The Last Day in Paris
“You’re not visiting Paris unless visiting Musee de Louvre”, my friend, Sebastian said when I told him that I will spend my last day in Paris by getting rest at home and doing some afternoon walks afterwards. I was still exhausted from my previous trips to Versailles. Thinking about the queue lines (I waited for four hours in front of Chateau de Versailles) at Louvre, made me think twice to see the largest and the most famous museum in Paris. But, sharp words from Sebastian successfully pushed me to get myself out of the house and headed to the Louvre. With my three days pass metro ticket, I could go to Louvre easily. Moreover, the location is also not that far from Coralie’s flat. I was walking to the metro stations with the big smile on my face, while trying to hide the pain in my both legs due to the exhausted from the long queue at Versailles yesterday.
When I reached there, of course, the queue lines were there. Hesitating feelings came in sudden, put me in two thoughts, between leaving the queue to see the other parts of Paris, or continuing standing there to witness the masterpieces of the world. Well, I stayed with the second thought. Avoiding the boredom, I observed my surrounding and snapped some corners with my camera. Even though I had read that the replacement of glass pyramids at the entrances is not fit with its surrounding using baroque architecture, I must confess that I agreed with people opinion seen from my architectural perspective. If you’re Parisian, please do not get offended with my personal contention. But still, the overall of building is amazing. Back to the queue, apparently it was not worse than what I had at the Versailles. Even, it was much quicker. I just need to wait for 45 minutes until I reached the main gate. And the adventure began.
Louvre is really really big. That would be impossible to see everything, particularly in one day visit. So, I just took myself easy with only one target to see, the famous painting of Leonardo Da Vinci, Monalisa. Following the map that I got at the entrance gate, I found the room easily without any much problem. From the far, I could even guess the room by seeing a big crowd waiting in front of the hall. So, I followed a random group, waited for my turn to see beautiful Monalisa.
Our time came. I heard one of guides said to her visitors “walk slowly, and you’ll see Monalisa in a minute. And it’s not a big painting”
It’s true. I was personally a bit shock when I saw the real painting of Monalisa. When Louvre is filled with giant paintings, Monalisa is nothing compared to them. It’s just approximately 50×70 cm (if it’s not smaller) painting which is protected by anti-bullet glass. I had chance around 5 minutes to see it from good distance. Visitors couldn’t get closer since many guards watched near the painting. I left the room soon after I took some snaps of Monalisa. I moved to the next room, which has a lot of huge painting collections, but less visitors. There was no pressure, I just followed my feet, enjoyed the paintings from one to another. I also still found the painting of Johannes Vermmeer here.
I left the museum after wandering for four hours. My next destination was Latin Quarter, Paris. I got big burger for my lunch, then I continued my walk to see surrounding. I passed the small streets, as I passed in Montmartre two days before, where lot of shops selling the clothes, paintings and typical souvenirs of Paris. I bought one snow ball with Eiffel Tower inside as a gift for myself. I continued to walk, and by chance, I found Saint Severin Church around the quarter and got chances to memorize by giving some shots. Not far from there, I passed Saint-Michel fountain, constructed in 1860, designed by Gabriel Davioud. This fountain is known as one of the most famous fountain in Paris.
To be honest, what I really wanted to do was to sleep and get rest as much as I can. But, considering the time, that was not a good idea to return to Coralie’s flat and come back to the city center since I would have dinner and watch jazz concert with Coralie in the evening. So, the right thing to do was to find some nice spots to sit. I kept walking, passed the famous Shakespeare bookshops but didn’t stop at all, and arrived in front of the cathedral of Notre Dame. Coralie told me that the cathedral has amazing interior inside. But getting rest and sitting on the bench next by the church seemed more tempting. I sat on the bench, next by the old man reading the newspaper. He greeted me with ‘Bonjour‘ that I replied with big smile on my face. I wore my sunglasses to avoid the sun light, additionally, I could hide my sleeping eyes in the same time while sitting on the park bench.
The ring of bell of the Notre Dame woke me up in sudden. I checked the time, and I still had one hour to meet Coralie at the restaurant we agreed to meet. I took metro, and from the station it actually just required some hundred meters walks . However, those days, my phone was not equipped by GPS, and the map was the only tool that can help me to find the place. I got into so many alleys, but I still didn’t find the restaurant. Half frustrated, I asked a man standing on the pedestrian, looked busy with his smart phone. I asked him in French, he replied in French, but when he saw puzzle on my face, then he answered me in English, explained me the route that I must take. He even walked with me to show the exact street that I need to take after the boulevard. Another nice person who I met in Paris.
I found the restaurant, but Coralie was not there yet. I talked to the waitress, told him that Coralie already booked the table for both of us. The waitress brought me to the table, by the window, while five minutes later, Coralie arrived. We ordered the food, I ordered pasta with special sauce for the main course, while for starters, I ordered the oysters that looked so tempting on the menu. The waitress came five minutes later and brought a big plate of RAW oysters, which I never ate in my entire life. I was shock, especially when Coralie told me that I need to finish all of them by myself since she has sea food allergic. When I ate the first one, I felt like I wanted to throw up, but after the second one and Coralie showed me how to mix the oysters with the sauce and lemon, I started to like it, and finally finished it in 15 minutes. Well Done, Nurul.
After dinner, we went to Jazz Festival. However, we didn’t stay too long since it started late and the next day I must wake up early to catch my train to Germany. Next morning, I left Coralie’s flat after getting the big hugs from her. Once I arrived at the metro station, my card didn’t work then I remembered that I just bought three days pass ticket only. When I failed to enter the door, I spoke to my self “oh no, now I have to get the new one”. But, suddenly, somebody passed me, talked in French and gave his one way ticket for me.
“C’est un cadeau. Pour vous“
I was dazed by his kindness and couldn’t believe my fate to have that kindhearted from a total stranger. Due to my spontaneous astonishment, I even forgot to say thank you to him. May God give him award for his kindhearted action. I hope one day, another person will do the same to him as he did.