On friday and wednesday nights they have late night openings at the Louvre which means that there are far fewer people compared to a saturday or sunday. So I went with Léa and her friend Fanny. We met fairly late so only had an hour or two there so we bee-lined for the most famous paintings – i.e the highlights on the plan! We saw the Mona Lisa – small and disappointing as ever, but you could actually get close up to it which was much better! We saw lots of statues, a famous photo with a woman touching another woman’s nipple and plenty of other works of art from all around the world. I found the actual building itself so impressive though. The incredibly detailed and beautiful ceilings, the complex layout, and the countless works of art at every turn. Having walked round gazing at all the art and the ceilings I think I now understand why it is the most visited museum in the world. It is just spectacular and vast! It actually began as a fortress built in the 12th century by Phillip II, and you can see the remnants. Then it was extended many times to form the present palace. Louis XIV chose to live instead in the Palace of Versailles and so the Louvre became a place to display the royal collection. During the French Revolution, the National Assembly decreed that the Louvre should be used as a museum, to display the nation’s masterpieces.
Exhausted when it closed at 9.45 I went back home to sleep! The next morning I met up with Léa at Porte de Clignancourt for the marché aux puces. I had been a month or so ago but it was raining then so not very good. This time there was a lot more to see/buy but most of it wasnt really what we wanted as we were searching for christmas presents but there were some brocante stalls which were nice. We then headed into central Paris and walked around the shops on the Rue de Rivoli and up to Saint Paul. We stumbled upon a little brocante hidden in the streets leading to the Jewish Quarter. And also found the American Thanksgiving shop. It had loads of American stuff in it like betty crocker, aunt jemima, reeses cups, marshmallow fluff all of that kind of things and Léa was loving it! She bought a carrot cake betty crocker kit for her mum. We went to a market along Bastille which was just finishing up and then I headed home.
The colocataire who was here before me had returned this weekend and so tonight we had a big meal together with champagne and starters. Marie cooked this delicious courgette bake with creme fraiche et cheese, it was really good! And then we had my summer fruits cheesecake for pudding. Luckily it had turned out well. So well in fact that Claire and Camille had seconds and Marie Laure had thirds!! They love all the english cakes I make. I also gave them the tin of heroes which mum had bought and Claire loved it, she’d never tasted most of them so dove straight in trying all of them. Explaining what creme egg was in french was a challenge!