Just one of my favourite things

Right at this moment (my moment, not your moment. Your moment is probably way after my moment), I am sitting in the Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Airport (aka Salzburg airport. aka lol) about to bid adieu to Austria.

I’M SO SAD!!!
Salzburg is a beautiful city, full of history and life and mountains and streams and happy.

But I’m biased.
The time I have spent in Salzburg has been colored and glorified by a VERY special reunion.

A couple of years ago, I met an amazing woman called Karen.
Our friendship over the years has been intense and close and wonderful and full of love and honesty. And we have managed an amazing friendship despite regularly being cities or continents away from each other.
We hadn’t been able to see much of each other this year. Until Karen was offered a postgrad position to study for 12 months at the Mozarteum (a prestigious music university) in Salzburg. We both quickly realised that we would be in Salzburg AT THE SAME TIME (!!!) so we’ve been plotting this reunion for months.

Karen and I have spent most of the past 5 days Sqwee-ing, laughing and eating. And it has felt like my soul has been energized by the good times we’ve shared.

On the 7th of November, I got up at 5:30am so I could be on the first train to my lady and my Sburg.
The moment I stepped off the train, I saw snow capped mountains, flame colored autumn trees and smelt the freshest air I have ever found.
When Karen and I saw each other on the platform, we RAN into each others arms, squished each other violently and squealed like little girls.

Karen took me to her sweet little flat where I unpacked, did washing (FUCKYEAH!) and rested while she bundled herself off to class.
Later we went for a walk around town, then Karen went to her Stage Fencing Class (JEALOUS!!) and then the two of us went to a tavern/restaurant for a traditional Austrian dinner – SLAB OF MEAT WITH POTATO DUMPLINGS AND BEERS!!!
So tasty. So fun.

Then next day, the two of us went on the Panorama Sound of Music Tour!!
And it was SO MUCH FUN!!!

In a little red minivan, shared with a charming (if Republican) couple from Texas and a VERY over zealous tour guide; Karen and I made our way through the city, to various sights and up into the mountains to see the lake district.
We saw the front of the Von Trapp manor, the back of the VonTrapp manor (funnily enough, not the same building), the gazebo where Liesel and Rolf get all romantic, the lake the kids fall into, the steps they jump about on and the church where the wedding scene was shot.

Karen and I spent the duration of the tour in the back of the bus, squealing in perfect unison and singing along to the soundtrack.
As a filthy tourist, I have to say, I highly recommend the tour. You see lots of movie specific stuff, but you also get to go into the more rural areas and Salzburg gets prettier the higher up you go.

After the tour, Karen took me to cafe My Indigo.
This is now my second favourite cafe in the world. (The wifi was faster at Oberhalz. :P)
My Indigo is devoted to quick, fresh, healthy bowls of yum.
The food was SUPER DELICIOUS, really cheap, and so healthy that you felt like gloating about it later. And the BEST thing about this cafe was it’s massive spice stand with 5 different spiced oils and 15 different blended salts and peppers!
Best.

A post lunch lethargy descended upon us, so Karen and I waddled back to her apartment and napped. Like bosses.

We got up, cooked dinner (HORRAYFORCOOKING!!!) and reveled in the triumph of our day.

A’ight, I’ma leave this blog here cuz I need to board my flight.
But I’ll have more stories for you soon.
lovelovelove.

Xx

Pictured – Karen and I with our Gazebo friend, the back & lake at the Von Trapp manor and a sweet little flower from My Indigo

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Ignoring the inevitable

You may have noticed a drop in my blog writing productivity.
Well…. I feel very conflicted these days.
So much of me is weary from travel and ready to return home. And yet I cant even fathom having to leave these beautiful countries and cities.

I have been writing.
But it’s been forced, ugly and boring.

I’m preoccupied by how heart broken I’m going to be when I get home.
IY miss you all, so very much. But this trip has been very important for me.
I feel like my metal has been tested by every new city and every new experience.
It already feels so hard to let go. To willingly put thousands of miles between my “real” life and the places I love.

