|Beware of trapping your |
hand in the doors.
But we got through it. We got out. We found Notre Dame. Maybe you've heard of it. It's a famous cathedral.
It is quite nice. I'm always fascinated by old things. Something to do with there not being any of them round here. Cathedrals are particularly nice when traveling because they're, usually, a nice place for a quiet sit down.
Notre Dame de Paris is not particularly quiet. There are at least 1 million people here at all times. None of them are French except for, possibly, the people working at the gift shop.
|Some Kings or Something|
There is, of course, quite a bit of color when you get inside. Them winders show up reeaaalll good.
|Glass & Pipes|
|Glass and Statue|
|Glass on TV|
|People People PEOPLE!|
|Centre de Pompidou|
This is not usually the best way to choose a restaurant.
But we lucked out. We really did. The food was delicious, and the staff were really friendly. We'd be warned, even by our French Airbnb hosts, about how rude Parisian wait staff was, but that just didn't happen.
It could have been because Rakka ordered in French. She did stumble a bit, but she was obviously trying to respect the language. I think it helped a lot.
The other thing was that we stumbled in to a family run place. The whole time we were there I sat watching this family at the pizza place across the alley. When they were done they came over and showed off their kid to the owner of our place. Despite all the tourists that must inundate this place (the place was called Café du Musée but wasn't part of the museum), the locals managed to keep it real. This was the best part of Paris, hands down.
|bikeshaw with circus music|
This was, as you can tell, right out front the Louvre. The Louvre. We didn't go in, just strolled by. But even so, it's impressive. The size of the place... Let's just say it's not small.
|I. M. Pei-amids|
|"Fuck You" Tour Eiffel|
It was a hot day, and even though in blog time we had just left the café, it was something like an hour slog through the bland streets of Paris.
And they are bland streets. Some guy was complaining about the randomness of London on the Guardian today. But really, that's what makes it so fun. In downtown Paris everything looks the same. Same stone, same layout, same same same. There's one landmark, the Eiffel Tower, and you can't see it half the time. Walking is usually good, because you get to see all the things. But if there aren't things to see...
Well, this cute car. That was worth a 2 mile walk. Or, you know, not.
So were the police. In riot gear.
|Crikey, it's the Parisian Rozzers or French Po-po are on the Case.|
The Tour Eiffel is a pretty thing. I will grant you that. It is another place with such a high concentration of Americans that you almost forget that you're in Europe at all. Maybe it's just one of those Las Vegas fakes...
|Up the Tour|
Actually, I can. The boat was crammed full of Americans. Bah.
|Notre Dame, perhaps you've heard of it.|
We hung out at Notre Dame again. Different light in the afternoon. Nicer. This, however, was when the vacuum recording actually happened.
|Light on Stone|
So we hung out in an "English" pub near the Eurostar departure area. The pub was hot, like an oven. We only stayed for one drink. We were first in line for the train.
After getting through security and getting the old passport stamped (hooray!) I had a ham sandwich and watched a couple that were in what would politely be termed a female led relationship. In practice this meant that he carried all the luggage and wore purple nail polish. It was endearing in a way. They were English of course. It's a very English sort of idea. I mean, that's how Thatcher happened, right?
|Gare du Nord|
Well, that was quite a post. Paris didn't impress me much, but I was actually very happy with French people. I'm eager to return to France, but I'm done with Paris, at least the centre.