Day 14- The one in which art and history overwhelm me

It’s almost half past noon and I’m sitting in a little alcove in the Italian paintings wing at the Louvre, trying to capture my emotion at this moment, before distance and busyness tarnish it. I woke up quite early for a person who went to bed late (and is on vacation), probably due to combination of the physical need to pee and psychological fear of being late to the Louvre. You see, I planned to be there before 9am, when the museum opened, trying to beat the crowds. I was in line by 8:30 and it was already about 60 people deep.

It was worth it to come that early nonetheless. Got the chance to take some stunning morning shots of the building, as well as see this newly married couple (or models?) posing for professional bridal pictures. I had my tickets in hand by 9:15am and made a beeline for the main attractions.

I’ve been lucky enough to see a lot of the world’s treasures, and yet I’m struck by how much more I haven’t seen, even at these museums I’ve visited. It’s impossible to take in all of the Louvre’s collections (and not just run past every exhibit) in a day so I’m not even trying. I went and saw the big pieces that the museum is famous for (like the Mona Lisa and the Venus di Milo), which took about 75 minutes, and then visited the newest addition of the Middle Eastern rooms.

I met up with my good friend from McGill, Faiz, in the Saint Germaine area. We grabbed crepes (ie. the French version of hot dogs, which is so much better because it has cheese) and wandered around. I got to see the Science Po “campus”, which is much like the NYU campus (ie. spread out through an area of the city). After dropping Faiz off at class, I wandered along the river and went back to the Louvre for another hour and a half since I had the ticket already.

I got dinner with Tom and Alice by the canal near their house. It was a spectacularly bright and beautiful day, and what a fitting end to commune with friends! I decided against going to the Tour d’Eiffel in favour of packing, finishing “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” and going to bed early.

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