I am really utilizing my spare time scanning older slides on the new Epson Perfection V500 scanner. I am amazed at the quality I get from this excellent piece of equipment. Back in 1998, my company sent me to Moscow to help our agent there sell some equipment. We were successful but my visa was expiring and I had to get back home. Unfortunately my trip over was in haste and they were unable to get me a flight home so.... ....I had to fly to Paris and spend over 4 days there on company money just walking around seeing things and taking photos. I had some great adventures since what little French I knew was from being in Montreal and useless in France. My first morning I visited the Notre Dame Cathedral and tried to get in to the Hotel De'Ville but was stopped by some rude policemen. It looked like a very swank hotel and I just wanted to look around the lobby. Later when I got home I learned that Hotel De'Ville means "City Hall" in French. Crazy Americans! Later that same day I followed a group down an escalator, put my small backpack thru the x-ray and went into the Louvre for 1/2 a day. I was amazed the place was free!!!! The next day I went back and tried to get in the same way and was told that is the employee entrance. I had to get a ticket for $20 and stand in line to get in. Ignorance is bliss. I did figure out the Paris subway system and rode out to the Arch de Triumph and the Eiffel Tower. The experience there was sublime. Contrary to what I had always been told, the French people were very friendly toward me and would go out of their way to tell me about things I must see and some I could skip. I have always wanted to go back but the chance to do so has evaded me. For the same money I can go to Scotland or Tanzania, places where they also speak foreign languages.
I made it to see the Mona Lisa in the Louvre. I think hype has a lot to do with the painting. It was crowded and not easy to view. There are literally thousands of paintings in the Louvre that I liked much better than the Mona Lisa with no one looking at them. I could have spent the entire 4 days inside and not have seen 1/2 the place. Amazing!