I fell into the fountain at the Louvre today.
Yes, it is true. There is also incriminating evidence (intended to be a nice picture of me trotting along the ledge — OK, that sounded more doable in my head…) that I’m not sure I want to ask for. Ha.
It was a lovely visit altogether, in spite of the fall!
How this all went down: One of my really close friends had come to visit me in Paris for the weekend, and we went on a fantastic visit to the Louvre on Sunday. It was sunny and lovely and we had a blast. I had been a few times before but a) in much worse weather (you’d think it wouldn’t matter because you’re inside a museum but, with the lounging at the pyramids outside and the glass-encased courtyards and entrances inside, a sunny day does make a big difference!) and b) without an audioguide. I think the audioguide made the biggest difference. I never knew much about the paintings in the Louvre before (I’m not much of an Art History buff) and so on previous visits I would flit between the paintings, trying to decipher the short French captions, giving up, and not much more. I saw people with their heads tilted, staring at 1 painting for an hour, and wondered if something was wrong with them. Let’s just say I didn’t get a lot out of my visits!
But on Sunday when we went, we got my friend an audioguide to go along with the paintings (It was in a Nintendo DS and everything. High tech, eh?). I never bothered to in the past because I always thought, ‘maybe next week!’ but I’m so glad we did it this time. I learned so many things about these paintings that rendered them fascinating and relevant to me in a matter of minutes. There was such rich context, history, and stories behind these pictures. The thought that went into them, the perspectives used to create them… I’d never been aware of this. I mean, the guide wasn’t perfect by any means, but it showed me just how much I had been missing. I might go back one day, rent out the guide myself, and learn a little bit more about all these paintings I enjoy. I walked out of the galleries inspired, curious, and feeling perhaps a liiiiittle more cultured. Hahaha!
This was what my visits were like before:
But on Sunday it was a little more like I’m guessing it’s supposed to be:
(Minus the soundtrack. But, I mean, don’t you wish your life had a soundtrack like that?)
We had lunch at the cute café in the Louvre, lost each other – and found each other again – at the Pyramids outside, and lounged around outdoors. I sat at the fountain beside a lady sleeping on its ledge. She woke up immediately, smiled, and told us in French that the sound of the water was calming for her. I listened a bit. She was right — it was.
Then she whipped out a card from her bag of the largest painting in the Louvre, the dinner painting with Jesus hung up in the room right across from the Mona Lisa. She asked us if we knew what it was of. I embarrassingly didn’t know much at all apart from that it was the site of his first miracle, because I hadn’t stopped by it properly. She pointed things out and explained it all to us, from the details of the rich robes that the other guests were wearing in the painting and why they were wearing them, to the presence of the monks, to the man cutting lamb right above Jesus’ head. It turns out she was a professor of art appliqué (applied art) in Paris. We chatted a bit, she wished us a good time, and then she got up to leave. I told her I was contemplating dipping my feet in the water and she said it might not be the wisest idea. I should have listened to her. I didn’t.
5 minutes later, I was sitting in the Louvre fountain, soaked from head to toe. (It was a lot steeper than I had anticipated.) WHOOPS!!! My friend and I couldn’t stop laughing.