So it’s hurting to write about my recent adventures.

Also, since arriving in Salzburg, I’ve been having such a brilliant time that I haven’t had a spare moment!!

But let me finish off my stories from Vienna…

My second day in Vienna, Monday 5th of November, was spent in an auditory whirl. I had planned to visit Haus der Musik (a museum devoted to sound and music) and I was lucky enough to procure a ticket to the Opera!

However, the most exciting part of the day was my very special lunch date.
I had organised to lunch with Sonia, a girl from my degree at the ANU who graduated a few years before me.
In real life, we’d had VERY little to do with each other. But whenever I told my music friends that I was heading to Vienna, they all INSISTED that I should catch up with Sonia if I could.

Lunch was so much fun.
Sonia, her friend Pavl and I enjoyed wonderful/terrible pub food and flowing/raucous conversation.

Next I headed over to the Haus der Musik, which was …. an experience.
HdM is a small museum devoted to music and sound. It has a strange collection of things on exhibit. But it was really fun.

The first floor, devoted to the Vienna Symphony, had a “concert room” where you could watch a previous Vienna Symphony New Years Eve concert. Which was lovely and made me miss my papa.
The second floor, devoted to the perception of sound, started with a room that was built to simulate sound as it is perceived in the womb. (!!!)
The third floor was a rabbit warren of small rooms devoted to great Austrian composers like Haydn, Mozart, Strauss and Schoneburg. Each room even had a relic to be admired, like the door of the apartment where Beethoven had died or the tiny spectacles that Strauss used to wear for composing.
The fourth room was SUPER interactive and I spent a lot of time playing with one station where you could conduct a simulated Vienna Symphony.

While having lunch with Sonia, she suggested that I attend that evenings performance of ‘La Cambiale di Matrimonio’ at the Kammer Oper theatre. Her lovely husband Ben, who was also a previous ANU vocal student just before me, was playing the role of ‘Slook’ – a hapless Canadian.
So after HdM, I cluelessly waddled my way to the theatre (which is how I found the Dragon Bar) and capped off my day with a very interesting and funny evening of Rossini.

My third and final day in Vienna (November 6th) I got up late, brunched for AGES and strolled over to the Leopold Museum.
It was closed. Ferk.

Instead I plodded through the city. It was cold and blustery.
I found the Albertina, another gallery in the centre of town, and decided to use it as shelter from the cold.

The Albertina was ok.
It has a tiny collection of art from a strange collection of eras.
However, I did really enjoy their new exhibition of arts works, commission by Kaiser Maximilian I, which were mainly of himself (& his massive Hapsburg schnoz!). The collection was surrounded by history and tales of royals misbehaving.
Lol.

Sonia and Ben, very kindly invited me for dinner at their lovely flat in Vienna.
We spent most of the evening nomming and giggling hysterically.
It was really nice.

Ok my darlings, that is the end of my tales from Vienna.
I still have a buttload to tell you, but I’m a pretty tired monkey.
I’m leaving Salzburg tomorrow ( 😦 ) to return to London. So hopefully I will be able to write more in transit.

Missing you all, all the time.
Xx

Pictured – A surprise (and rather rugged) statue of Mozart that I found in my wanderings in Vienna, the triumphant statue across from the State Library in Vienna and a historic building come H&M in the centre of town.

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Mumok and the religious experience

So, my first day in Vienna – I was tired and mildly grumpy. After the long trip from Paris and my wholly underwhelming hotel, I wasn’t excited to do much.

I decided to head to the Museum Quartier, a complex that housed a number of modern galleries and museums. I figured, ‘ensconce yourself around pretty things and hopefully your mood will improve’.

And I was not wrong.

I saw the very impressive, grey, modular building of the Mumok gallery and was instantly drawn to it.
It is an ULTRA-modern, modern art gallery. (I don’t think anything predated the 60’s!)

