van Bokhoven Europe 2014 travel blog

the Louvres entrance

Room with Mona Lisa

Frank with the master piece

Another piece of art

Pompidou front with Alicen

Arc de Triomphe at night

Dinner on Champs Elysees

Entry of Lido for our show

Lido show about to start

Louvres Egypt

Frank and Mona Lisa close up

After the big night last night and diving into bed well after mid night, we enjoyed the first real sleepin (until 8.30am) this holidays. Having a leisurely breakfast in our apartment and updating our computer records before heading off in the afternoon to the Louvre.

This place would take more than 3 weeks to see every room and displayed art piece properly, however the van Boks were able to 'fit it all in' in a bit more than 2 hours.

Of course we headed off to the Mona Lisa among the Italian paintings first to ensure we could tick that one off our list. A room filled with other admirers was there and after some elbowing and pushing people out of the way (Tom did a great job in that department), we ended up near the painting.

To be honest not sure what all the hype is about. Nice painting, but after walking through the Louvre afterwards, there are some other pieces of art that deserved my admiration even more.

We visited the old Greek, Egyptian and also the Dutch/Flemsish sections of the paintings, sculptures and other museum pieces of this huge building. All well laid out and via the head phones worn by Alicen and Luke, we learned a few things of a number of items displayed...very interesting and worth a visit for any one who will visit Paris down the track.

We (read: Frank) then wanted to see the Pompidou Centre before heading home to get ready for the Lido show. This museum was in the area and was criticised when initially built due to its external features and 'ugly' looking structures where normally internal lifts are shown on the outside and lots of cables etc. normally hidden away are displayed as well. The brochure said that most Parisians over the years have come to like the building.

Maybe that will happen with me as well, but for now I have to say I agree with those that call the building ugly. A few markets on the outside, so a first shopping 'fix' for Alicen and the boys in this town.

After returning home to get ready, we went to the Champs Elysees where we would see the 9.00pm Lido show. There was a large gathering at the Arc de Triomphe with many policemen and military personnel performing some sort of service. We had been told that every night the flame for the unknownn soldier gets relit.

We enjoyed a beautiful dinner with views on the Arc and then went to the Lido, where the bottom floor was filled with people who had enjoyed their dinner.

We sat upstairs (happy with that) and received 2 bottles of champagne (1/2 bottle each). Tom and Luke tried a little bit, but did not enjoy it. One bottle therefore quickly exchanged for 4 bottles of coke (2 bottles each for Tom and Luke).

The show was quite spectacular with a mix of French dancing (lots of ladies with bare breasts) and other, ad hoc performances from a man juggling up to 3 'wheels', a man performing in the air in a linen sheet, a clown who got the crowd involved, an ice skating couple and a few others. The show went for nearly 2 hours straight and the boys stayed awake the whole time...means that the show must have grabbed their attention and we left feelings satisfied and happy.

Back home in the familiar metro and easier to get around now we have been in Paris for 2 days. Tom and Luke went home updating their wifi and Facebook time, while Alicen and I went around the block for a quick romantic drink together.

I am still amazed on how busy it is at that time of the night (midnight) with people meeting others for a drink, cars driving around and many shops, restaurants and cafes open on a 'weeknight'....definitely different than our Grover Avenue street and enjoying it immensely.

Feeling satisfied and fulfilled after another successful day, we ended up back at our apartment.

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