I am done. It is terribly warm in here, my face is shiny, my body sweaty. And, there are THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of people SWARMING all over! It is not a hum emanating from the masses but a roar bouncing off the centuries-old walls repeatedly thrumming my head. I have officially hit the wall and museum fatigue washes over me, making me desperate to go. This museum has filled me with wonder and delight for hours, but no longer do these vast treasure troves excite me. I’ve analyzed ancient sculptures from the dawn of civilization in the Department of Near Eastern Antiquities; I experienced an awe-filled hour (at least) in the Cour Khorsabad where I felt transported to the ancient palace of King Sargon the II and where I made friends with the kindly yet powerful lamassu; I discovered King Amenophis IV in the Department of Egyptian Antiquities (and learned of his name and religion changes) and his contributions to this world, not to mention his famous wife and even more famous son, and the culture of that incredible time…
I have been in heaven all afternoon – in another world, truly – and have been incredibly glad for the hours of discovery…
It is the solo-travelling that allows me the solitude, freedom from distraction, and time to discover these miraculous creations. Because I was by myself today, I had the luxury to linger for as long as I chose over humanity’s remarkable beginnings.
But, that dreamlike wonder is gone now. It has deserted me and gone to find a nice cafe to rest it’s feet and drink a glass of wine. My head can hold no more, my eyes do not want to view another sculpture, no matter how ancient, no matter how significant. I don’t care which pharoah lies mummified in the next room. I have an increasingly aching mid-upper back from carrying all these heavy lenses, a heavy camera, and the darn audio guide which has almost strangled me a few times. Plus, I have my notebook in which to write all my newest revelations and my guidebook to tell me more. It was too heavy a load, a load of my own silly making, and my back is squawking. All I want to do is leave. Museum fatigue is now the chief distraction: it has caught up with me and…even if it is the Louvre, it’s time to go.
Let me just admire the Winged Victory of Samothrace for a moment – she is so spectacular – as I move through the Denon wing and toward the exit.
Nope. I don’t even want to stay here that long. There’s just too many people and I’m so done.
Looking outside from the Denon Wing down onto the Cour Carrée, I see it’s not too terribly wet. Most of the rain hit while I was inside the museum. Good. Still won’t need the umbrella I left at the hotel!A lot of people are choosing to leave the reception area via the stairway up and out of the pyramid. Not me. I think I’ll stay underground a bit longer and stroll through Le Carrousel du Louvre, the underground mall attached to the Louvre.
with it’s famous Pyramide Inversée,
it’s Starbucks – yes, even here(!) (“Ubiquitous” in French is omniprésent),
and the famous Ladurée “luxury baker and sweets maker.” I have dreamt of their macarons for many years, and have yet to try one, but the queue is too long and daunting and I am too tired. One day, I will taste one. A pink one, maybe. Or a green one. Do they all taste alike? I’ll not find out the answer to this question today…
No. Instead, I shall leave the Carrousel du Louvre via its exit onto Rue de Rivoli, and walk the few short blocks to my Hôtel Louvre Bons Enfants where I will lie down and absorb all I’ve seen and experienced. Or, not. Perhaps, instead, for a time at least, I’ll not pressure myself to absorb or re-experience anything. Perhaps, just for a while, I’ll just be; with my eyes closed.
And, then I’ll go catch up with my dream-like wonder and join it for that glass of wine!