Le Turisme Deux: Tourist Harder

The day after The Walkening I went on a veritable tourism rampage. It will be hard to top by any human ever.

I woke up early and ate enough free hostel breakfast to feed a small family of walruses (lifehack: take advantage of free food) before immediately setting out for Notre Dame. I could tell you how big these things are, or describe the stained glass or whatever. But to be honest, I don’t have any unique insights into things like Notre Dame. It’s Notre Dame; the world famous cathedral. So I’ll let some pictures do the talking. Also, my last post took way too long to write, I’ll never catch up if I go into such detail!

Notre Damn That's a Nice Window (sorry.)

Notre Damn That’s a Nice Window (sorry.)

The back of Notre Dame (cause everyone knows what the front looks like).

The back of Notre Dame (cause everyone knows what the front looks like).

After Notre Dame was Sainte Chappelle, which is less well known, but equally impressive. It used to be the private chapel for French royalty and has all original glass, original statues and original paint on the statues, which I’m told, is extremely rare.

Sainte Chappelle stained glass. Each window represents a different book from the Bible.

Sainte Chappelle stained glass. Each window represents a different book from the Bible.

Next on the list was La Concierge, a prison that was used to house people (including Marie Antoinette) during the French revolution. My butter knife was confiscated by security here, I’ve been using my teaspoon for all cutlery requirements since.

The bottom floor of La Concierge now hosts art exhibitions.

The bottom floor of La Concierge now hosts art exhibitions.

There was an entire room filled lists of the people who were executed by guillotine. The last person was beheaded in the same year that Star Wars came out.

There was an entire room filled lists of the people who were executed by guillotine. The last person was beheaded in the same year that Star Wars came out.

After I’d had my fill of La Concierge I walked to the Pantheon (not the one in Greece). I’ve seen a lot of impressive architecture in Paris, but the Pantheon is something else entirely. I was blown away by the scale of it all. South Africa just simply doesn’t have anything like this. The Voortrekker Monument is pretty big, but it pales in comparison to something like the Pantheon. Everything about it just screams big and grand. Plus it’s right there in the middle of the city, like, next to some dude’s house. I also discovered that there is a crypt beneath the Pantheon where many famous figures are buried. I explored that for a while too. I briefly played with the idea visiting the Paris catacombs during my trip, but then decided I’d probably hate it (I’m squeemish).

Front of the Pantheon. Humans included for scale.

Front of the Pantheon. Humans included for scale.

This place is ridiculous!

This place is ridiculous!

Finally. A selfie. If you look closely you can see where the Foucault pendulum is attached. This pendulum was used in 1851 to demonstrate that the earth rotates around its own axis.

Finally. A selfie. If you look closely you can see where the Foucault pendulum is attached. This pendulum was used in 1851 to demonstrate that the earth rotates around its own axis.

The Patheon crypts. Oooooooooooh... scary!

The Patheon crypts. Oooooooooooh… scary!

Next up, I stopped briefly at the Odeon Theater on my to the Luxembourg Gardens. Pretty sure a better way to experience it would be to see a production though (stay tuned for more world class insights).

To understate their niceness, I will say that the Luxembourg Gardens are really quite nice. Paris is full of amazing parks and gardens. I had lunch there, explored a bit, and stumbled across the most intense chess match I’ve ever seen.

Luxembourg Gardens. Really wanted to roll on this grass, but decided against it.

Luxembourg Gardens. Really wanted to roll on this grass, but decided against it.

More Luxembourg Gardens. Note all the little sailboats the kids push around with poles.

More Luxembourg Gardens. Note all the little sailboats the kids push around with poles.

This chess match seemed like a big deal.

This chess match seemed like a big deal.

Following lunch, I made my way to the Musée d’Orsay, which is the famous impressionist art gallery. The one thing I did get out of my almost entirely useless high school art classes was a bunch of art history knowledge and an accompanying appreciation. It was really fun wandering around and repeatedly coming across famous paintings and mentally shouting “Hey! It’s that thing! Cool!”. I also really like impressionism. I still remember a school project I did on Claude Monet back in like, grade four or so. It was also whilst waiting to get into the Orsay that I got the news about Stugan (thanks free wifi!). I spent the whole time practically skipping around the museum unable to believe how great my life is right now! Is there anyone on the planet having a better day than me right now!?

Painting by my mate Vinnie VG.

Painting by my mate Vinnie VG.

I love this pointillism so much!

I love this pointillism so much!

Bird's eye view of the Orsay. Easy to see that it used to be a train station.

Bird’s eye view of the Orsay. Easy to see that it used to be a train station.

Regular French Picnic - Monet

Regular French Picnic – Monet

More famous Monet. He should consider a career in game art with such a good day night cycle!

More famous Monet. He should consider a career in game art with such a good day night cycle!

The first ever selfie.

The first ever selfie.

After the Orsay I went to another museum you might have heard of: the Musée du Louvre. A handy pro-tip I got from the previous day’s tour is that the Lourve is open at night on Wednesdays and Fridays, but not a lot of people know or expect this. And sure enough (it was now 6pm on a Friday) it was waaaaay less crowded than we passed by the day before.

The Louvre was completely overwhelming. It is massive and labyrinthian in places. Every room has anything from 10 to 50 exhibits and there are hundreds of rooms. It is quite literally impossible to take in everything there. So you you wander wide-eyed for actual kilometers, only stopping briefly for a closer look when something catches your attention. I spent three exhausting hours experiencing the Louvre. It was fantastic.

Egytptian stuff at The Louvre. Got so lost here!

Egytptian stuff at The Louvre. Got so lost here!

Found a sketch group drawing the statues in this part of the museum. So sad I didn't take my pad that day!

Found a sketch group drawing the statues in this part of the museum. So sad I didn’t take my pad that day!

All of the buildings in this picture (and underground) are The Louvre. Maybe 25% of it, that is.

All of the buildings in this picture (and underground) are The Louvre. Maybe 25% of it, that is.

Never seen this before, but I loooooove it!

Never seen this before, but I loooooove it!

Every dining room in France looks like this.

Every dining room in France looks like this.

Louvre is good museum with much art.

Louvre is good museum with much art.

Raft of the Medusa! Forget the Mona Lisa, this is where it's at!

Raft of the Medusa! Forget the Mona Lisa, this is where it’s at!

Mind status: blown.

Mind status: blown.

This crappy statue doesn't even have arms.

This crappy statue doesn’t even have arms.

I had also planned to visit Le Palais Royale, which was nearby. But I had ran out of time and (more pressingly) energy, so I went home to sleep. I was still buzzing about Stugan and all the amazing things I had seen. What a day! I’m so lucky.

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