Month: December 2016

Today in Paris : The Eiffel Tower strike

Matthew and Nathan are two little boys from Indonesia fascinated by science and architecture. Their big dream was to see Paris from the Eiffel Tower just before Xmas. Excited we went to the Eiffel Tower to fulfill this dream. We walked through the security checks  and…  unpleasant surprise. The guy from the security staff informs us that the Eiffel Tower is closed due to a strike of its employees. I asked two employees Eiffel Tower how long the strike will last. They don’t know. As the Eiffel Tower workers  strike every year for various reasons I ask them what is the reason their strike this time.  They don’t know and advise me to ask this question their boss.

As finaly I found out Unions CGT and FO representing the 300-person staff of the tower announced a strike in protest against the “sterility of social dialogue” in the company and “the lack of transparency of strategic decision” made by SETE, Society for the Exploitation of the Eiffel Tower.

This is the third time in six months when the tower is closed. On the Eiffel Tower webside there is no clear information about how long the strike will last. The information about the strike is  dimly visible.

Usually,  in winter The Eiffel Tower receives around 6,000 visitors daily.Many of them reserved a luxurious dinner or breakfast at the Eiffel Tower several months in advance. Representatives of the Eiffel Tower make sure that money will be returned.The only question is who will reward them  disappointment ?

Undaunted defeat at the Eiffel Tower small tourists from Indonesia admired the art of the Louvre. They wanted to see the former royal gardens and the oldest park in Paris Tuileries…which was closed because of another strike. Fortunately the team of Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre workers don’t strike at the moment so the two little boys from Indonesia were happy in Paris. In spite of the strike on the Eiffel Tower.






Today in Paris :l’ Oriental

Paris has many places which surprise you. A l’ Oriental is one of them. In the elegant galleries of the Palais Royal Garden, just five minutes from the Louvre there is a surprising little shop, unusual for more than one reason.

First, it has been here since 1818,so it’s one of the oldest establishments in the french capital. Then, it has a very small space and very full: it’s a real bric-a-brac,  filled with pipes of all kinds. Inside, there are not only pipes, but also a lot of tobacco-related objects, as well as antique jewelry. A small museum in short, which exhibits paintings, engravings, cigarette-holders and tobacco pots.

Since 1999, the house is run by Rakel van Kotte.  She was originally a non-smoker but  has finally set about it, for the customers and by taste.  She is friendly and always has for you good advice. I looked in here once intrigued by the photograph of John Paul II in the shop window. I don’t regret.

Rakel van Kotte told me about the Pope’s visit to this shop thirty years ago. Also Luciano Pavarotti was  a customer of this store. If you want to have the original souvenir from Paris  take a look here !

19, galerie de Chartres (Palais-Royal)
75001 Paris



A few facts about the Louvre

A lot of people thought that the Louvre as a big museum  where it’s impossible to not get lost, the home of the Mona Lisa and that would be enough.The Louvre can be tame. Here are some not commonly known facts about the Louvre :

  1. You can glimpse remnants of the original medieval moat

    Though the 13th-century fortress built by King Philippe Augustus was destroyed. Nobody didn’t know about until the eighties when archeologists excavated the original moat 23 feet below the Cour Carré during construction of the glass pyramid. Today you can peek at it in the medieval part of the Sully wing.

  2. The museum’s largest painting is in the same room as the Mona Lisa

    The Mona Lisa may be the Louvre’s most famous painting, but many people don’t realize that the museum’s largest painting is actually in the same room. The Wedding Feast at Cana by Venetian Renaissance master Veronese  depicts Christ’s first miracle of transforming water to wine.

  3. The Louvre is still acquiring additional works

    Even though the museum’s collection only includes art made until the 19th century, it’s still acquiring works as two portraits by Rembrandt—the master painter’s only full-length portraits.

    4.The museum employs 2,290 staff members, including 65 curators and 145 conservationists. ( 1,200 of those staff members are security guards). The Louvre even has its own squad of 48 firefighters on call 24 hours a day.

     This monumental museum contains many secrets inside its hallowed halls, just waiting to be discovered so don’t  go straight to  the Mona Lisa.