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Friday, May 12, 2006

The Louvre, on wheels

After my sister's unfortunate tripping incident, her mobility was somewhat limited. Given Paris is meant for walking, this presented some difficulty. We left her and her painkillers alone in the hotel for day, but managed to get her to the Louvre in the rental car.

Despite the problems getting to the Louvre, the biggest obstacle was yet to be overcome: the museum is several blocks long, and on multiple levels.

Thankfully, they have free access to wheelchairs, so she had a seat and I had a ball rolling her around that massive maze.

That place is not set up for disabled people tho; I think it's a French thing, but that's based on very little actual knowledge or evidence. While easy enough to access, say, the Mona Lisa, there were some spots that were either impossible to get into or very, very difficult to get out of. Thankfully, the security guards are wicked-cool, and sympathetic, too. With the help of their security clearance and rings o' keys, we got to take some secret short cuts.

Aside: If you're going to Paris and are under 26 (I think), you get into the Louvre free after 6pm on Fridays -- we arrived at 530pm, and didn't find out about this freebie until we'd paid... because there are no signs, it is in none of the billions of guidebooks I read, and no one told us. It is printed, however, in tiny, tiny, tiny print on the back of the museum map leaflets. Go figure.

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