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First day in Paris...

So Paris was every bit as exciting and fun as I thought it would be, it became a little too exciting when tempers started running high and a few people came close to stoning me, by few people I mean my siblings and Antonio. You see, Paris, and probably the whole of Europe, ought to be explored by foot and if there's anything I love it's exploring and walking. So I loved the whole walking around part, I loved hopping on and off their wonderfully efficient metro system to discover the well known and not so well known sights of Paris. The others were pretty excited too, but by late afternoon they would get tired and say abominable things like, 'let's go back to the room.' And I would gasp and look at them in open wonder, who does that... who comes to Paris and spends most part of the day in a room!!!!! I was genuinely baffled by their lack of commitment to my well laid out plans. 

So anyway, there we would stand, three against one, me refusing to go back and they refusing to go any further... at times like this I automatically switch into the drama queen mode. With hands flailing and tears almost forming, I would launch into an explanation about how we can't be back, how far we've come, and how if I die tomorrow, at least I'll die happy knowing I've explored till my last breath. When all that didn't work, I had to resort to reverse psychology, saying, okay, let's forget it, when we are old we'll sit together and talk about the times we watched tv in a room in Paris. Now when I think about Paris, this is what stands out the most, I mean we did see all the major monuments, but they were teeming with tourists so we would take our pictures and then explore the less touristy places nearby. But the memories that stand out the most are our drama filled walks and our tackling of the metro system. 

Oh, the metro system there is super impressive, it's like a giant maze that functions like clockwork under the city. Once you learn to read the map, you'll realize that travelling in Paris is a piece of cake. And the characters you see on a train, wow... I wanted to photograph every single one of them. There was one Audrey Hepburn like female with the black dress and hair in a bun clutching a bunch of flowers, there were Snoop Dog like people in baggy clothes along with the dangling chains and rings bigger than your palm, there were super cool french men oozing charm with their light stubble and a scarf wound lazily round their neck, there were the business types in the smart suits, there were the intellectual types in jeans and a t-shirt and the elbow patched blazer, the overly made up teenagers with clothes that barely fit, the elegant older women and the musicians who suddenly appear with their harmoniums and mouth organs singing songs that make you smile, even though you don't understand them. 
The Eiffel tower, this is one massive structure.
Up close it doesn't look that great, it is pretty charming at night though when it's all lit up, and when it sparkles every hour you understand why this is the most visited structure on the planet.
Near the Eiffel saw a group of children with a Ryan Reynolds (never really liked the guy, but he's hilarious as Berg in 'Two guys and a girl') like music teacher, performing some well known songs instrumentally, it was rather cool.
Next we went to see the Arc de Triomphe, and this is how it looks as you exit the subway...
Then you have to cross this tunnel to reach the other side...
Names of soldiers inscribed on it...
The tomb of the unknown soldier and the eternal flame...
The road opposite the Arc, called Avenue des Champs-Elysees is apparently one of the most beautiful avenues in the world. It was quite nice strolling around here... 
 Seeing ornately ...
decorated buildings.
Then it was time for lunch.... this is some kabab and rice.
My brother had some minced meat...
Espresso and baklava.....
Cheesecake for dessert...
This is the church of Saint Pierre de Chaillot...
A collage depicting the interior of the church...
Church of Saint Severin ...
A stained glass window near the baptismal font... 

By this time the others were pretty beat but I was adamant on seeing the Notre Dame before heading off to our rooms, so after my little tantrum we did visit the cathedral and I am pretty glad we did, -gosh!- the Notre Dame is so beautiful in the evening with lights, it was almost magical, next post will be about that. 

Comments

mahesh said…
Ahhhh..... Paris the eternal romantic city!

Perhaps one day if destiny leads me.... - I need to get a passport first :)

Good post Karen :)
Susan Deborah said…
I want to go and walk those streets! Drama Queen - YOU? Unbelievable. Okay, I can believe that in parts!

Joy always,
Susan
Karen Xavier said…
Mahesh, this place will suit your romantic nature...

Susan, you will love it too... and yes, my sister can tell you how troublesome I am when things don't go my way, am bit of a control freak.

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