The weather had been overcast and dreary since we landed the previous day and it was no better when we woke up Saturday morning. We had originally planned to go for a run, grab some breakfast, then go sightseeing, but since the forecast called for rain we decided to skip the run, grabbed some breakfast in the hotel, and spent the morning hiding from the rain in...
...the Louvre. Why run in the cold rain when you can wander among some pretty awesome art instead? :)
To say that the Louvre is HUGE would be a gross understatement. It's housed in the Palais de Louvre (Louvre Palace) and it's somewhere around 652,000 square feet. Yes, that is the correct amount of zeros. It's pretty crazy. We had a few key things we wanted to see and figured that anything else we had time to see would be bonus.
This may sound silly but this was my absolute favorite thing in the entire museum. If I could have taken this home with me I would have. It's a lion fountainhead from the Islamic Arts wing (which also had some really neat mosaics, figurines, and intricately designed doors). I had seen this on a few posters around the city and as soon as we got our tickets and got inside I made a beeline right for it.
After drooling over my lion fountainhead thing for maybe slightly too long, we made our way out of the Islamic Arts wing and into the main part of the museum. Sometimes, some of the best art is above your head. The Rotonde de Mars was gorgeous. I can't fathom how wealthy someone must be to decide that their ceiling should look like this.
Venus de Milo. There were rows of people clustered around this, and standing there all I could think of was that episode of The Simpsons where Homer somehow gets (and eats) a gummy Venus de Milo. Me has culture.
After wandering around for a few hours we decided we'd had enough art for the morning, grabbed some lunch at the museum cafe, and headed back outside.
We walked around underneath the tower for a little while, then walked a few streets over to find some dinner to kill time until it got dark. I had the best salade au chèvre chaud (warm goat cheese salad) of the trip. It's a hunk of goat cheese, broiled so it's all nice and warm, slightly crunchy, and just the right amount of gooey, on top of a salad. Just typing that made me hungry. It was really good.
We eventually made our way back over to the Eiffel Tower. It wasn't really dark yet, but it was getting colder and rainy so we spent the better part of an hour hiding under a tree, trying not to get rained on. (Our hotel was a couple miles away, so going back to wait for it to get dark wasn't exactly an option.) After a while some of the lights started to come on, so we decided that was good enough and it was time to start slowly making our way back to the hotel.