When I first entered, I could hear incredibly, ethereal music.
The lady at the ticket desk explained that a concert was in progress inside one of the gallery rooms. I walked straight over to find and expensive room, filled with colored light and whirling sound.

A quartet of classical recorder players were creating a dreamscape of sound, and I found it completely spell binding. (For the non musicians reading this, recorder music – when played well – is completely beautiful.) They were playing a quartet by Pérotin (from the 13th century) and later a polyrythmic duet by Philip Glass.
Wrapped in the beautiful music, my perception of time and my awareness of people around me fell away. I was just sitting in the music, completely lost and enraptured.

After the Glass piece, I headed to an exhibition of minimalist and landscape art. Almost every piece I saw was concerned with reflection. The very nature and appearance of each work was affected by the presence and observation of the viewer. No viewer would ever have the same experience of any one piece.
It was a wonderful, twisty mind problem and I was quickly engrossed in contemplation.

I want to tell you about a few of the pieces…

(1)There was a small mirror with the blurred image of a mans face covering its center.
The work asked for the viewer to obscure their own reflection in the mirror with the image of the male.
I stood squarely in front of the mirror, and it felt wonderful.
I don’t love mirrors and I’m no big fan of my own reflection. But I never expected the feeling of elation and safety that came from standing before a mirror and not seeing myself.
It was also really confronting. I still don’t know why the hell I felt so happy and so liberated without my reflection?

(2)In a small antechamber, I found a tiny 90’s looking television that appeared to be projecting the image of the inside of a box.
At first I thought “how clever! a depiction of the emptiness of TV culture” (with the passing thought of “how clever! I automatically understand the artistic intention! Winnah.”).
But then, the audio guide explained that the image projected was actually the vision and sound from the inside of a cement box buried near the gallery. It was intended as a piece that projected emptiness and silence.
The impression that this new (and true) artistic intention left on me was immediate and startling.
It made me consider mortality and eternal silence, emptiness and the idea of meaning.
I stated at that screen for an age, bewitched and bothered.

(3)There was a small room devoted to a short film, displaying and documenting a piece of Land Art called the Spiral Jetty. (Googled that shit!)
The Spiral Jetty is a man made, earth rock sculpture that spirals from the shore and into the deep of an the water in the Great Salt Lake of Utah. In a reaction from the minerals that run into the lake, the water there regularly runs blood red.
The images of red water and white stone were so eerie. And the work was so captivating. The piece seemed like it was lain their by magic in the distant past.

Ok, back to the story.
The main event at Mumok right now is their massive collection of works by Dan Flavin.

Dan Flavin was a famous minimalist artist from the 60’s that chose to work SOLELY with fluorescent tube lighting. He wanted to work with a commercially viable and limited medium, and he manages to create truly expressive, individual and beautiful works.

The Mumok collection of Flavin’s works took up the larger spaces on four separate floors of the gallery. I spent hours walking in and out of the glow of his various creations.

On the walls of one of the large exhibition rooms were three untitled numbers for the audio guide.
One of the numbers played a piece of very mechanistic electro music, the second played an atmospheric piece by Philip Glass and the final number played Pérotin’s ‘Viderent Omens’.
The galley was providing music for the visitors to enhance their experience of the Flavin’s works. And I think it was pure genius!
I chose the Pérotin, an early music piece with lilting voices and complicated contrapuntalism (sorry guys, music nerd). I wandered through the large gallery space and instantly noticed that the intensity of color and light in each work was massively enhanced. And this is where I found my favourite of Flavin’s works.

It’s called ‘Untitled (to Jan and Ron Greenburg)’ and it consists of two small rooms, divided by a wall of light.
On one side, the light is a sunny yellow, and on the other, a cool green. In either room, there is a small glimpse of the color on the other side.
With the stunning music in my ears; stepping into the yellow lit room and it felt like entering into a warm embrace. I brought my face and body close to the wall of light and bathed in the warmth and the glow. It was a glorious, almost religious experience.
Entering the green lit room, I was struck by a feeling of calm, quiet and peace. The closer I got to the lights, the more I felt that I could lay down and wither til I died in a place as beautiful as this.

