Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Paris Part III: The Louvre still owes me

I'm writing this post to boost the travel section of my blog and because Ats's and Woogul's Parisian adventures remind me of my tryst with this gorgeous city.

Quite like anyone who has heard of this museum (or read the DaVinci code), I went to the Louvre with grand visions of mystery and adventure and was prepared to be awed. As is often the case with such grand dreams, they went poof. If you're not an art affiocando but belong the general junta, like me, then it is fair be that the Louvre will be quite a disappointment. It's huge, undoubtedly, and filled with magnificent art pieces, sculptures and other grand things man (and woman)kind has made over the years. It's all pretty but beyond a point it all seemed the same to me (I've also revealed my plebeian tastes but so be it).

Now, don't get me wrong, all the things in there are awe-worthy but there are only so many pieces of art that I could stare wisely at and only so many sculptures that I can exclaim over. If you are part of my junta, then I suggest you take the Dummies Tour of the Louvre. At the entrance, they give you a pamphlet detailing the 15 most popular exhibits that the Louvre houses. Take this pamphlet, locate the exhibits and leave. Since the Louvre is as astoundingly huge as it is, this will involve getting lost all the time and will take up at least 4 hours of your time. The other you could do is take the DaVinci Code walking tour.

The most arresting sight at the Louvre is the palace itself. I spend the better part of an hour being overpowered by its beauty (that, and trying to take the perfect picture). It is breathtaking and makes you sad that the nobody makes buildings like this anymore. Definitely swing by in the evening and see it by the twinkling Parisian lights. The only thing that mars this gorgeous view is that ridiculous glass pyramid which looks more at home in a futuristic movie than this 12th century fortress. While I am sure that it is a fine piece of architecture, it definitely does not belong there. I wish the French government would spend its considerable energy expelling this rather than the Romas.

Entry into the Louvre is free on Thursdays (I think) if you are under 26 and heavily discounted if you are older. (That's the one thing about Paris I forgot to mention: It gives lots of discounts to those who are under 26 and if you are under 18, then almost everything is free).

P.S.: I misplaced my beloved cap at the Louvre. Despite a frenzied search in those hallowed halls I couldn't locate it :( If anyone goes to the Louvre and locates it, please let me know. I am attaching a picture of same to this post. Much gratitude and a blog mention is promised in return.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Baker Street Again!

Living in Chennai has a few advantages (as hard as that is to believe) and proximity to Pondi is one of them. Taking advantage of a lazy weekend and the availability of a car, I headed Pondi-wards. Gluttony raised its familiar head and I spent an astonishing amount of time eating. Thankfully, this means more fodder for the blog. Last time I was at Baker's Street, I gave this place a glowing review. I dragged Edward, Jiggy and the Mamis to see if this place was worthy of the same. It gives me much joy to report that the place is just as good. While I covered most of the dishes in the last review, I think the pain au chocolat deserves a special mention. The memory of this flaky, buttery, chocolate filled puff pastry still makes me smile. The butter croissant and chocolate twister are also worthy options but I still suggest you go with the pain au chocolat (It's like Ganguly and Dravid, good batsmen in their own right, paling in comparison to Tendulkar). The veggie calzone was pretty decent, although I wish they would go a little easy on the cheese.

If you are ever in Pondicherry, this is one place you shouldn't miss.