TBT - Paris | Pere Lachaise Cemetery, the Louvre & More!
Growing up, I went through many different boy crazy phases. While we were in Paris, I happened to be going through a phase where I loved the Doors. I though that Jim Morrison was just the epitome of sexy. Thus, I made my parents go to Pere Lachaise Cemetery so that we could go see where he is supposedly buried. Super sane, right? This was also the day that we planned on going to the Louvre to wrestle with other tourists so that we could catch a fleeting glimpse of the Mona Lisa. By the end of the day we also had an amazing Parisian lunch, and I had found some more macarons to sample.
Our day started off in true French style when my dad and I went to a nearby bakery to pick up some croissants for breakfast and a baguette for dinner. I loved getting up early and walking through the quiet Parisian streets while enjoying a flaky, buttery croissant before starting my day.
We decided to brave the Paris metro and found that it was actually very easy to use. There are what look like a million different lines, but they are nicely colour coordinated, and we found them fairly easy to navigate. We started our trip off at Bir-Hakeim station, which is on the number 6 line. From there, we took a short trip to Charles de Gaulle Etoile station on the number 2 line, and we were able to take that all the way to Phillipe Auguste Station. When we exited the station, I insisted that my mom take a picture of me outside. We had studied the Paris metro stations in my history of design class, and it was a subject that held particular interest for me. Iâ€™ve always loved Art Nouveau, and was thrilled that I was able to see the stations in person.
Once we got to the cemetery, we had to find a map in order to locate the location of Jim Morrisonâ€™s grave. I was just looking for this one location in particular, but there are actually a number of other famous people who are buried here such as Chopin and, quite possibly the most famous, Oscar Wilde. I knew that Jim Morrisonâ€™s grave was rather understated, but I was still surprised at how plain it was when we got there. I also didnâ€™t expect all the odd trinkets that were near it. You canâ€™t actually get that close, as there is a fence around it to stop people from defacing the grave, combined with a small crowd of people all trying to see.
After we had our fill of Jim Morrison, we started heading back towards the exit and got to appreciate the beautiful carving on some of the other tombs andÂ crypts.
Back at the metro, we only had to take one train to get us to Opera station, which is fairly close to the Louvre. Before heading in, we stopped for lunch and I got a Croque Monsieur that was just the most delicious sandwich filled and covered in cheesy goodness. We ate our lunch on a bench in the Palais Royal, and enjoyed a small photo shoot in the courtyard with the Buren Statues. My mom took a few photos of me, and of course my dad made fun of me by also posing and having my mom take photos of him. Classic Dad.
Once we have refueled, we were ready and energized to hit the Louvre. By this point in our trip, we had seen A LOT of art, and been to many museums. Thus, we decided that we would pick the main things that we wanted to see in the Louvre and focus mainly on those. We did get to see a lot of other stuff a long the way, but I think by choosing certain pieces, it was more realistic and we werenâ€™t stressed about not being able to see everything.
We started off by getting an English map (there were so many different languages to choose from!) and made our way to the Winged Victory of Samothrace. I was rather awed seeing this statue, as itâ€™s placed in a rather large open stairwell, which really showcases the work beautifully. I also remember studying this piece in Art history, and fell in love with the way sculptors carved the drapery of the garments during the Hellenistic Period.
Next, we moved on to the Venus de Milo, which is another excellent example of Greek sculpture.
After a few more rooms, we decided to brave the chaos that was viewing the Mona Lisa. My parents were still in the last room, so I started waiting in the massive crowd of my fellow tourists until I got to the front of the crowd. Like most people say, it was underwhelming. Interesting to actually see the most famous piece of art in the world with my own eyes, but now that Iâ€™ve seen it once, and taken a selfie with Mona, I ‘m good. Keeping with Leonardo da Vinci, we then marveled at his painting “The Virgin of the Rocks” before heading over to see the “Grande Odalisque” by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres.
Once we had taken in our fill of those noteworthy pieces, we made our way to the exhibit on Egypt. This wasnâ€™t something that I was anticipating seeing upon entering the museum, but Iâ€™m glad that we did. There were a number of interesting sculptures to look at, as well as carvings, and even a mummy. To be honest, my favourite were these little blue guys, as seen below. I donâ€™t remember what their purpose was now, but I just remember loving the colour and the uniformity of them.
We looked around for about another hour after this, and then decided that it was time to call it quits.
As we were leaving the Louvre, I noticed a chocolate shop outside and thought that it would be rather smart to go in and see if they had any macarons. Turns out, I was right, and I purchased three little gems, all containing chocolate. It took a great amount of restraint to not sample them until we got back to the hotel and I was able to take a picture.
We decided to take the metro back, since we were getting a bit tired from all the walking. We did however, get off at Trocadero station, and were able to get a great view of the Eiffel Tower from that vantage point across the Seine.
When we got back to the hotel, I quickly photographed the macarons and the gulped them down in a few seconds. They were soo good. If my memory serves correctly, I believe I purchased coconut, pistachio and passion fruit flavours. If youâ€™re planning a trip to Paris soon, and want to check them out, you can see all of their macaron flavours here.Â
We had a quiet evening that consisted of preparing dinner with the delicious baguette that we purchased that morning, and catching up on some laundry. We wanted to be well rested for the next day when we visited Versailles!
Let me know if youâ€™ve been to the Louvre, and what your favourite piece was!