Wednesday, we had planned to visit the Louvre. It was the only day of the trip that we had sorta planned ahead of time, simply because the Louvre is closed on Tuesday, and open late on Wednesday.

The queue for the Louvre was horrendous, weaving literally over a quarter of a mile around corners and doorways (see Valerie’s queue post). It took us around 80 minutes to get through, but luckily the queue weaved inside of the Louvre courtyard, so there was plenty of fascinating French architecture to adore.

Before we got in line, we stopped at a lovely pastry shop, the Philippe Gosselin. We knew the queue was long, so we thought we could take some solace in some deliciousness.

We got 4 pastries:

The raspberry and chocolate ones were Valerie’s choice. The caramel and violet ones were mine. Brief synopsis:

  • Raspberry – Tart but flavorful, the filling was rich and fruity, and overall very good.
  • Chocolate – Rather ordinary, very reminiscent of the American equivalent chocolate eclair
  • Caramel – Possibly the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten – caramel and macadamia nuts.
  • Violet – A terrible bar of soap.

Really, the violet eclair tasted terrible, as if someone slathered some icing on a bar of Dove soup. I think they were going for lavender, or maybe just screwing with tourists. It was disgusting. The only bigger mistake on the trip than buying this waste was deciding to eat it after the most delicious caramel dessert. Had I eaten the caramel after, it would have vanished the terrible taste out of my mouth as opposed to spending the next hour feeling like I had made out with the Snuggle fabric softener mascot bear.

Valerie and I were unimpressed by the Louvre, a fact that was probably induced by the hoards of people, the inability to quietly enjoy the art, and the impressively confusing layout of the museum.  We did get to see the Mona Lisa, though we were very underwhelmed despite the hundreds of people hitting you in the head with their camera phones as they tried to get this same underwhelming shot. It was much smaller than you’d expect, and really in comparison to the gorgeous Renaissance murals around the museum, this little odd picture didn’t seem to deserve it’s fame in my eyes.

Though the sheer amount of artwork is impressive, and the other Renaissance paintings were beautiful. I’d like to visit the Louvre again if it could happen on a much less-crowded day. We were pretty worn out after (museums really take it out of us), so after a stop at Mouffetard for some wine and cheese, we retired.