I had always planned on going to the Louvre tonight as it was Wednesday and it was the one night a week when it was open later at night.
Instead of closing at 6pm, the Louvre closes at 10pm instead.
Not only that but the lines to get into the Louvre are significantly smaller at this time of night.
What I hadn’t planned, though, was also doing a long 12 hour travel day on the same day.
I had booked my trip to the Loire Valley on a different day but they cancelled that day and offered me this day instead.
So, here I was, back in Paris at 7pm and debating whether to go to the Louvre.
It was, after all, already a very long day and it was raining quite heavily as we came into town.
Problem was, tonight’s the only time I can go to the Louvre as tomorrow is my last day here in Paris and I have other plans.
Luckily the tour company that I did the Loire Valley trip with was headquartered a short walk away from the entrance to the Louvre so I bundled up, popped open my umbrella and headed over there.
To my delight the lineup was non-existent. Like, seriously, there was maybe a handful of people waiting to get in and my time in the rain was only a couple of minutes.
Now, I didn’t want to be one of those guys who just vee-lines straight for the Mona Lisa and does a quick in and out.
As it turns out I ended up in the wing on the opposite side anyway so I couldn’t have done it anyway.
After walking around for an hour it became quickly apparent that trying to squeeze the Louvre in at the end of a long day trip was not the smartest thing.
I was tired. I was hungry and I just wanted to get outta there.
I finally did do the vee-line for the Mona Lisa, snapped a photo and got outta there.
Did I do the Louvre justice? No, not really. I mean there are people in groups there writing notes as someone is explaining a piece of art and there are other people there sketching what they see around them.
So, yeah, their experiences at the Louvre are dramatically different from my own.
Then again, I’ve never been an artsy person. I’m not a museum guy and I’m not an art gallery guy and even the grandeur of the Louvre wasn’t going to bring some dormant “art gene” out of me.
But, I did go to the Louvre and I will say the experience of seeing others so deeply enthralled with the place was a great experience for me and I’m happy I went.
By 9pm I was back out onto the Paris streets searching for food.
Despite being in Paris my search for good French food has been a hard venture. There are so many ethnic restaurants and touristy places that finding what I’ve been craving hasn’t been easy.
Of course being in one of the most touristy areas in town outside the Louvre wasn’t going to change things. After walking around for a bit looking at menu boards, I finally decided to just pop on the metro and go to some random stop away from the area.
I ended up about 6 stations away and quickly found a menu that worked for me.
I started with smoked salmon with egg in a hollandaise sauce. This was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. I mean, I love smoked salmon as it is but the way it was prepared with a couple of soft boiled eggs was perfect.
For dinner I had mussels. Now I don’t think I’ve actually had mussels since the last time I was in France back in Nice in 2013. Of course I have really fond memories of that time so when I saw mussels on the menu I knew that was it for me.
The dish itself was huge. Like, seriously, huge!
In total the meal with a glass of wine was only 25 euros which is one of the cheaper meals I’ve had here in Paris.
By 11pm I arrived back at the hostel and, once again, it didn’t take much for me to fall asleep.
Another long day. Another adventure.
Tomorrow is my last day in Paris and while I’m sad to be leaving this great city, I’m also very excited about what I have planned for the next five weeks in the UK…