Monday, July 05, 2004

Cultural Overload

Attempted The Louvre today, along with the entire population of Akron, Ohio and at least a goodly percentage of the population of Japan. In fact this would be an excellent time to visit Japan; since everyone who lives there appears to be in Paris. The tour guides were all very busy - they manage their brood by holding up umbrellas or a folded map and the group scrurries after them like well trained lemmings.  The Akron, Ohio contingent consisted mostly of high schoolers getting an obligatory dose of "culture" which most of them, given the amount of giggling and cell phone usage that went on did not appreciate at all. The males had a bovine air about them -- what with their slack jaws, semi open mouths, glazed eyes and constant gum chomping.  The girls all wore tight pants and crop tops, all the better to show off their belly button rings.

Everything and everyone said the Louvre was overwhelming and it is. It is an art maze, best experienced in very small doses. We concentrated on the Greek statuary. The rest will have to wait for another visit.

Besty and the Great World has a chapter set in Paris, so of course I had to do the pilgrimadge.  That meant a visit to Pont Neuf, where Henry IV showed Besty a way to reconnect with her Joe.
At the Louvre I insisted on viewing the statue of The Winged Victory - another Betsty Tacy tie in!  My Beloved was tolerant - of course it helped that I went with her to a cigar store!

Winged Victory (Betsy-Tacy Tie In) Posted by Hello

Henri IV - Betsy & The Great World - and Me! Posted by Hello

Henri IV (another BT Tie-In) Posted by Hello

The afternoon was spent on Medieval architecture - Norte Dame and Sainte-Chapelle. Stunning enough to make one consider converting, were it not for the position of the church on a few crucial issues. Gothic architecture is supposed to make one awe struck and inspired and it did just that. 

We were total tourists that evening - a dinner cruise on The Seine. Touristy or not, it was still great fun. One does not appreciate the bridges unless one sails under them. My favorite part was the return trip - the banks were lined with young people, talking, dancing, singing and romancing. It was like watching a floating floor show.   They all looked so young, carefree and love - and in Paris on a clear, cool July night, how else could they be?

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