Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Reflections on Paris

Here's the entry I wrote for Paris (May 14 and 15th) on the train heading to Rome:

Chrystal standing in the centre courtyard of the Louvre.

The Louvre was a museum on a scale which I have never experienced before. Viewing it was exhausting. We felt as though we had completed a marathon by the time we left. There was SO MUCH to see... every room breathtaking, that it numbed our senses. I can't overstate this.

Inside the Louvre's main hall - multiple wings branch out from here.

We went from seeing the Mona Lisa to collections of the world's largest crown jewels to ancient Eygptian mummies...

Every room ornate in every detail... paintings, statues... it just staggers the mind. If you only had time to see one thing in Paris, I would say go to the Louvre.

Venus de Milo

The following day (Tuesday) we set off for the Arc de Triumph. It is the world's largest round-about, with 12 major roads feeding to it. This was another amazing spectacle.
We climbed the 250+ steps to the top...

And took in the amazing view of Paris.

Afterwards we had lunch at an outdoor patio cafe, and strolled over to the Eiffel Tower. As we turned the corner, we were struck by it. It is just an amazing sight... the presence of it simply commands your attention. Along the way we stopped to have a crepe filled with Nutella... mmmmmmm

Overall, I enjoyed Paris very much - although I did find it quite dirty (public transitways stink like urine) and you are left feeling pretty yucky at the end of the day. There was also some famous French arrogance/rudeness, but this was offset by others who were quite friendly. I managed to get by in French in most situations - although apparently my Canadian accent is a dead giveaway.

The train ride to Rome (as I type this) has been an eventful, often dreadful experience. We found our couchettes, and it seemed at first that there would be 5 of us in a 6-bed cabin. Great, no problem. Then our 6th companion arrived. Undoubtedly, she was a bag lady. Suitcase after suitcase, then bag after bag arrived with her. The worst of it was, she (and all her belongings) stank of urine. And I don't just mean a little. She literally cleared all 5 of us out of the cabin. It was unbearable, and it made Chrystal sick. We complained to the conductor, who at first didn't appear to care or be willing to help us, but changed his mind after sticking his head in our cabin. Along with another couple, we were moved to a new car. After that ordeal, we were happy to make our way to the bar car for some much-needed beers and glasses of red wine.

Then around 10 or 11 last night, the train stopped. We waited for about 2 hours until help arrived and they were able to fix whatever the problem was... as a result, our arrival into Rome has been delayed a few hours. But no matter... this has been quite the adventure - and there's more to come! :-)

1 comment:

reshma said...

oh my gosh!!! Paris looks amazing - I'm sooooo jealous (but not so much of the urine smell). So glad you guys are having fun. Enjoy your adventures and make sure to update your blog. P.S. WENG WENG!!