When I exited both rooms, the colors of the real world seemed changed. It made me feel like my perception of the world had been massively and irrevocably altered.
Eventually, as my eyes adjusted, I slowly returned to reality. But I felt blown away that 1 wall of light and some interwoven voices could such an overwhelming effect on me.
Standing in the light, I felt uplifted and full of hope and peace. And when I came back to earth, I felt lighter than before.

I left the Mumok so happy. It gave me a moment of peace from the tempestuous ocean of my mind. (*coughWANKER!!!cough*)

Oh god, I hope you’ll all forgive me for such an outburst of nonsense and rhetoric.
I just wanted you to know about this marvelous place and how exceptionally well it made me feel.

I felt well, for the first time in a long time. And while the feeling was fleeting, fuck it was important.

Love to you all!!
Xx

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Surprises and Secrets

Vienna is NOTHING like I thought it would be.

Having said that; I knew almost nothing about it post 1901 and everything I knew about it was in relation to music history, so I had no reason to be making assumptions.

But, in my mind, Vienna was a tiny city, untouched by the development of the past decades, standing in classical glory! A shining beacon of modern civilization, wrapped in a beautifully historic shell.

So, when I arrived to find a large and neon buzzing metropolis, I was quite surprised.

Vienna is, actually, a lot like Prague.
The city feels kinda-soviet. Its made up of huge expanses of V basic apartment living, with pockets of development springing up here and there closer to the centre. The public transport system is old, but it runs. The historic buildings remain, but their surrounded by rather 70’s urban development. And 5mins out of the centre, the city feels vastly different.
Like comparing Melbourne to Box Hill (Bok Hierl) or Canberra to Belconnen (pre the Westfield).

I’m staying in a “yet to be developed” area, in a kind of terrible hotel. (There is an awful, rising smell from the bathroom and I found a lump of chewing gum sitting on the switch of my lamp. HOORAY!)

Stemming from my entirely misinformed assumption about the city; I was expecting the city to be a historical gem, but with all the modcons. (Wishful thinking much?)
But Internet is hard to find, land marks are hidden by sprawl and the city has a cold, hard look about it.

However, hidden in amongst the struggling businesses, the weary buildings and the greenish-grey wash of the city, are fabulous diamonds to be discovered.

The past two days I have spent my time at the Mumok Gallery (ULTRAMOD modern art museum) and the Haus der Musick (super weird, hyper interactive museum devoted to music and sound) and I have been totally blown away.
(I’m gunna write about about both institutions sperately in subsequent blogs.)

I feel torn.
As a city, I don’t really want to be here. It’s cold (and getting colder), seems unfriendly and feels pretty unsafe (which is another unfounded assumption. What I mean to say is, it doesn’t feel as safe as more developed cities).
But the hidden gems I have discovered here have so incredibly impressed me that I’m partially regretting only allowing for such a short visit.

(DAMN YOU VIENNA FOR MAKING ME FEEL COMPLEXLY!
You know that ain’t my scene!)

(Lies… I know.)

Case in point; I’m currently sitting in a tiny, cosy and COMPLETELY EMPTY little bar called ‘The Dragon Bar’.
I’m waiting to see an old friend perform in a production of Rossini’s ‘La Cambiale di Matrimonio’ at the small Kammer Oper theatre.
Both establishments are down an alley, down an alley, down an alley.
The bar is totally darling, and because I’m the only one here, the owner has been wonderfully attentive. The theatre houses max 100 people and it’s full of incredibly talented performers.

Hopefully the city will develop economically (or whatever needs to happen, I don’t understand this stuff) and the tiny fabulous places will take over.

