Arrived in Paris

Trip Start Jul 26, 2005
Trip End Nov 01, 2005

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Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Well we've been in Paris for a few days now and yet again alot has happened. First thoughts of when i arrived was "what?" The underground is similar to londons but alot more complex and didnt make sense at first, but after checking it out for a while we got the hang of it. We ended up finding our way to the correct station and shortly after we found our hotel. Well it was very interesting trying to chat\t with the guy in the lobby - he didnt speak much English at all, or should i say we didnt speak that much French, after all we're in his country. Well from finally getting through to each other we went up to our room and spent another 10 minutes trying to open the door as you had to turn the key back and forward about 15 times to unlock it. haha! I just didnt have the patience.

After settling down for a while we decided to head for a walk in our local area and ended up in front of the Moulin Rouge after a couple of minutes. I didnt think it was all that it had been cracked up to be or as big as i thought it would be. But then again the theatre performance could easily make up for it - then again i wont be knowing. From this we continued our walk and found ourselves in some red light district area of Paris? It had so many sex shops on both sides of the streets. Passed this we realized we were near the Sacre Coeur so up we went and once sighted it was so beautiful. But first before anything or even climbing up the stairs to it we got dooped into buying some string bracelet thing from some African guys. Price was way to steep but got down after some bargening (still steep i remind you) but i didnt mind it so we got it. Oh well lesson learnt! The Sacre Coeur was on top of a huge hill in which you had to walk up the steps to arrive at the top. Its the 2nd highest viewing point of Paris (apart from the top of the Eiffel tower). The outside was so beautiful and old but had so much detail to it, it must of taken so long to make. Once inside (i had to take of my beanie) it was so old and beautiful also, not as much eye candy as st Paul's in London but was alot older and more churchy if you get what i mean. Just in front of the church the view of Paris was unbelievable. Such a white / creamy city with so many old buildings. Not quite as high as London (building wise) but all were very similar height and provided heaps nice things to look at. Just behind and to the left of the Sacre Coeur (once your looking at it) there are all these little streets. I think its called "Mont Parsi". Once walking through it i immediately thought "now this is how i imagine Paris". Such small cobble stoned streets, with lots of cafe's and places to eat everywhere. Guys walking around selling roses, even passed a guy playing the violin i think? Twas quite beautiful and keen to go back. Well because it was such a warm night we grabbed a hot dog - most cheapest thing to buy really and headed back to the steps of theSacre Coeur to eat. We were there for about an hour until the sun went down (around 9:30) and waiting till it was dark. Beautiful city at night! this also was the first sight of the Eiffle Tower.

The next morning we caught a train to Cite. The day was heaps hot and i gotta remember to close the curtain in this hotel in before bed as i woke up with the sun beaming through the window drilling my eyes on my side of the bed. Once in cite, we went straight to St Chapelle. Church was pretty old, but what struck me was the lead lighting and the stain glass windows. Absolutely huge and so many of them and so details. From this we had lunch and then went to the Notre Dame. This was alot bigger than i expected. It was huge on the outside and seemed even bigger from this inside. Once again beautiful stained glassed windows and huge domed roofs with lots of statues and awesomely painted ceilings. Actually pretty amazing this was, so im glad i saw it. Had so many individual prayer area's all through the church in which you can go into if you like.

Well after this we got out the map (seems to be a regular thing everywhere we go), and plotted our way through the scenic streets which are everywhere in Paris, to the Pantheon. Alot of people walk their dogs in paris I've noticed - which is a good thing :o) THe Pantheon was huge, with massive pillars out the front and very nice to look at and kinda gave me a Roman looking feel if ya get me? |Inside was pretty much 4 big rooms filled with Pillars and between them all had a giant gold ball swinging from the top of the center dome roof. This was demonstrating earths movement and rotation around the sun. Apparently this place was known for its revelations. The tomb's underneath were everywhere. Interesting but not much details as i guess its not required.

The Catacombs were near by but weren't open when we got there so we waited in a park for a little while where i fell asleep for a few minutes! oops! I'm starting to feel alot better about paris now, and im over the initial shock of the subway and the language barrier. So i'm having alot more fun! We then went into HJ's, and me speaking bugger all French and this girl not speaking much English, we had a bit of a laugh with my expressions of what i want to eat. (How am i meant to tell her caramel sunday?). Anyhow after a few laughs later i got my meal. (without the caramel sunday though haha). so i got the attention of another lady in which spoke a bit more English and i think she was the supervisor or something. She didn't seem to happy bout me asking for the sunday though, so after a few dirty looks and her muttering something to me in french i got the sunday! We realized while drinking that absolutely awesome coke that all songs played here are in English. heh!

We were full and decided we were up for some more sight seeing, so off we went to the underground and caught a train to the Eiffle Tower. Once walking up to this thing, i was gobbed sma\cked on the size of it. It was absolutely huge! and huge being an understatement of the year. So after a few pics, we started to walk the stairs. Took forever but was defiantly worth it. There was a restaurant half way up which i had no idea about? Looked fairly descent also. The views were already spectacular but ill talk more about this in a sec. We caught the lift up to the very top (as you had to) and got out. I can honestly say I've never seen such a pretty view from a single location in my life. You could see everything. Entire of paris and all the sights from that one location. Ended up taking so many pictures. After coming back down we went over to the other side of the tower (opposite the lawns where the water falls are) and were watching these crazy skateboarders goin like 45km an hour down this ramp and was watching some hockey players for a while near by also. The lights on the tower now came on as it was getting pretty dark and i have to say it was a very nice sight! and if you dont wait around for even a bit longer your missing out on a great show because about 10 thousand flickering strobe lights from head to tow of the tower just light up on and off! BEAUTIFUL! Everyone just cheered when it went on and then clapped once it finished. We got once again hot dogs... Now im getting a bit sick of them, but they're everywhere here and so cheap compared to other things. So we went over the the lawns in front of the tower to eat dinner and just to look up at this magnificent structure. After a while we got the see the light show again - YEOW!!! As we walked underneath it again to head home to the trainstation i was still marvelled at the size of this thing. I've never seen so much steel before! One thing though. Everywhere you go near any attraction in france, there are people trying to sell you statues and little gifts all the time. If you even give them just a little chance of talking to you its very hard saying no, so best not to give them a chance :o) I know as i still have this african bracelet thing still on ah ha!

The train home was a bit of a dilemma. THey had bugger all signs pointing to where we needed to go and the line we needed and ended up on was the wrong station?? Lucky we didn't get on the train. We ended up going down some sketchy as dark underpass very quickly to get to our station... But was a top last couple of days and have enjoyed Paris alot so far!
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