Wendy wanted to see what an apartment in Paris could be like, so we invited her to dinner the following evening. Needing speed, she sight-saw on her own the next day. But with Carolee in class for the morning I got my courage up and headed for the Louvre. I couldn't find the reputed passage from the metro stop to the Louvre entrance, so it was up and across the busy Rue de Rivoli and into the courtyard. With my cane I was intercepted as I headed for the very long line of visitors and was shown right into the pyramid. The open-air elevator being busy, I picked my way down the wide spiral staircase, approached one of the money-taking and ticket-issuing machines and eventually divined its mysteries. What now? The entrances into the Louvre were several and not specially marked, so I picked one and found myself admiring the early walls of the Louvre fortress before winding up at, with no choice, the Egyptian section. Happy with this, I spent quite a bit of time looking at very ancient stuff before carefully moving up one of the grand staircases to something newer. I bumbled my way over to the north wing and was rewarded with some major 17th century Dutch paintings. I then made the mistake of moving on to the apartments of Napoleon III, which proved to be a real labyrinth, and it took a good while to make my way back to the south wing, where the really famous stuff is. Running out of time, I was tempted along the way by a couple of rooms with fine Corots but had to press on. In a few minutes I found myself a few feet away from the Winged Victory of Samothrace along with a zillion other people, all taking photos. decided it was my very favorite statue. I searched around for the Venus de Milo but couldn't find her. Negative time left, I hurried over and passed through the room containing the Mona Lisa and so many people around it that I was reminded of swarming bees. Down a grand staircase I got to see Winged Victory from below as I had hoped. Had to ask for the way out, which was into the pyramid again and up. Metro home.
Dinner with Wendy at the apartment was one of our standard simple meals enhanced by flowers and desserts that Wendy had brought. We walked back with her to her hotel, then passed behind a huge inflatable movie screen that had been set up for free movies in the Place des Vosges. Tired and late, we didn't stay. Wendy headed home the next morning.
The Friday of that week we discovered Le Baron Rouge, Paris's only barrelhouse, where you buy wine right from the barrel. After that an easy trip to see the main Printemps store in the Opera district, then down the Avenue de l'Opera to see a church, St Germain l'Auxerrois. It's in the center of things, across from the Louvre's east facade, and was the royal church, until royalty moved to Versailles. It's most notable for being where the the bells were used to signal the start of the St Bartholomew's Day massacre.
|Le Baron Rouge Barrelhouse|
|Choir, St Germain l'Auxerrois|
|Petit Palais, courtyard pavillion|
|Memorial to Lafayette|
|Vestigial Lady Di Memorial|
|Newlyweds, photographer, flame|
|Ready for a TGV experience|
|Virgin carried from Notre Dame|
|Virgin by Hotel de Ville|
|Virgin at Saint Michel|