Our day out at the Louvre and to the famed Luxembourg Palace started out gloomily, with overcast skies and the threat of rain. I was quite miserable in fact, being completely under-dressed for 15 degree weather (Summer was oversleeping and Spring was revelling in her absence)
So with a few hasty shots of the Louvre on the outside, we hastened into the museum itself.
Armed with a map, we embarked on what we thought would be a visual feast of art across the centuries.
Already a month into our travels, looking a little weary ..
And off we went, in search of the Mona Lisa, Renaissance paintings, and what I felt was a highlight to me – the museum’s reproduction of Napoleon’s palatial home, perfectly re-enacted to the last detail.
Mona Lisa was a disappointment (but I had already been expecting that). For security reasons, the painting was about 3m away in its private gallery, and protected by flash resistant glass, which made for blur, dull looking photos. Also, the persistent crowd around the painting was quite a turn off. Nevertheless, another item to tick off my bucket list.
So we all learn new things about our loved ones when we least expect it. Our day at the museum was one such day.
Turns out K has a positive allergy to anything inanimate or art-related. He cringed at the war paintings, rolled his eyes at the sculptures, got a headache at the Cubist pictures, and yawned very loudly at the Impressionist ones (bah, paintings of scenery?).
The only pictures he was remotely interested in looking at where those with half-naked women. I kid you not. But even that only got him enthusiastic for 15 minutes or so. And then I tried to tempt him with more.
“What about Rubenesque paintings?”
“What are those!”
“FAT, NAKED WOMEN.”
And his face turned green.
I think the only exhibits he liked were Napoleon’s apartments, because, he claims, he has a aesthetic for truly beautiful things, and his personal opinion is why paint beautiful things when you can just take a picture. I’m not sure how I feel about that but in this modern day and age, that does ring true quite a bit, especially for portraits and landscapes.
At a first glance, the opulent old world European grandeur of Napoleon’s apartments got us gasping in awe. It was like a dream home, with elegant floral wallpaper, ornate doors, and plush furniture. But after ten minutes, it was “Naw.”
First of all, impossibly high maintenance
Second of all, too impersonal. A home should be cosy, welcoming, and warm. Obviously the recreated apartments felt cold and unlived in because it was an exhibit, but everything there was arranged (I felt) to impose and to intimidate, so we were rather suffocated after room after room of sparkling chandeliers and anterooms to hide servants (so barbaric)
A portrait for posterity
Once we were out the mood brightened considerably! Took a stroll down the streets of Paris to the famous Jardin Du Luxembourg, or the Luxembourg Gardens. They were originally palace gardens and the favourite of Queen Marie Antoinette, but they are now the biggest public park in Paris.
Although the gardens were very quaint, they were nothing like the beautiful Schonbrunn Summer Palace gardens in Vienna where K proposed to me. There was very little color, and the ground was mostly sand, the plants not as well tended.
They still make a pretty picture!
The best part of the day was sitting in the park, watching children play with their motorboats at the pond, feeling a little chilly but holding each other for company, and savouring the best crepes ever!
Who knew that from this humble little standalone creperie would come lemon sugar, orange zest, salt caramel, and banana nutella crepes that would melt the coldest, most unromantic hearts?
Another K and B experience to last us till the next time we get angry and throw tantrums about how boring our lives are!