This is an update of the amazing trip I took to Europe last summer
. Slowly but surely I’m posting about every day I spent on that excellent continent. To read earlier updates, click here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. And here. And here and here and here and here and here and here.
Here are some excerpts from my journal on Day Six:
This week has flown by in some ways and dragged in others. I am getting really sick of group work, but there seems to be no end in sight. I have been at the Louvre for nine hours today with my group. I am sore and tired like usual, but fulfilled (also like usual). We will be here probably a few more hours.
It’s been nice to see the Louvre again but this time with someone who knows the history of the place. It’s a satisfying feeling to see paintings and sculptures that I’d only ever seen in textbooks before. Like the accomplishment of a lifelong goal.
I also liked seeing the Mona Lisa again, not so much because it’s a beautiful painting (I’ve never thought it was), but because I could look at it from a bit of a different perspective than I did the first time I saw it back when it was my one and only goal for the entire city of Paris. This time, I was able to step back and think, “Why the heck did I care so much?”
By the way, seeing the Mona Lisa in real life is not an easy feat because it’s always swarming with people like this:
In fact, that’s been my experience with most aspects of this trip. I don’t know if it’s because I’m older or just more cynical generally, but either way this trip has shown me that it’s really good I didn’t major in Art History/Museum Studies after all. I love it and will always have an interest in it, but I’m so glad I did not choose to dedicate my life to it.
Can you tell that by Day Six I was getting a bit artlogged? I was exhausted from the rigour of the course, I was completely fed up with group work, I was frustrated with my internet situation, and all things combined had taken their toll on my cheery tourist optimism.
I tried my best to rally and enjoy being in Paris because I WAS IN PARIS, but by Day Six, I was emotionally, intellectually, and physically drained.
I felt exactly like these people (cashed out on one of the few-and-far-between couches in the Louvre’s great hall): I was weary to the bone, but I knew I needed to step it up if I was going to enjoy the trip I worked so hard for. It seemed a terrible shame to waste my trip being cranky.
Luckily, that night I had a breakthrough.
But you’ll have to stay tuned to find out what it was…