Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Paris in July - Memories 4

I don't know how much this cover proves.... except that it dates from before the addition of the glass pyramid which caused such a furore when it was built........

We got up super early one morning and stood in the queue to get into the Louvre, and we must have left our son with my sister-in-law because I can't imagine we pushed his pram up and down all those stairs.  My husband was keen to see the Mona Lisa, but one look at the crowded gallery where the tiny image hangs was enough for me and I left the brothers to fight their way to the front.  I headed down the stairs into the awesome galleries of Egyptian Antiquities and lost myself in the collections.  My most vivid memory is of being dwarfed by huge columns, and I still feel the sadness I felt then that these magnificent things were hidden in a basement in Europe instead of standing proudly in the African sunshine.

After a day lost inside the Louvre, and to make it up to those of the family who hadn't been with us, we all went out for dinner, and I counted 2CVs in every street, parked across corners and squeezed onto pavements.  How could you not love this little car?  I seem to remember that it was designed to travel across fields and safely transport eggs in a basket on the front seat without causing any to roll about and break.... they still look fairly basic to me, but if someone handed me the keys to one tomorrow, I'd be delighted (black with dark red doors please).

Tonight when I looked back through the Louvre guidebook, there was a photograph of a small marble head, shield shaped and smooth, with just a nose to define it.  Without looking at the text I knew it to be a piece of translucent white marble from the Cyclades, perhaps even Naxos, just like the tiny copy I brought back and which sits on my mantlepiece.  When I bought this guidebook 23 years ago, I could never have imagined going to Naxos and bringing home my own piece of history.

Travel memories are like tentacles snaking their way around and through places large and small, weaving everything together in a way that creates ownership and affection in the mind of the adventurer.


  1. Great post! I am absolutely jealous of visiting the Louvre! One day I will be there! I agree with you, whenever I visit a museum, I also feel that tiny bit of sadness that the artwork that I'm seeing isn't where it should properly be, not in a museum. But then, I would never get to see it, so my conflicted thoughts begin!! :)

  2. I'm vicariously enjoying your visit to the Louvre, even if it was 23 years ago. My smile doesn't know that.

  3. I love your final paragraph - it's a beutiful piece of writing that expresses so well many experiences of mine and travel. Lovely memories too. thanks.

  4. The Louvre was a spot I skipped (hitting d'Orsay, others) and I always wonder, "Did I pick the right ones!" Gives me something to go back to. Like Paris isn't enough...


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I'd like to read your thoughts.....