On a side note: Today is the 5th of November. This means that I have 12 days before I begin me descent down the mountain (aka – I start my journey home).
And, like a grumpy three year old, I wanna stomp my foot, thrust my hands violently at my hips and yell “WHY DO PEOPLE KEEP SAYING THAT THE WORLD IS SO SMALL WHEN AUSTRALIA IS SO FAR FROM EVERYWHERE!!”
Well… not everywhere.
But I have a LOT of beloveds in Europe and I don’t like the idea of being so permanently far away from them.
Wah.

I also don’t want to be 24hrs and $2000 away from my next visit to Berlin and Paris!!

This may seems a little contrary considering my last blog. But fuck it, I’m a lady so I get to be!
(That is an incredibly sexist thing for you to say Steph. And it’s inaccurate. Maybe you should say “I’m mentally ill, of course I’m contrary!”? Yeah, go with that.)

I’m faced with the same desperate dilemma that faced me when I made the colossal decision to completely uproot my life and move from Melbourne to Canberra; why can’t all the things I want be in the same place as all the people I love?!

But there is no answer.

Which reminds me, I have something to tell you all…
I haven’t wanted to tell anyone, in an attempt at self preservation, but I think it’s time to confirm it to you all.
In January, I will be leaving the city of Canberra and returning home to Melbourne.

For all my Melbournian darlings; I am deliriously happy to be returning to you. I’m scared for what the future will bring, but I know I’ll be in the vey best company come what may.

For all my Canberran loves; I am desperately sad to be leaving you all. However, this city has nothing left to give me.
I wish I could wrap you all up and take you around in my pocket. But I’m sure you want lives of your own.
Please know, that I will work tirelessly to keep you in my life. Because I adore you all.

And with that, I will bid you all adieu.
Love to you all.
X

Pictured – the weird chandelier at Dragon Bar, KarlsKirk and the Staats Oper

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the tired traveler is tired

First of all, I’m so sorry that I haven’t been able to post anything for so long!! Hopefully this wont be such a problem in Vienna and Salzburg. (Keep your fingers crossed for me!)

Second of all, I am SO tired of traveling.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being in new places and seeing new things.
But I’m entirely sick of never feeling quite safe and never knowing exactly where I am. I’m sick of not having a washing machine and ready access to the Internet. I hate having to ration my text messages for fear of running out of credit. I detest the sight of my own suitcase. I miss my bed and my friends and the confidence that comes from knowing that I probably won’t get mugged.

There. I said it.

I haven’t wanted to engage with these feelings, for fear that that would sour the rest of my trip. But, after all the stupid things that happened in Paris (yes, more stupid things have happened), I’ve decided to acknowledge these haunting feelings in the hope that they will be set free.
(Have I said something similar before? I am a victim of my own patterns.)

Yesterday (2nd of November), was pretty disappointing.
I woke to the sound of very heavy rain.
But it was my last day in Paris(!) and I wasn’t about to spend the day doing anything unmiraculous! However, the universe had other plans.

I had a very terse interaction at the Post Office, a pretty uninspiring breakfast and my first problematic journey in the metro (completely my fault, I misread the map).
But I was not to be deterred! I got to Montmartre, and it was choc full of tourists and stabby umbrellas. I climbed thousands of steps in the pouring rain to the Sacre Coure, took two photos and admitted defeat.
I decided to hide myself in the security and rain proof-y-ness of the Centre Pompidou. However, in my scattered, depressed state I was successfully swindled out of 5€ (thank god it wasn’t more) by some guy who decided to wind some twine around my wrist and call it a ‘bracelet’.

The instant I stepped into the Pomoidou I breathed a massive sigh of relief.
But, Murphy’s law being as it is, with my next intake of breath I felt a terrible stab of pain in my womb. (stupid emdometreosis and its stupid head. GRRRRHHH!!!)
I waddled awkwardly through the exhibitions trying to focus on the art.
Note: Pain sucks and is stupid and it’s not conducive to the appreciation of art.

