Sunday, October 18, 2015


Today is cool but dry and by afternoon we actually saw blue skies and sunshine that soon disappeared.   We traveled by Metro to the underground entrance at the Palais Royal Musee du Louvre station.  This tunnel took us to the Carousel shopping mall under the glass pyramid and directly into the Louvre musee.  There was a line to purchase tickets but it moved very fast and by ten o'clock we were inside. 

Interestingly, Jim had just read an article on the Web about how Paris is now auditioning performers who want to play inside the metro tunnels.  If selected they are assigned a permanent spot.  We saw our first one today; a violin player in the tunnel entrance to the louvre.  I put a short video on Facebook.  Their goal is to improve the quality of the performances. 

Upon entering the Musee we wanted to explore new areas and visit old friends.  We found ourselves in the Richelieu wing and eventually toured the apartment of Napoleon III.  Then off to find the newly restored Winged Victory of Samothrace.  Always stunning but she sparkles now and looks so new it's scarey.

Down the long hall towards the tiny Mona Lisa ... now behind triple layers of glass...we also enjoyed other works by da Vinci and other artists.  Especially two Caravaggio paintings, Jim's favorite. 

It took some doing but we finally found Venus de Milo after walking all the way through the Egyptian section.  Jim helped a group of Japanese girls who were lost and several more at the metro station on our return trip.  Must be the "docent" training from his years at Bowers.

Looking out the windows of the Louvre I noticed the fountains are dry.  I knew that they turn off all the fountains and drain them for the winter.  I wasn't sure just when that happens but it's definitely begun.  Yes, they have snow here in the winter months.  There was still water in the Luxembourg Garden fountains yesterday.

Back to the apartment where we saw blue sky for the first time in days.  We ate an early dinner before going back to the Metro for our evening adventure.

Took the Metro to Les Halle Station and it was a short walk through the tunnels to the exit that brought us out right in front of the very old and second largest  church in Paris Saint Eustache Church.   It has a massive pipe organ with eight thousand pipes.  It is the largest pipe organ in France.  They used it for the mass.  But, prior to the mass there was an extremely well attended half hour organ concert on a new electronic organ by a guest organist. 

He played for half an hour performing a selection of pieces by Gyorgy Ligeti and Bach, alternating between the two with no stops , only slight pauses.  He read his music from an iPad and the page turner only had to tap the screen. 

It was a delightful experience and a beautiful Mass.  Unfortunately half of the music audience left before the mass began.  Home by Metro and snacks on food still in the refrigerator.

Tomorrow we pack and  clean up the apartment by eleven o'clock and then head out to the Ibis Hotel for the night.  We can walk to the terminal from the hotel.  Jim leaves on Tuesday  morning for California and I'm leaving in the afternoon  for one last week in Florida to visit family and friends before heading home to California on the 27th, just in time for Halloween.   This will be my last post until my recap after I arrive in California.  Thank you all for joining me on my journey these past three months.
Buen Camimo


Emmabee said...

Martha, I am SO going to miss your posts!! This has been the best trip ever!! Writing every day and making it interesting is quite a study in discipline and writing skill. You do very, very well. I may go back and re-read this trip. I have enjoyed this tremendously!! Thanks again, tell Mary and Phil hello and take care!! <3

Leslie in Oregon said...

Wnat an incredible journey you have had! Thank you for so diligently posting your eloquent posts...I will miss them. Have a lovely time in Florida! Blue skies, Leslie