The Louvre

The main entrance to the Louvre is just under that glass pyramid.
It might sound a little crazy, but my least favorite museum visit was the Louvre. I don't think it has anything to do with the actual museum, the exhibits, the location, or anything. I think it mostly has to do with the timing both because I went at a busy time of day and my trip to France was short (10 days). I think if I had gone later in the afternoon after lunch, there would have been less people in the museum. Also, if I had several days to return to the Louvre,  I would have seen a lot more of the gems the museum has to offer.

A courtyard outside one of the wings of the museum.
Instead, I visited in the morning with a friend when all the tour groups were coming in - well, in general, a lot of people were arriving at that time because, I assume, many tourists start a least one of their days in Paris at the Louvre. Due to the number of people, it was difficult to get a good look at and take pictures of the famous paintings and sculptures. I would definitely recommend spending a complete day or two at the Louvre checking it out. I think this might be a little hard for tourists who come from out of the EU though. If you are an EU citizen 25 or under you can enter any museum within the union for free. If you are that same age but not an EU citizen, you get a discount, but perhaps it might not be big enough to justify paying money to get in the museum multiple days in a row since, unfortunately, there is no multiple day pass to get into the Louvre. In my opinion, it would definitely be worth it. 

When you disregard my mistake in terms of timing when going to the Louvre, it does live up to expectation as it has a seemingly endless catalogue of things to see. The map that you can pick up at the first floor of the museum is offered in several languages and tells you in detail where all the popular paintings and sculptures (Mona Lisa, Seated Scribe, Gabrielle d'Estrees and one of Her Sisters, etc.) are located. There's no need to worry if you're directionally challenged like myself, haha. All the different rooms in the Louvre are named and color coded, and there are several people around which are paid to help you get where you'd like to go.


Tuileries Park & Musée de l'Orangerie

Just inside Tuileries Park.
A manmade lake in the park in front of
the famous Luxor Obelisk with the
Arc of Triumph in the background. 
I chalk it up to my unfamiliarity with Paris, but I didn't know that Musée de l'Orangerie was in a park until I was led there by my friend. I didn't think it would be anything special, but Tuileries Park is gorgeous and worth a stroll or a sit if you're tired.

The day I was there, several people were visiting as it was a beautiful day. In my opinion, parks in Paris often have a "beach" feel as there is usually gravel rather than grass on park grounds. So, I felt everyone at Tuileries Park looked like a bunch of over-dressed beach-goers, especially around the artificial lake since it resembles a swimming pool. Nonetheless, the scenery was great, and I was content to be one of the many enjoying it.


Montmartre & The Eiffel Tower

The magnificent Basilica of the Sacred Heart
There are so many monuments, museums, restaurants, parks, etc. to visit in Paris that I had a difficult time determining what I wanted to see and what I could stand to pass up. I spent a noticeable amount of time in museums both in Paris and in the other cities I visited on my trip to Europe as many other places only needed a 1-2 hours to enjoy. Two of those places were Montmartre and the Eiffel Tower. Both offer stunning views and several areas to take great pictures, especially on a clear day. Luckily, I was blessed with several sunny, clear days throughout my trip, except on the day before I left!
The famous Eiffel Tower


Paris: My General Impressions

A statue of Joan of Arc
This summer, I went to Europe and visited three cities in three countries: Paris, France; Cologne, Germany; and Brugge, Belgium). I saw a plethora of interesting sights, encountered many nice people, and made several memories. I am going to recount all of my experiences here on my blog, starting with Paris as I spent most of my time there.

I have to say, I'm an extremely lucky person. During my first year in Taiwan, I met my friend Sica from France through a message board about living in Taiwan. She happened to be interning in the French department at the same school I attend. From day one we hit it off nicely, and I promised I'd visit her in France. After working hard and saving up, I was glad to have the opportunity to take the trip. Staying with a friend was not only nice for my wallet but soothing for my heart as I was comfortable the entire time and could follow someone who knows Paris like the back of their hand.

June 2014

June 2001

My first trip to Paris was in 2001 when I was 11. It was a funny trip as my dad I had only three days there and no plans or contacts. We had no clue where to go, what to see, where to eat, etc. Therefore, the highlight of our trip was seeing the Eiffel Tower and riding on a crappy tour bus. I remember I enjoyed it though as it was one of the legs of my first trip overseas (London, England and Lagos, Nigeria were the other stops on the trip). Naturally though, this year's return trip to Paris was significantly better. Seeing the city with adult eyes was markedly different in a positive way.