By 4:30pm I was heading back to the apartment, mourning the loss of my last day in Paris.
But, at that moment, Matthew called!
He proposed dinner and maybe a movie and I was so happy to have heard from a friend that I JUMPED at the chance.
We met, couldn’t find a good movie on, and had a lovely dinner.
Fresh pizza, red wine and good company.
I went home feeling optimistic enough to finish packing and fall into a deep sleep.

The next day (November 3rd, ie: Today) I FLEW out of bed, did my final checks and bag stuffs and ran out the door. I had to take a train to here, then a train to there and a bus to Charles de Gaulle.
I was at CDG 3hrs before my flight. I was the first person in line to check in. And when I was finally called, they couldn’t find my booking.
FML!!
As if I hadn’t been anxious enough: to hear that they couldn’t find my booking, I was suddenly bordering on the hysterical.
I was sent to the service desk, and after a few terrifying minutes (as tears streamed down my face) they found my booking. They checked my bag, I wandered to my gate and I sat shivering for 2 hours waiting for my flight.

Right now I’m in Warsaw. Killing the four hours between my arrival and my departure (2 down, 2 to go). I’m sitting at a restaurant called “Business Shark” (no, I’m not kidding) and I just had the strangest BLT of my life.
Waiting for me is a 2hr flight to Vienna, a 40min bus trip to Westbahnhof and a taxi ride to my hotel.

Wish me luck my darlings, cuz I don’t know what I’ll do of anything else goes wrong.

BRING ON THE BINGE EATING OF MOZART CHOCOLATES!!!

Pictured – The rainy Sacre Coure, SOME of the steps & Proof…

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A holy day was here

My day at the Louvre had fallen (unbeknownst to me) smack bang on Halloween. And when I met the lovely Matthew for drinks in the evening, we found ourselves surrounded by giggling gouhls and tipsy goblins.

It took us both a few minutes to figure out why everyone was so festively costumed. But when we did, Matthew also realized that ‘tomorrow’ (1st of November) would be All Saints Day – a major public holiday in Paris.

Matthew warned me that most of the city would be closed for the holiday, which put a serious spanner in the works for the day I had planned.

I woke up at 5am to the sounds of heavy rain.
The sounds of Parisian rain is very different to how it sounds at home. In my tiny Parisian apartment, the rain sounded like 1000 snare drums leading a soldiers march.

I fell back to sleep, but was awoken again at around 7:30am to the sound of hail on my tiny balcony.
Boo-urns. Rain, hail AND a public holiday. Surely my touristic plans had been dashed for the day.

I spent the morning googling the best way to get to the airport (for my eventual departure), Parisian post office working hours (for yet another package of goodies sent home) and whether ANYTHING would be open today

I eventually found a tiny travel blog that said that most tourist sights would be open and I POUNCED while the rain had stopped and the enthusiasm had returned.
I flung myself about the apartment to get ready and I flew through the door.
I decided to visit the Notre Dame and, to my great fortune, it was open.

Notre Dame is the most beautiful place I have ever visited.
Religion in Australia is nowhere near this beautiful.

I was lucky to have entered the Cathedral during a fleeting period of sunshine between rain storms. The extra light streaming through the stained glass windows made the interiors literally glow!
I purchased an audio guide and strolled around the Cathedral. It was, in the most literal sense, completely awesome.

There was a separate queue to enter the towers of the cathedral and, to my great dismay, it was absolutely massive and completely exposed to the rain.
I decided not to see the towers, but I know that I have missed something spectacular.
(Oh well, guess I’ll just have to come back!)

I had a quite lunch at a cafe next door (another croque. This time it was the Monsieur!). I then wandered through some souvenir places and headed to the Marais.

I wandered through the tiny, wonky streets of the Marais. Got lost several times. Found 60€ in an abandoned ATM (which made me think of Alice and her trick for improving a story). And then made my way home to my warm apartment, where I spent the evening writing blogs.

