Monday, 10 December 2012

Culture, Cables, Camembert and Crepes

Musee du Louvre
It was time to tackle one of the biggest icons of Paris...the Louvre. We've organised a private tour with Paris Muse to help us undertake the mammoth collection of the famed art museum. The tour is aimed specifically at families with children. We met with our guide Elisa, a Texan who has been here for two years, at the Arc du Carrousel. She hit it off with the children straight away. It was a tough job restraining Jonah from telling her irrelevant facts such as the colour of the spiders at his school...

The first stop had me captivated. The code of the law of Hammurabi from Babylon carved into Basalt. There were 282 laws carved, including some which we were familiar with, such as an eye for an eye. Elisa took us through the museum for 2.5 hours which flew by. She did well to deal with all three children, engaging them and maintaining their interest. Here's a little snippet to just to give you some idea of what she had to deal with. She was trying to explain symbols and asked the children what they thought might be a symbol of Paris. Elliot's answer...The Eiffel tower. Lara's...Notre Dame. Jonah's...Disneyland Paris. She was able to make the art understandable and enjoyable for the children which was the ultimate purpose. The children loved the tour and as a result also loved the museum. Elliot thought the Louvre was "awesome"! I know that we barely scratched the surface of the Louvre collection, but I have to admit that as an adult with limited attention span, it was a great way to see the museum! It was informative, and there was no time wasting getting lost or arguing about what to see next!

Ready to take on the museum

A sad little boy who got left behind by his brother and sister

Arc du Carrousel

Louis XIV, the last to live at the Louvre

Going inside the famed glass pyramid

The children getting their 'kit'

Code of Hammurabi

The details...

Jonah's preferred position of "working". classy

Neolithic statue from Jordan dating from 7000BC

So sophisticated back then that even their statues have buttocks

The original medieval fortress under the Louvre

Venus di Milo

Elisa had to work hard to engage Jonah

Winged Victory

Look familiar? A concept repeated in Versailles

Lovely Mona who looks right at you from the right... well as from the left!

The children completed their mission and found their treasure

A boardgame based on monuments in Paris!
Our next task for the day was to find a power adaptor for my mini laptop. We had looked up an electronic/multimedia store and trekked out to find it. We found the store but alas they did not have what we needed. The store assistance thankfully spoke English and suggested another store which MAY have what we were looking for. We decided to take a chance and check it out. On our way, we passed by a bakery with locals lining out of the door. It must be good so we joined the line and bought our lunch to much along on our quest to find THE store. The food was GOOD! After getting lost a few times, we finally arrived at the store to discover that it will reopen at 2pm. We waited out the half an hour at the nearby McDonald's. The geeky store person recommended an adaptor and was highly insulted at our innocent question of whether or not he was certain that the adaptor would not fry my laptop. We parted with 28 euros (eeek!) and hoped for the best. We had lost 3 hours of our day and unfortunately could not squeeze in the sewer museum.

We pushed on and made our way to Rue Cler for some foodie experience. We wandered down the short street with admired the pretty shop windows. We purchased some goodies to eat back at the apartment including a sweet brioche, some cheese, baguettes and wine. We decided to visit the nearby Musee de l'Armee at the Place des Invalides. This was an unexpected hit, especially with Jonah. He loved every part of the museum. It had the most amazing collection of everything to do with war. Beautifully detailed suits of armour were on display as were amazingly ornate guns guns and muskets. It was a shame that these were behind glass and so the photos didn't turn out. I never knew that canons could come in so many shapes and sizes. Malcolm satisfied his interest in World War I with their wonderful displays. We had to run to the adjoining chapel to see Napolean's Tomb before closing time. We had to drag Jonah out as they closed down the musuem.

The children were suddenly tired. Feet that were running a few seconds previously became "sore". We caught the metro back to the apartment and bought crepes for dinner. Mushroom and chicken crepes for main, and nutella crepes for dessert.

We accidentally found a new parenting technique for Jonah on our climb up the Notre Dame yesterday which we used with great effect today. He was always trying to run ahead and Malcolm told him to hold his hand.
Jonah "Why Dad?"
Malcolm " Because that's the rule"
Jonah "Does it say that you have hold your daddy's hand on the sign?!"
Malcolm "Yes, it says Jonah has to hold his daddy's hand."
Jonah "Oh."
No more arguments. Hand held successfully with no wriggling. Today we saw many signs with rules for Jonah.Let's hope he doesn't start reading too soon...

Lovely shops along Rue Cler

Drawn in by pretty displays...


Ok. Let's buy

Next stop...cheese

A surprise hit

The children ready to go again!

Weapons were a big drawcard

Ornate canon

Ummm...but what is that on top of the canon?!?!?

The chapel housing Napoleans Tomb

The biggest coffin we've ever seen

Our loot!


And the purchase that is allowing me to blog!

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