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Day 22 - Paris, Missed visits

Updated: Sep 12

So the original plan today was to go to the Louvre, and then from there head off to the Palace of Versailles. I took the "secret entrance to the Louvre, which is actually in the downstairs section of Le Carrousel Du Lourve... previously this entrance didn't require any a reservation, you could just rock up and get your ticket when you entered, however they have decided to change this and you now require a reservation, and you can only rock up outside to get in, that wait time could be something like 3 hours. So I decided to flag it and carry on to see the Palace of Versailles. Little did I realise until after I had got my ticket, that this for some reason during the summer months it's closed on a Monday, while it's open from November to April all year round... go figure... I decided to go anyway and I'll at least get a chance to look around the area instead of being stuck in Paris. After about 50 minutes I figured my stop must be coming up shortly as the timetable said it was about an hour and five minutes, I checked on my phone and low and behold.... turns out I was travelling the wrong way... my entire time travelling through Europe I hadn't messed up a train ride until my last day, what are the chances of that?

It was fine though, I just jumped off the train at the next main station crossed over the bridge to the other platform and hoped on the next train which arrived within a couple of minutes. I decided I'd try and salvage some of my messed up trip today and figured there was no point now going to the Palace of Versailles, instead I got online and was able to book at reservation to get into the Louvre. I managed to catch all the correct trains to where I needed to go, just the one screw up today, figures crossed that's how it will remain... walked back down to the "secret entrance", which while it's still got a lot of people, it's still way less than the entrance outside. This time, standing in line the lady who sent me off last time had no problems letting me in once I showed her my reservation. The line moved pretty quickly and bag went through the x-ray machine with no problems... not surprised really considering it just had water and a portable battery in it.

I made my way directly to the Mona Lisa, that was my main goal for the visit, find it, get the standard photo with it and then I can spend the rest of my time looking over the rest of the place. After about 10 minutes walking from room to room, following every arrow, ai eventually found the room... it was packed full of people... all crowding around for a photo of the Mona Lisa, I expected it to be crowded, I just didn't expect this many people... I lined up patiently in the crowd slowly moving forward to get to the front so I could get my photo, while some other lady slowly began trying to push ahead of me and trying to get her husband to do the same, I said "Excuse me, I'm waiting as well". He backed off for a moment, as we got closer the lady continued to push forward ahead of me and other people, she told him to keep moving and he really started to push, I was getting a little annoyed at this stage and almost said something, before another lady piped up and said "Hey", the first lady was like, "He's with me" referring to her husband, the other lady said, "Yeah, I'm here and I've been waiting too", the first lady was like, "I'm here", thr second lady was, "But you weren't, you have pushed in", I piped up and said, "Yeah, you have been pushing in front of others including me since we got in here". Nothing came of it, she was already at the front now, so it was just easier to let her get the photo done and out of there.

After I managed to get my photo, I continued on to look around the rest of the place, I knew the place was large, but boy oh boy, I didn't think it would be so large, if I had GPS tracking on in that place it would be interesting to see how far I walked, my step count is saying about 18,500 steps for the day, 5,000 of that would have been from walking around the city and trains, so the rest of that would work out at about 10km at my guess. There was some amazing artwork there, I guess that's why it there in the first place, pieces of artwork many meters tall by many meters wide, Tapestries, marble statues, bronze work, you name it, they likely had artwork reflecting it. One piece I remember rather well, was a two sided piece of artwork called David and Goliath by Daniele da Volterra represents the biblical scene of David's triumph over the giant Goliath. On the front side it shows David about to strike off Goliath's head with his slingshot, while the back side shows the aftermath of the battle. The main confusing thing about this to me, is the slingshot... it's a sword in the paintings, you may be wondering why, much like I was. The slingshot is an actual sword because it was a common artistic convention at the time to depict David with a sword. This was done even though the biblical story makes it clear that David defeated Goliath with a slingshot.

After a few hours of roaming the Louvre, I made my way back to the hotel in order to pack my bags to get ready for my flight home. While I was packing my bags, I received a couple of random calls and messages on WhatsApp, this has been happening a little since I got here normally I just block them, however this time, for some reason when I received a message from some random number saying Hi, I decided to respond... turns out, it was my driver to my airport pickup tomorrow, he just wanted to confirm his details with me, I looked at them and was like, hmm, the pickup address doesn't look right, I checked and confirmed that it was indeed the wrong address. I can only imagine it was because when I was initially getting it sorted back in NZ I had originally meant to be staying at a different hotel, however when it was being booked the initial reserved booking was no longer available and we had to book me into another one, I figured they had updated the pickup address, obviously not. Thank goodness he made contact and I didn't block the number, otherwise I would have had a very puzzling morning wondering where he was.

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