I’m so bummed that I have had to stockpile my blogs instead of posting them. But that’s the trouble of intermittent wifi availability.
Hopefully I’ll find some soon or I’ll probably drown you all with new posts!! Lol.

Missing you all in the purple light of the Notre Dame.
X

Pictured – Each candle is a prayer, the magnificent Rose Window & the lady who inspired it all.

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The good shit cont. 31/10/12

For my day at the Louvre I decided to give up my tourist accessories (my camera, my backpack full of shit, etc…) and just focus on the museum.
I wore a pretty dress and only brought my essentials; my phone (urgh!), wallet and a metro map.

I had a GORGEOUS breakfast at a small cafe next to the Palais Royale (mmmmmmm, croque Madame!). Then I made my way to the, all too famous, Glass Pyramide.
The pyramid was shining golden in the early morning light.
C’est Magnifique.

The ticket hall, underneath the pyramid, was CRAZY with people. But the Louvre functions like a well oiled machine, so I had my ticket, my audio guide and I’d dropped my coat off within 15minutes.
It really gladdened my heart to see all those people excited to spend their day in an art museum.
Art is wonderful. It should be loved and supported.

I started with the small section devoted to the history of the Louvre.
It wasn’t super informative.
But then I found myself in the centre of the Egyptian antiquity collection, and Holy Smokes is it massive! I spent nearly 4 hours in the one collection and probably saw a third of what was there.

I had a rather impressive lunch in the Louvre cafeteria; roast chicken with herbs and ratatouille (imagine finding that at a museum in Aus!).
Then I wandered towards the French and Dutch painting collections.

I had never realized how Italian heavy most classical art galleries were until I spent some time in the French collection.The paintings are SO DIFFERENT! And I have to say, I much prefer the French and Dutch styles now.
The works I saw incredible beautiful and detailed but they weren’t burdened by the over dramatization and the constant catholic imagery of the classical Italian styles.

I took a quick squiz at the Louvre’s collection of Objets d’Art (which made me giggle cuz I’m such a furious Boosh fan). Gorgeous and full of history.
But I had to run, I was running late for a very important date.

The Italian wing was JAMMED with people not looking at the art around them.
I followed the throng, to a small room to the side of the main collection. And there she was, the Mona Lisa.
Hmmmmm….
The painting is beautiful, I will never dispute that. But she is VERY small and, in comparison to some of the works I had seen earlier in the day, she was kind of unimpressive.

I decided to finish my day at the Louvre checking out the brand new Islamic arts wing.
Now THAT was impressive.
The collection was pretty big and expertly displayed in this purpose built wing of the museum.
The collection was so inspiring that I now desperately want to see the Middle East.
(And I’m pretty sure I just heard my mother fainting, all the way from Europe.)

After almost 8 hours in the galleries, I was looking for some souvenirs when I realized that there was an entire shopping wing attached to the museum!
As you know, I spent most of my time in the Mac store. But across the hall was a Laduret Macaroon store and I FINALLY tasted my first Parisian macaroons!

Earlier in the day, I received a text from the boyfriend of my kind friend Hannah back in Canberra. Matthew (the bf) was in Paris and was wondering if I wanted to meet for a drink. I was so excited to see a familiar face that I immediately made plans to meet with him that very evening.
So after my long day at the louvre, I jumped on the Metro and met Matthew in the Marais for a beer.
We wandered the busy shopping streets, chatting about home and the felicity of finding each other in Paris. We beer’d for a while. Then I (quite nervously, considering the late hour) made my way back to my apartment without being robbed! Huzzah!

When was the last time you went Art Gallerying? If you can’t remember the last time, I’ma suggest that you do so immediately! I’ve been doing a lot of galleries and museums over the past month and a bit, and I’ve decided to make it a much more regular habit when I get home. Maybe you can come with me!
Xx

Pictured – the low lit Louvre (how did I do that without a camera? MAGIC!) & the mini Arc

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