Jan '05 - Jan '07
well... it was very interesting. I have never been before in a city this size, but got used to it very quikly. The only bothering thing were tourists, way too many tourists. Though I was just as much of a tourist as everybody else, in some situations you just want too see the city itself, on a regular day, as a viewer. But for that you had to avoid the central part and escape in the suburbs. The city is not less beautiful and you can enjoy it.
I knew it before that august is not the best holiday period, but constrained by circumstances (as always, the circumstances) we risked our necks. At the musée d'orsay and the louvre there was no chance of actually enjoy anything. It felt rather like something was on sale, outlet (and I have a vague felling it was dan brown's book). You had no chance of looking at a painting because of several reasons: an old lady might hit you in the back with her umbrella explaining that she is a guide (everything in a language you don't understand or yelling ”˜group, group'), while 30 folks gather around her, making a fortress around the work; people tend to make pictures of the paintings (?!), instead of enjoying them (I suppose they have no time so they actually check it out at home) so you will practically always be in somebody's way; if a painting is in the museum guide-forget it! . since we are at the subject I'ld like to notice that the tourists favourite are: venus de milo is ”˜hot' (pop queen), leonardo da vinci is definitely ”˜in' (mostly mona lisa -this britney spears of the louvre- other paintings are not that popular), he is like the brad pitt (too bad he was gay) of renaissance, van gogh of course (the bad boy) and jim morrison (but that is another subject). Now, who the f*** are tizian (and why is he on the other side of the mona lisa wall?), michelangelo, raphael, vermeer and the other guys? Please, I never liked these underground artists!
So I kindly recommend you the richelieu wing of the louvre (you will be pretty much alone in that area).
I understood from some friends that mona lisa is always impossible to see, has always been. I suspected I had to thank dan brown for part of the mess. But I wanted to ask him something anyway: ”˜dear dan brown, could you please do me a favour and write a book about raphael, as I took in advance some pictures of me and his paintings? So, maybe we have a chance and people shift their focus from gioconda!'.
A confession at last: I also took photos of paintings as I discovered the only way to actually be able to look at them is to pretend you are making photos.