I will try to write a few words describing the last 3 days here in Paris. This blog is a little sloppy timeline wise. Today is Frday the 16th and we just spent the whole day navigating the corridors of The Luvre museum, more on this later. Two days ago we woke up quite early and since we were not yet familiar with the mass transit decided to spend a whole day just roaming around carelessly. With no real plans we packed our map, a backpack full of beers and headed south-west, the downtown core. Paris is quite busy but not nearly as bustling as Amsterdam or even Brussels. Most of the streets lead into some type of a town square decorated with a park or a statue of some proud dude on a horse, usually welding some type of a stabbing tool. This place is all about restaurants, tiny bakeries, even tiner shops with even tiner private residences on the upper floors. You always hear about Paris being a huge culinary center of the world, that may be so but I did not see any indication of such. There seems to be a place eat every few meters, what suprised me was that even after walking around for a full day I didnt find anything interesting. Most of the places looked the same, identical even, with very similar menus, similar specials, even the decor was nothing to write home about. Every place had a busy outdoor patio and a stuffy feeling, dark, uninviting dining area inside, we had a hard time choosing a place. Sandwiches, steak and fries and the usual boring appys, yawn. I am sure that Paris is filled with fancy restaurants, I believe though that they are off the beaten path and out of our budget. One additional tiny tidbit, all places were fucking expensive. I am not talking a few extra bucks here and there, I am talking 8 Euro pints of really awful peepee warm beer, served in an old scratched up glass. Not good, thats well over 10 golden loonies. Needless to say in addition to my compulsory steak tartare adventure and some apple ice cream under the Eiffel tower we have been cooking our grub at home. This brings up another little nugget of information. The grocery stores, even the little corner stores are DIRT cheap. 50 cents for a baguette, 1 Euro for for a little stack of sliced gouda, a pack of amazingly delicious ham was less than 2 bucks. 6 pack of beer around 6 Euro, juice, pop, desserts are merely 20 to 30 cents. The veggies are fresh, the stores modern, clean and full of variety. The economy here is weird, we bought a basket full of groceries including a 26oz of vodka for less than the cost of a couple of sandwiches at the corner patisserie.
Back to my story, the Notre Dame is massive, we were able to witness the tail end of a mass and light a couple of candles. The place is eerie, even when packed with tourists. Lots of stuff to see here, statues of crying people, dead people, beatings, people on fire, sadness and pain including the odd painting of torture… ….ya know, religion stuff.
Marcie saw the tower first, it is truely something to admire, whether you are ten block away or standing right underneath. It obviously TOWERS over everything in sight and it is way more spectacular than I could have ever imagined. The base of the tower was busy, but with an only thirty minute lineup and 24 Euros for the both of us we were ready for liftoff. The elevator ride up wasnt as scary as I thought and it was interesting to see pre 1900 lifts being powered by modern electronics and motors. There are three levels, the first two being pretty much the base of the structure and the very top housing the two restaurants and an observation deck with a spectacluar view. We jetted to all three levels and admired 360 degrees of Paris. How can you use words or even pictures to describe such an experience? The tower even lights up at night, shots out a rotating psychodelic rave laser and after 11pm or as they say here twentythreehundredhours starts to sparkle excidedly.
Everyone should come up here at least once in their lifetime, its pure magic, plus of course its a great place to make out.
In two days we are off to Caen, then the overnight train to Barcelona where Marcie, my really tanned and very hot travel agent has just scored us a beach loft. YAY.
PS. I will try to post about the Louvre and the Arc tomorrow, we are gonna oogle some Picassos tomorrow as well. My battle in finding an apostraphe on this keyboard has clearly been lost, sorry.