I love the way they tie their scarves around their necks! I love how graceful carrying a baguette around can make one look (I think you have to be french for this. I would look ludicrous carrying around a loaf of bread like an accessory!). I love the french architecture, and the weather, the rains, the green of the trees framed against the lovely gray skies, the sound of their language, the street musicians that fill the atmosphere with beautiful soul-lifting music, the food, the complete abandon with which they make out in public (I swear, at the Luxembourg gardens, we saw a couple who might as well have been having sex! There was never a moment where the expressionGet a Roooom!! would have been more apt!)… everything!
We were in Paris only for 2 nights, and we did the usual Eiffel Tower – Louvre .. etc. What we did different was… we went around the city in vespas! :D We were a bunch of brightly dressed tourists, in 6 vespas (with one couple with the kids in a cab, leading the way), and I guess we were quite a sight, cos there were actually people on the road taking pictures of our little procession. For a change, I guess we the tourists, got clicked! :D
This was on our second day there. The first day, we traveled like the locals, on the metro. It was fun, trying to explain where we wanted to go and how many tickets we wanted to buy! But everyone was very helpful, contrary to what we were warned, and we managed to gesticulate our way through. :)
The Eiffel Tower almost killed me! I actually climbed the 700 steps to the second floor summit and then took the lifts up to the top. I would not recommend that you do this, cos you will wake up the next day and while the rest of your body is raring to go, your legs will refuse to comply, and forcing it onto the floor will only cause even more pain, with the balls of your feet being all sore and tender from your adventures the previous day.
The Luxembourg gardens are lovely, and when we got there, I heard beautiful music playing- violins, my favourite! And the cello too. I followed the music to a pavilion and found performers were children! The parents were sitting in the audience, listening proudly. We wandered off, tired after our herculean climb of the Eiffel Tower, to a nearby cafe where we ordered wine and sat there, enjoying the music and the scenery.
I expected Paris to be proud and snobby. I expected it to be stylish and flamboyant. Instead, I encountered subtly chic and graceful people who were friendly and helpful. I was pleasantly surprised, after everything I’d heard about their refusal to speak English and rudeness to foreigners and whatnot. My french was as bad as their English, but we managed to make ourselves understood just the same. The willingness to communicate more than compensated for the language barrier, and as I got on to the train to Bordeaux, I wished I had more time to explore Paris.
I’ll have to go back, for sure. I just don’t know when.
Next Post: The Chateau