how to say excuse me.
My first trip to Paris I did the 45 minute tour of the Louvre. Winged Victory, the Mona Lisa, the Venus and an urn. In and out.
On another trip, I spent 7 entire days in the Louvre. I purchased a book with the collection in it and saw every single thing in that book. I spent one entire day looking at French Sculpture, I was the only one in that gallery and I am sure the guards were watching me and wondering what I was finding so fascinating.
Today was not enjoyable for the most part. We did wonder into the African art area and it was calm and not many people.
Then we came home and took a nap. Yup a nap. All of us for a few hours because we were going out to participate in a three hour "dark side" tour of Paris. We were met at the Citi metro station by our guide, Heidi. She was a lovely woman from London that moved to Paris a few years ago for an adventure and now works as a tour guide. She works for the company we hired tonight and has her own company and does tours about the women of Paris. If we had time....
Her website is http://www.womenofparis.fr/
Check her out and if you are ever in Paris, tell her I sent you. And, her logo is really great.
We started near St. Chappell and walked for three hours. We walked past the Conciergerie where Marie Antoinette spent her final years.
We walked thru Place Dauphine where elephant was served during a siege with the Prussians. An elegant little square that you can enjoy if you don't think about that.
We then walked to the Pont Neuf one of the most beautiful bridges in Paris and the first to be built of stone and without housing on it. There is a little grass triangle down below the Pont Neuf known as the Le Square du Vert-Galant, which Heidi tells us was the place Henry the 4th was likely to take his lady friends to do whatever it is Kings and lady friends do. I know it as the place where the last grand master of the Knights Templar was burned at the stake after years of torture, because he would not give up the Templars or their fortune. Long live Jacque d'Moley.
Then it was over to the area right before the Pont Des Arts bridge where we learned about a young girl that was found dead in the river. Nobody knew who she was, but her death mask became a face we are all familiar with. If you have every taken CPR training, she is the face of the dummy.
Then over to the Louvre, which was now nicely empty. We learned about the palace.
We walked the same route as Marie did on her way to lose her head.
We ended up at the Cemetery of the Innocents, you know the largest cemetery in Paris, when there were cemeteries in Pairs, the place that started it all in the catacombs.
We ended our. Night in front of the oldest pest removal service in Paris. And lets just say they may need to work a little closer to home.
We learned about so much on this tour and it was fun as well as educational. Of course we were the best group and after watching a man with a really bad knee and another that needed to be replaced hobble on his cane across the streets of Paris, my feet did not hurt as bad.
So then off for home and another day tomorrow.