Thursday, November 26, 2009

3 Birds, one Zebracat?

Paris, the city of love.

Well, for all of that, I did not see one public display of affection all day, and I can tell you, I saw a lot of people. I killed all three major attractions in the day: The Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel), the Lourve (Musée Lourve) and the Arc de Triomphe (...Arc de Triomphe).

The hotel/apartment here really is lovely, but I was given a ground floor one, so there's a bit of road noise. Speaking of roads, what are you thinking Paris?! Where did you all learn how to drive? A demolition derby?! Yikes. Just as well the Metropolitain is comprehensive and there are many services. I have literally had to wait a maximum of 3 minutes for any one train I have caught anywhere in France, and the long distance trains have always left precisely on time and arrived almost exactly when they say they will. France does trains well. It's not pretty, for sure... every line (ligne) has a different make or model of train, but they all follow the same rules and you know where you stand (noticeably, as you don't sit very often).

However the morning started out with much the same intent as in Lyon - just going for a walk. Somehow I got the giggles, and just couldn't stop laughing... I was in Paris! (Combination of lack of sleep, lack of english, too much coffee and the enormity of my travels so far perhaps?) Went past the obelisk by accident, and across the bridge near the Palais Royal. It wasn't the warmest of days, but it couldnt've been better; cool but dry, patchy cloud and a strong sun making for some dynamic skies.
Awesome photography weather. In fact, I got some overly sane photos (œvre le Seine). WOOHOO! A bi-lingual pun!

I've pondered my post-haste perusal and perspective on the prettiness of the people, and please pardon me. Clearly the pretty people went to Lyon. That said, I happened across quite a number of extremely young, well-attired business men and women. Marc and Jessie, start learning French. You belong here. Well, maybe not in Paris itself, but very definately somewhere like this where there's so much haute couture that what's filtered down is still fashionable. I'm still yet to see the top of anyone's underwear. Yes, I'm hinting at something, Perth.

While in line for the Eiffel Tower today, I met a lady and her son (Carmen and James, respectively) who were also abroad, travelling from USA. It was a fairly long line so we got to know each other pretty well in a short time. She was originally from Puerto Rico though, so she can be forgiven. They were really lovely, assisting me with some photos (as I did in return), and it was nice to have some conversation. I hadn't realised 'til then just how little I had spoken to anyone since I arrived in France. The top of the tower was closed, unfortunately, due to wind, and the man at the ticketing desk (who gave me a hard time, and I think was flirting with me but he had a very thick accent so I couldn't be sure) said it wouldn't be open until Saturday, so unfortunately I don't think I'll be able to make it to the top. Never mind, it's something to do for next time - and I think next time it will be with someone special. And I'll know more French. A lot more French. The tower was impressive, for sure, and the lifts were absolutely fascinating.
There were some displays showing it's history, and the ingenuity of using hydrolics to power the lifts originally was certainly quite something. Carmen and James happened to be in the same lift as me on the way down, so we wished each other well and off I went to the Lourve.
I saw what people come to see: the Mona Lisa. I don't care what you say about the size, it is one captivating peice of art. I also journeyed around the rest of the gigantic museum, spending entirely too much time walking, and saw a lot of fantastic things. Often though I was more entralled by the architecture than the art. It was somewhat underwhelming, as the staticness kinda got to me. It's why I do film, I suppose. I'm kind of sorry I can't be more appreciative, but I must tell the truth. Perhaps you need to do it as a guided tour, where someone can dramatically tell you the stories behind the paintings and the history of the artistic movements.

Lastly, as it was getting dark, I swung past the tower again for some quick night shots,

and then back on the Metro to the Arc. After quite a climb to the top, I snapped some more photourists (touristy photos), and studied with hilarity the roundabout de triomphe. That is not how you use a roundabout, Paris. I believe you've got it quite wrong.
Nevertheless I could picture it with horse-drawn carts pulling up to the roundabout and doing quite well. I think part of the problem is that it was not designed for cars. Even so - NO Paris, that is definately not how you use a roundabout.

Now back at the apartment, I've done a quick change and I'm about to head out for dinner. Tomorrow, so far, the idea is to visit the Musée d'Orsay, where they're currently holding an art nouveau exhibition. Otherwise, I haven't much else planned. I'm happy to take some suggestions, and luckily for me, by the time I get up, you'll have all had a chance to peruse the latest 'blog'. I eagerly await your responses.


  1. I love how this entry gives the impression of you being a parent and Paris the child =p I've never read it described quite like that!

    As always, it sounds like you're having a smashing time DJ, keep it up ;)

    And yes, I surely do hope to go there with Jessie, whether to live or visit - I'm sure we will end up in some place a little 'bigger' than Perth, and which has benefited from the many economies of scale which follow.

  2. You'd better have photos/video of this roundabout...
    I'm intrigued...