Paris…29 dec 08.
C’est la ville de l’amour! The flavour of this city is distinctly different from that of London’s. It’s dirtier somehow & more chaotic on a people level. But oh my goodness, it’s so pretty! The first sight of Eiffel tower just took my breath away… Well technically it was the second time:) first time we saw it, I thought it was a tv tower.. Hahaha Atop the Arc de triomphe with a fantastic night view of Paris was simply fantastic! I couldn’t help but notice how stunning it was…just like millions of people before me might have said & felt the same! We went for a walk along the Champs-de-Elysees. It’s a super grand version of say the MG road of Pune or park street in calcutta…. & We found a starbucks in the midst of it all as well :-p
G is a little under the weather today but I feel a good nights sleep should gear him up for the rest of the trip:-)
Its the 6th jan 09. I couldn’t continue writing everyday about our Parisian experience. Here’s some more!We went to the Sacre Couer(sacred heart) cathedral on 30th. It was cold & raining-so much like London 🙂 when we stepped out of the metro, the smells were little disarming. The metro stations all smell like human excretae & are little unkempt; and also can be confusing as there can be numerous subways & byways to confuse the already confused tourist-mostly from trying to correctly pronounce the unpronounceable stations! Eventhough the whole of Anvers station can drive you to a insane need to screw your nose, it’s worth it! Paris only smells funny; if u overlook that, it’s got to be the most perfect city ever! Despite the weather, sacre couer was lovely! It has a warm aura & the view from the steps of the church of the city is AWESOME! We tried to figure out our map before heading out for Place du Tertes-apparenty the heart of touristy Paris! Of course, we got swindled out of €20 by a group of smooth talking Jamaicans & 2 silhoutte artists who cut out our silhouttes in less than 2mins! But then that’s what happens to most tourists & it was fun anyway! Place du Tertes was very picture perfect with it’s little bakeries, cafes, artists & colourful individuals! & the cobbled roads…loved them! One can easily see why the creative populace would want to stay in this city!!
And of course, we went to see the NotreDame cathedral! Scenes from ‘The Hunchback of Notredame’ kept coming to my mind! It’s really beautiful! It has a gothic feel & the interiors are largely Gothic architecture. The aura of the place was incredibly peaceful despite the throngs of people there! The stained glass detailing & the ceilings were phenomenal. It was a pleasant surprise to find a statue of Joanne d’Arc aka Joan of Arc in the cathedral. It was an absolutely fascinating experience.
We spent the evening just hanging around the hotel. 31st December 08, we decided to visit the one & only Musee du Louvre-the worlds most visited museum. One things for sure, Paris isn’t really the most organized cities when it comes to directions, road signs, subway signs, museum directions, etc. So after an hours’ wait for the tickets we got confused with signs & landed up outside the louvre instead of inside. We had to queue for another hour before we finally got in! The Napolean chambers/apartments were awesome! Loved it! After lots of map-reading & many french sculpture pieces, we finally reached the room that hosts what the Louvre is most famous for-the ever-smiling Monalisa! It was way too crowded for either of us to appreciate the painting! I did see several grand & exquisite tapestries hanging around in odd corners of the museum but they seemed to have been neglected! Very sad! All in all, the louvre was a little disappointing…must be the crowds..whatever!
So we decided that instead of being glum, we should celebrate the new year watching the fireworks show under the Eiffel tower. What a lovely tower…it’s beautiful! We were in for a big surprise when no fireworks happened! was lots of fun nonetheless! 🙂 We watched throngs of merry makers & sloshed people screaming ‘Bonne Annee’! That was actually a great start to the new year! It was beautiful, under-stated yet elegant! Most of all we were together sharing something exclusive. & somehow I’m glad we weren’t drunk or inside 4 walls screaming on top of many voices.
The Lonely Planet guide set us up for the next day-the first day of 2009. We went to the Trocadero where bands & artists come to perform. It was a unique experience out in the toe-numbing cold. The Trocadero itself is magnificient! It gives an awesome view of the Eiffel tower which sadly was halfway in the clouds when we got there. Gaj went on a trigger happy spree shooting snaps:-) I would highly recommend all my girlfriends get their coffee/tea from the cafe stall on the left flank of the Trocadero! The guys who serve you there are super cute:-p There was a London based Indian pipe band that first performed. They played ‘mera piya ghar aaya’…very good fun! Then there were some hyper American cheerleadering group-what a leg show!! There was a very cute Italian band that had all their musical instruments made out of the oddest things. It was really entertaining. The Czech group was so elegant & of course the Slough dhol band-I danced a lot 🙂 I think it kept my toes from freezing & falling off! We spent the entire afternoon there.
In the evening we braved the cold to go & see this quaint Parisian street called Rue Montorgueil. After lots of crazy zigzag subway walking & searching, we finally got there only to realize it was closed for new years day! So of course we put that down for the next days agenda. I’m glad we did. It was worth it.On 2nd, we were to leave for London in the evening. The morning we headed for rue montorgueil. It was perfect. One of the prettiest streets I’ve seen so far with the quaintest patisseries, boucheries & fromageries! And chocolatiers:-) it was delightful! After scanning lots of cafes G settled on one little restaurant where we had a very wholesome brunch…very French bread, ham & cheese! We headed out quickly towards the Eiffel tower after that! We were hoping to go right to the top & have a birds eye view of Paris. When we got there, we found a loooooong winding queue that seemed to lead nowhere but it was for entry into the tower. We stood for nearly 2 hours in the line only to realize as we were nearing the gates that we were short of time..we had to catch our train back 😦 so we left..our fellow queuers were most sympathetic though! So Eiffel tower remains to be done… Next time we shall definitely do that :-)So we headed back to London feeling little sad that we had to leave so fast! Our vacation was over:( but it was fantastic and we shall come back again very soon!
Paris, je t’aime!