Dona and Joe’s European Vacation, Episode 14: From the Louvre to La Petite Ecolier

There is nothing I can say about the Louvre that would even begin to do justice to the works displayed there. We spent over seven hours at the museum, perusing everything from Sumerian sculpture to Italian Renaissance painters. Just a fantastic experience, artistically speaking. Here’s a couple of photos, because no words I can conjure would be sufficient.

Just one complaint: leave it to the French to screw up the audio guides. If you’ve been to a museum and used one, you know the drill: device on a strap, headphones to plug in, punch in the number, listen to the expert, get the artistic low-down. Not here. Someone talked the museum into letting Nintendo create an interactive audio guide. What they came up with is essentially Super Mario Brothers for the art world. You need to have a few years of experience playing kids’ video games to get the hang of the thing. It’s totally non-intuitive—I almost threw mine out a window after a few tries. But the worst part is that every keystroke and finger swipe has to make a noise: boop beep, clicka clicka, whoosh. Are we all five years old now? Does a Caravaggio masterpiece need to be accompanied by children’s game sounds? And all this useless junk drained both our device batteries when we were only halfway through our visit, forcing us to trek all the way back to the front of the museum (a very long way indeed) to replace them.

Dinner: A streetside café in the neighborhood called Deux Raisons. Very French, as in no English versions of the menus and a waiter who barely spoke any English. So we tried to go online and get some translations, but Dona’s work didn’t get us the right overseas plan and if she doesn’t have hosted wifi it costs $25 a pop. So we were taking our chances. Being the gallant that I am, I let her have the Boeuf Bourginon. They also had an item called Andouillette “Aaaaaa.” Sounded like sausage, and I asked our waiter if that was he case. He said yes, and then added something about the pig and pointed at his belly. You put it together. But it wasn’t bad at all. And later we walked down to the local market where we found an item we’d been trying to find for the past seven or eight years: La Petite Ecolier cookies with white chocolate. We bought three boxes, and they may not make it home.



2 Replies to “Dona and Joe’s European Vacation, Episode 14: From the Louvre to La Petite Ecolier”

  1. Yes, I also spent about a day in the Louvre, taking pictures and etc., of which I have tons. But I didn’t get the audio guide, which back in the day (summer, 1974) would’ve been only recorded voice. The weird thing was, though, after I’d taken most of the pictures I wanted to take and was stopping to get one more, a human guard or guide suddenly approached me and said in English, “Sorry, no photographing! No photographing!” I said, “Okay,” and got away with a real hoard of photos I’d already taken. Go figure. Sounds like you guys had a good meal, though. Sorry about the Nintendo stuff; change isn’t always for the better.

    1. They don’t seem to mind photographs anymore. Maybe it’s because so many people are taking them on their phones, which don’t require a flash. But yeah, the Nintendo stuff has got to go.

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