The Louvre Paris France 2016

One of the great museums of the world of course. I have visited many times, helped by the fact that my companion and I do not have to queue or buy a ticket! Since we often stay nearby during our many stays in Paris, it’s easy to drop in for an hour or to show a visiting friend about or go solo.

John Sage, amongst many other commentators has a bit to say on this, but he gets it a bit wrong here and there so here is my two bits.

By the way, don’t listen to anyone who says don’t go to the Louvre in a wheelchair. They are woefully misguided. It’s amazing (get it).

Skip the queue and walk up to the attendant near the entrance door to the pyramid, which is the entrance to the Louvre itself. They will let you and your companion in. You then go down to the lower level via a fascinating circular lift. This lift is freestanding and an electric ramp extends across the gap for you to get in.

In 2016, while by myself, the ramp collapsed, leaving me suspended over a 10 m drop. A muscly attendant dragged me from my chair onto the concrete floor. They then dragged my chair back onto the lift, got a portable ramp and pushed it over to me. Once they lifted me back in the chair, they said “Je suis désolé” a lot while tourists snapped away from their smart phones. Gave me quite a surprise, that adventure.

Anyway, the Louvre is extensive with about 30 or so different lifts and mini-lifts about. Get a somewhat incomprehensible accessible pamphlet from reception, ask attendants often or better still come with me if we both happen to be in Paris at the same time because I know it like the streets of my home town.

Great things to see: everything of course, there is pillferred stuff everywhere, but don’t miss the old keep underneath, The Egyptian section, “Napoleons apartment” (although he never actually lived there), the grand Galleries, … no, just everything.

Oh, if you want to see the Mona Lisa which I expect you might, it’s quite small, so don’t say in a loud voice “Oh my God, it’s so small!”. If you’re a wheelie, just wander to the side near the front with your companion. The ushers will drag you before the masterpiece where you can watch while feeling guilty about the mob roped off behind you.

An anecdote: once I was at the gates and two American ladies were arguing with a louvre attendant. They desperately want to see some location from the book “the da Vinci code”. But why can’t we see it, they insisted. “Because it’s fictional.” said he. (Apologies to any Americans, I know you’re not all silly.)

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