22.9.96 (Sun)

I’m now on a train from Edinburgh to London. I will get off in York.

My plan to go to both the Disneyland and the Louvre on my second day in Paris was too ambitious. The Disneyland was all right. The best thing in there was that everyone, except crying babies, seemed so cheerful. Everyone seemed to be having great fun. I played the Space Mountain. It was EXCITING in capital letters. One staff wished me luck before the game and asked me how I felt when I returned. I could only say nothing but "EXCITING". But I was a little bit bored after that. Many games were for little kids and I had played many last time. I left the park at around 4 pm.

It took me almost two hours to reach the Louvre because there was something wrong with the RER. As usual, I had no idea of what was going on. I don’t have a clue even now. I had to swap RER lines and then take an SNCF train to Gare de l’Est. Then there was something wrong with the metro line I took so I had to take another one. It was so tiring.

I did not enjoy the Louvre as much as I would like to. Maybe I was tired and hungry (I really can’t stand hunger. When I’m hungry I can’t move and I feel dizzy). Or maybe it was because I had been there before. But the Grand Gallery was as enchanting as ever. I found that there was a painting "Fortune Teller" by Caravaggio which was the same as the one I saw in Capitolini in Roma. I don’t understand why. It was too bad that the two paintings by Botticelli were not restored and were put in an almost neglected room.

There were groups of Hong Kong tourists in the Gallery. They gathered in front of the famous works like "Mona Lisa" and looked at what they were told to look at. The tourist guides’ briefing irritated me. There were dozens of Titian, Veronese and even some other works by Leonardo da Vinci on the walls but the tourists did not seem to notice them. One doesn’t have to know about the works, their techniques or background. One can simply see the beauty and enjoy the paintings with his eyes. Or we can simply look at what we like. In this respect, Japanese tourists are better. They read about what they see.

I think I learn a little bit more every time I visit a museum. This is good. I hope I won’t forget what I’ve seen and learned. I have a poor memory.

The Louvre got dark and gloomy at night. I couldn’t stay in dark places (I love florescent light) so I left at around 8 pm (plus I was hungry).

The next day it rained. And because of the rain it was cold. I made a wrong decision to walk to Musee d’Orsay along the Seine. It sounded poetic and romantic, and it was. But the distance was much more than what appeared on the map and I was almost frozen when I got there at last.

I enjoyed the paintings in Musee d’Orsay very much. There were rooms and rooms of Monet, Renoir, Sisley, Manet, all the impressionists you could want. And the paintings were beautiful. They were different from what I had seen in other museums. There were only very few related to religion. People in the pictures were usually lively and in action. I like so many of them. One was called "A young woman on the beach". A simple painting by an English painter. The woman was in pink and the sea greenish grey.

Then it was l’Opera Garnier. We tourists were overjoyed just to stand on the glorious marble main staircase and take a photo. The auditorium was crimson and beautiful. I walked past Box 5 but it was locked. So there was no way to check whether there was a secret passage to the dungeon of the Phantom. I found that this opera house looked very similar to the one in Wien. Or maybe all of them look similar.

The next day was a real travelling day. First it was the flight from Paris to London (I really should have bought a ticket to Edinburgh direct), then 1 hour of underground to King’s Cross Station, then 4 1/2 hours on train to Edinburgh. I did not settle down in the hotel until around 7 pm. Then I went to see "Evita", which was staged in a theatre just around the corner from the hotel. I don’t like it because 1. I did not know the story and the musical well enough to fully understand it; 2. It was kind of monotonous and old-fashioned (especially the use of spot light) as compared to the other ones I had seen before; 3. I was tired and my right eye hurt.

The next day I went through Princes Street and the Royal Mile of Edinburgh and visited the Palace, the castle, the Gladstone Land, etc. The Palace was all right. The castle was quite interesting.

Edinburgh was a beautiful city. But I did not take many pictures there because there was no point in taking pictures if I could not capture what I saw or felt (and it was very likely that I could not with my cheap camera and poor taste).

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