Monday, January 03, 2011

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face…

Whether the claims made by the Italian researchers are true or not, I don’t know. It is intriguing nevertheless.

Still mysterious after 500 years….

Personally, I can’t think about the Mona Lisa without remembering the time that I first saw the masterpiece during a trip to Paris in the autumn of 2001. The tickets for the trip were purchased in the summer of that year prior to the fateful 9/11.

My partner and I, plus a mutual close friend, would be  traveling together. After the events of 9/11, we had a brief discussion between us as to whether we should go ahead with the trip or not. (our trip was scheduled for the last week of November). Based upon the idea that security would more than likely be at an all time high, we decided to go ahead with the trip.

It turned out to be the perfect decision resulting in a marvelous trip to Paris. One of the unexpected outcomes of traveling internationally within 2 months after 9/11, was the effect on tourism. Basically, at least in Paris, trips had been canceled left and right leaving the entire splendor of the city available without crowds or lines.

This was most noticed during our day trip to the Louvre. The three of us had practically the entire museum to ourselves. As you’ll see in the video above, there are usually mobs of tourists surrounding the Mona Lisa. The day we were there, there literally only the three of us in the room, plus a few security guards.

I was amazed and I asked our friend who had been to the Louvre several times in the past whether it was normal for us to be the only ones in the room. “Absolutely not” was her reply.

It was a rather magical moment to say the least…

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