Back to Paris

Trip Start Sep 11, 2010
Trip End Aug 19, 2011

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Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Monday, September 13, 2010

So next trip it was onto Paris.  I'm really impressed with these TGV tains, they are nice and comfortable and the travel at an astounding speed.  I'd love to know how fast exactly, im guessing about 200-250km.  Its so fast that your ears pop instantly on entering a tunnel, a strange feeling indeed.  Also there was a free newspaper on each seat.  Nice touch, pity my french is non-existant. Speaking of my French I quite proud of myself.  I have attempted and succeeded in communicating without arrogantly expecting English.  I have managed most situations, shops, ordering food, asking for directions etc.  I'm sure my 'tick' Irish twist of the accent effectively communicates that they should keep it short and simple. Actually preferably nouns only, maybe verbs but none of those silly extra words. Its only when things get complicated that I put on my apologetic face and say 'Par les vous Anglaise'.  Not bad considering I have pretty much no real learning of the language under my belt.

So Paris just isnt the same on your own, as I expected.  For sure it is the couples capital of Europe, and it is also Man-bag central.  I could almost get one. I was glad I had only a few hours to kill there.  Still the weather was lovely so I was happy to briefly explore the place. 
There were a few buskers around, for example a man with a pianno near fountain San Michel and a jazz band on the banks of the Seine.  I did a lovely walk from the famous Notre Dame along the Seine river as far a the Louvre.  From there I turned and walked the same stretch that Napoleon used to march his victorious army. Its a straight line from the Louvre piramid, through the (robbed from Eqypt) oblisk at concorde along the Champs Elysia to the Arc de Triumph and further on through the current financial centre. I made it half way down the Champs Elysia but time and hunger caught up with me so I made a little loner picnic in one of the parks in the area.  Unfortunately my camera dies before I could get the money shot.. the Eiffel Tower. You will have to settle for a sketch of this one.  Then with little time to spare it was time to move on to uncharted teritory... Brussels.

There is something that the French have that the Irish never will.  Class and style.  It is most noticable among young women but it transcends that sterotype.  From children to grannies, men & wemen, black & white, rich & poor (well to an extent), they all look like the have really put huge thought, effort and money into how they look.  All this thought time and energy and for what? I dunno I just dont get it, as long as i am presentable and comfortable thats fashion enough for me.

So that was it for France, Bonjor!!

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Tara on

Hey Col! This is fab! I didn't realize the sketches were yours until you mention the sketchpad! You rock!

Dasa on

Yeah, the sketching will pay off in the next pictionary game : )

Remz on

Hey Colm,

Nice blog I have to say ! :)
So, for the TGV and ICE, the "cruise speed" is the same, between 250 km/h and 315 for the ICE, 320 for the TGV.
But for the highest speed recorded, it's 406,9 for the ICE and 574,8 km/h for the TGV.
Now your engineer curiosity is kinda satisfied :)
Cya !

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