Tuesday, August 25, 2009
A very full day indeed!
Since my last post this morning, I have been all over the city! My feet are killing me! But it was a day I would certainly call a success considering I only have a day in the city. I had to start with a short nap though to recharge. But as of 3pm, I hit the streets. I wondered down to the Hotel des Invalides, which I still have no idea what it is...but it looks pretty. Followed by the obligilatory stop at the Eiffel Tower. I tried at least a dozen shots before I actually got a nice photo with me and the tower (I am just horrible at the self shot, and there aren't very many good photographers in tourist form.) I then walked along the Seine river then tried to find my way to the Arc de Triomphe. The key word in that phrase being "tried". Now, I consider myself to have a good sense of orientation and can read a map really well. Paris though, is a whole other ball game. I can't figure these streets out. You start off on one street and continue straight and the next thing you know, according to the map you've made a turn. Not only that, but half the streets aren't labelled. It's really quite annoying. So I caved and took the metro two stops. Yes, I've been able to master the metro, but not the streets...go figure. So after seeing the Arc, I took myself out for dinner along the Champs de Lysee (sp??) Nothing too fancy, but I made sure to avoid the McDonalds restaurant. From there, I went to the jardin des tuleries (another sp??) where I relaxed by the pond, followed by a wondering to the neighbouring Louvre (didn't go in as I had already been there, and didn't feel the need to see it again). From there I walked up to the Opera for a short email check in. (yes, I'm addicted, so keep sending them!) At that point, dusk had started, so I decided to head to see the Eiffel tower at night (which is really the only thing I REALLY wanted to do in Paris) and then head back to the hotel as I was really tired. That was my plan. I saw the tower lit up and it was lovely. But I still wanted more. Leslie had been bugging me to go to the catacombes, and while I didn't want to go in, I figured standing outside would suffice. I got on the metro to head over there, when I saw it: the Eiffel tower twinkling in a million lights, as if lit by diamonds. I had to see it closer so I got off at the next stop and ran towards it. Sadly, by the time I rounded the corner to see it again, it was over. I had noticed two other girls doing the same thing I was doing, so I went over and asked them if they knew if or when it would happen again. They didn't but based on the time, we figured it happened every hour on the hour. They told me they were planning to meet with some friends under the tower to have some bread, cheese and wine and asked if I would be interested in joining. It sounded like too much fun to pass up, although my feet disagreed. It was a fantastic time! The two girls I had met due to our mututal attraction for things that sparkle like diamonds were from Australia (Naomi and Katie), while their friends were from Sweden (Anton, Philippe and Markus), South Africa (something that started with an H that I couldn't understand) and Spain (Christina...I didn't ask if that was her middle name and if her first was Vicky or last was Barcelona). I definately felt like a world traveller drinking with random strangers under the tower. How much more Parisian does it get than that?? So, that's been my day. Now, I get to take my tired feet back to the hotel for a much needed full night's rest, ready to start again tomorrow. Until then!