It was so daunting, we may have been putting it off subconsciously. We had also hoped that by going on a weekday, and during rainier weather, we might avoid some crowds. We were partially right.
We arrived right around opening time and still had to face a line. The knowledge of the entrance from the carrousel underground was handy, saving us from the rain, unlike the winding line that was out in the elements, three times as long as ours. Pays to research!
Once past security, entering the museum was easy with our passes. We headed straight to the Mona Lisa on some advice to beat the crowd. While busy, it only took a few moments to reach the front of the crowd clamoring for a glimpse. Impressive, but we still only lingered for a bit.
We spend the morning and part of the afternoon wandering through gallery after gallery. We loosely focused on areas of interest, but still barely scratched the surface. Our tour guide on the bike tour told us if you spent 30 seconds in front of each painting, you would still need nearly two weeks of back to back days to see every piece. We didn’t doubt him.
A short break for some snacks and coffee refueled us for our final push through the Islamic arts section before leaving. It was interesting seeing work here from where we had started our trip, great bookends of historical significance on our whirlwind tour.
After hours of wandering through such impressive works, we had to give our eyes and brains a rest. We headed out with an aim for one of our last conquests: wine luggage. We had struck out a few times with places that were supposed to carry the type we were looking for, and unfortunately our search on this day went just as poorly. So we gave up and decided to just buy some cheapo hardshell luggage from a street vendor. It would work.
We did our typical evening refresh at the hotel and headed back out for dinner with new guests: my parents and brother. They had also decided to go to Paris, and it happened that our dates slightly overlapped. So we headed to a local restaurant recommended by our Airbnb host called au Phil du vin. As with all meals, it was quite delicious. As were the copious types of wines. It was great to catch up and swap stories, and we left quite content.
Heading to the hotel and then to bed slowly felt bittersweet. Tomorrow would be our last day in Paris, our last day on the trip. The only destination next in our whirlwind tour was home.