Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Paris is kinda grubby. I guess when you squeeze 2 million people in a very small area around the river Seine, things get very close and smelly. It doesn't help that we got stuck in a roach motel. I probably should have realized this when we pulled up and there was big contiki tour bus parked out front. Benedict and I got the worst room in the entire place. Everyone's carpet sucked, darn green carpet color should be outlawed. What made our room bad was the smell. Most of Paris did smell kinda funny, but our room smelled like a football team had ran in and stated smoking and urinating on the carpet after a football match.
Unlike Madrid there were much more non Europeans in Paris. There are a lot of immigrants or descendants from Africa, Middle Easterners and Asia. In Madrid all the Asian women seemed to be in the business of selling musical rocks and paper fans, curbside. Every place you went where there were tourists there were Asian women selling those annoying rocks. There must have been a pyramid scheme where one woman sold all these rocks to all her friends and so on and now they're all stuck selling rocks and fans to tourists to recoup their investment. In Paris all there were minorities in all walks of life.
On the day we arrived we checked into the roach motel and ate dinner. The family took a walk down Porte d'Italie, where our hotel was on the southeast edge of the city ring. It was not a great location, The Eiffel Towel was clear across the city and the Louvre was at least 10 stops away on so we didn't the Metro. The metro system was pretty good though so we didn't have much of a problem getting aroung. The fare was more expensive. In Madrid it was 1 euro I think it was 1.20 euro in Paris. After dinner Sheila, Sophia, Benedict and I took the metro to the Eiffel tower and took som picture of the lit up structure. Its too bad that it rained, my shoes got soaked again. It rained most of the time when we were in Lourdes.
Day two I woke up just in time for breakfast and took a bus tour of Paris. We started our driving up Place d"Italie through Goeberlins and drove around the Luxemburg Plaza and on to the right bank of the river. At the river we drove around the Norte Dame cathedral on the little island then to the left bank towards the Louvre. The Louvre is ginormous. After the Louvre we headed towards the Opera House and the Galarie Lafyette for some shopping. I went up to the fifth floor and bought two more Nintendo DS lites in black.
After shopping we headed to the Eiffel Tower where we got off and took pictures of it. On day two it wasn't raining but it was still a little overcast so the tip of the tower was in clouds at times. After the tower we drove around the Hospitales Invalids where Napoleon's Tomb is and finally we drove up the Champs Elysses. The Champ Elysses is a pretty big street lined with a lot of shops. The flagship Louis Vuitton store is there, didn't find the velvet leopard stripe speedos in there though. Fougets is also on the street, its supposidly where you want to be to see and be seen when dining out in Paris. After The Champs Elysses we drove to the Cathedral of the Medallion where the tomb of St. Catherine is. FOr a 200 year old corpse the body is remarkably well presevered. Its kind of odd seeing the body dressed in the attire of 1806 with pilgrims and visitors paying homage around it in modern attire. In the middle of Paris.
After the Cathedral we crossed the river to the Louvre. At the Louvre we ate our packed lunches and took a bunch of pictures. It was late in the afternoon though so we didn't pay the 57 euros to get in and see the exhibits. Anyway Sheila and I were the only ones who haven't been inside. I guess the Louvre will have to wait until the next time.
After the Louve we go in the metro and took the 1 line to the Champs de Elysses and walked from the Arch down to the FDR stop. We looked in a few of the shops and but didn't buy much, except for my dad. He had to get a pair of shoes from Zara.
By the time we got to the end of the Champs de Elysses we were all pretty tired of walking so we hopped back on the metro back to our nasty hole of a hotel. It was rush hour so the lines were pretty packed I had to stand the entire time, about 15 stops.
Back on the southeast side We ate at some nearby restaurants and my sisters started packing since they had an early flight to cath to Rome the next day.
Paris is a pretty nice city too. A lot of history and culture of course, but also very crowded and urban. The sheer number of cars around the city is no where near close to LA, and the people traffic is not like it was in Tokyo but its still a massive ammount of people. Just go to the Louvre or the base of the Eiffel Tower and you basically see nothing but people. Mostly tourist though, so I wonder how crowded the city is in the off peak season. There's probably just as much to do in Paris as in Madrid. Madrid probably has the better night life. In Paris though I think the more money you have, the better time you can buy. Theres no end to the number of fine shops, ultra fine hotels and restaurants.
>On 2006-06-28,23:32:52 Blaise wrote:
Arc de Triomphe