18 July 2006

Paris, France

Fan whirring on high and traffic

Bonjour, Sava?

What a day! What a day! What a DAY! Is Paris overrated? NO WAY!

So it started with 4 requested days off where I was supposed to be going with my friend O- to Prague except in true VP style the plans fell through. O- is buying an apartment and the papers would be ready for her to sign halfway through my days off so that was that. What to do?

I was chatting to a friend of mine A- who said he'd been given a long Paris and I thought to myself why not? Next day I bought a ticket, hopped on the flight - got upgraded to business since I was friends with the CM and my friend was serving the side I was on - Perfect! I had a window seat and coming into land I could clearly see Paris below including my first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower, Arc De Triomphe and the square like frame building in the La Defense district...I was very happy.


The next day I woke up not feeling 100% - I was sick and not the I've got a headache/flu sick, it was the I'm going to throw up any minute sick but I was not going to stay in the hotel, HELL NO! I got Primperan off A- and it worked to kill that feeling but left my temperature high and me still feeling nauseous and unsteady but I could cope with that - I was more worried about having to run into the bathroom every 5 seconds if I needed to throw up.

That handled, A- and I set off for Paris - first stop Notre Dame. It was horrible going, so hot on the trains so it made me feel worse but seeing Notre Dame was worth it. I'll let the photos do the talking.


Next was the Eiffel Tower and I confess I got a little teary - my eyes could not believe what they were seeing and my brain did not register it either - I stood there just looking up overwhelmed that I was lucky enough to see this icon.

We grabbed more water, a couple of ice creams, I called mum, pulled up a patch of grass to lay on in the shade and just drank in the atmosphere and breath-taking view. A- had to cool off first underneath this huge fan that was also sending out a mist. You can see he wasn't the only one with the same idea.

We walked from there up one of the fancy streets before landing smack bang in the middle of Champs de Elysees right next to the famous Arc de Triomphe. Being such a shameless tourist, as I was crossing the road I stopped in the middle and took a photo.

The last stop for this trip but not the least was Sacre Coeur atop a hill. Beautiful - everything - the cathedrale, the area surrounding it, the atmosphere, the view - oh my - the view was just stunning. Directly infront of Sacre Coeur is a whole bunch of steps (its pretty high up - thankfully the alternative was a sort of cable car the price of which was included in my day trip metro ticket) which was littered with people all enjoying the view of Paris below. To the right there is an area where you can see the Eiffel Tower and we were fortunate enough to be there for the sunset and the lighting up of the tower. The area around Sacre Coeur was filled with restaurants, creperies and portrait artists who would draw you to perfection for a small fee.

The Montmartre district in which Sacre Coeur lies is bustling and alive - very different to the rest of Paris. It feels like you've stepped away from the typical and uncovered the real Parisian atmosphere - its also home to the Moulin Rouge and associated businesses lower down. Just be careful where you go and when.

For now good night, I look forward to the next adventure.


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