Queues in Paris

Yes, one can actually write a post about queues in Paris. You always have to plan around the amount of people who are going to visit an exhibition or tourist attraction. I normally just turn around and decide to try at another time again, or give up. When you do buy tickets online, you feel like a VIP, walking past the whole queue.

One exhibition I have now missed because of queues, is the Tour Paris 13. I really wanted to see this, but maybe not enough to stand for a whole day.

La Tour Paris 13 on the left bank of the Seine…

Tour Paris 13 is (or was by now) an apartment building from the fifties in the 13th arrondissement in Paris. Seven months ago, when a gallery owner in Paris heard that it was going to be demolished, he invited 105 street artists, from 18 countries, to decorate the walls of the 33 apartments with their art. Each artist had at least one entire room for himself.

outside too…

During October it was open to the public. Because the entrance was free, you couldn’t buy tickets before. I now read that there wasn’t much interest in the beginning of the month… why didn’t I go earlier?! Then by the last week the queue was more than 300m long and they kept the building open day and night for the last three days. People waited for 10 hours in that queue.

I didn’t see the inside, but I saw the queue… this is only part of it…

walking around the building…

graffiti everywhere…

on the other side…

For safety reasons they only allowed 49 people in the building at the same time, and there were many groups of 49 in that queue. So… after I’ve walked around the building, I took photo’s of the queue and left.

So, now you can all do the virtual tour with me. Found here: La Tour Paris 13.

Or see the wonderful photographs of someone who was there, Huffington Post.

OK, I have to admit, I’m jealous… maybe I should have just packed a picnic, taken a book and waited… 10 hours?  maybe next time…


Mother’s day in neon lights.

Sunday was mother’s day in France. A bit confusing as it is not the same as in South Africa where our mother’s live. : ) My choice for the day was to be in Paris. I’m sure you would have thought the same. : )

Lunch in the Tuileries gardens.

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then walking across the Place de la Concorde and up the Champs-Élysées…

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One could hire a lamborghini for 20 minutes and it would cost you 89 euros, but that we didn’t do. : )

At the Grand Palais there was a queue again to enter the Dynamo exhibition, but it was worth the wait. This exhibition is all about lights, optical illusions, mirrors and more. The mist blowing from the fountain is the first installation that you see in this ‘different’ exhibition.

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Flashing lights so bright that you have to move on before you get a headache. Mirrors that turn and make you take photographs of yourself. : )

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lights, lights and lights…

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colours, colours and colours…

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shadows, shadows and shadows…

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some makes you smile…

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and Felice Varini’s orange circles on the pillars of the Grand Palais.

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A fun exhibition for the whole family. : )

Visiting Edward Hopper

This I did on Tuesday. I actually stood in a queue for more than an hour to see this exhibition. I have to admit that I didn’t know about this artist, but I wanted to see what it’s about, because this was probably the most advertised exhibition in Paris. The exhibition was extended also for another week, because of its popularity.

Edward Hopper, an american artist, visited Paris three times as a young man and was influenced by artists like Manet and Degas. Maybe that’s why Paris was so excited to have his works here on display.

My first treat for the day was this older man playing piano in the station at Versailles Chantier. These pianos are part of the streetpianos initiative. There are 40 pianos all around Paris, standing there for anyone to play and for the joy of the people hearing the music. The first time I saw one of these pianos was the young man playing in the shopping center at Les Halles.

two excellent musicians…


for a sweet treat, I met Danie for a café et tartelette

Hopper21Walking from the station, Invalide, I was wondering if one will ever get to a point that you can think I have now seen all of Paris. I have seen the pont Alexandre III before, but this time I had to cross it to go to the Grand Palais where the exhibition was held.

just beautiful…


seeing Paris from the bridge…


The same goes for the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais just across the road. I have walked down the Champs-Elysées many times and saw these buildings from there, but Tuesday I walked around it for the first time.

beautiful and impressive…


and now this building hosts the paintings of Edward Hopper, all the way from America…


As I came around the corner I saw the reality of the popularity of this exhibition. A nice queue with a sign where I joined the queue, saying that from that point it will take me an hour to enter. But… I was there, I opened my umbrella when the rain started falling and waited patiently for my turn. They let only a certain amount of people go inside at a certain time. The guy organizing this let the people in front of me in and then asked me if we are together, and while I’m still wondering what he meant, the young girl behind me said, oui! and in go the two of us as well. : )


It was worth the wait.   Now I know about mister Hopper and for some reason there is really something special to stand in front of a famous artwork. My plan was to see van Gogh’s exhibition as well, but that will have to wait till next time. You can’t fit two queues into one day. : )