Trip Start Dec 30, 2005
11Trip End Jan 11, 2006
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With three hours left until checking in to our apartment, we found a good lunch at Le Pain Quotidien. Sadly, they have stores in England and the States, but we'll go with this being more authentic, for the sake of it being on the Montorgueil street market if nothing else
A nap was in order before heading out for New Year's Eve celebrations. We walked to the Seine and towards the Eiffel Tower for a good view of what we expected to be the most spectacular fireworks show we'd ever seen. About quarter after twelve, and after one shimmering light show, we finally figured out Paris opted out of fireworks for New Year's - as they apparently had the previous 4 or 5. No one sent me the memo. Followed the crowds along the now pedestrian Champs-Elysees, champagne flowing freely amongst strangers and lovers and us dodging a hairy little Frenchman determined to offer Ashley a celebratory kiss. Her phrase to discourage overly friendly men came to her after a half block of him pawing away. C'est la vie...
Today started dark and drizzly. We started at Ile de la Cite having breakfast at a tourist trap. Damn us not having financial power over our thoroughly useless waiter when tip is included in the price. Felt the need to hit up a souvenir shop in search of small shiny objects that were (while still overpriced) better than similar things in American boutiques
Walked through St. Germain-de-Pres (the Cambridge to a Boston) and I got us turned around. Map blunder #1 for Lee. The weather dropped to freezing by the time we reached La Tour Eiffel, the lines took forever, but it was amazing. Good view of the City of Lights from the top! Like a lot of the Paris attractions though, being around it, experiencing it externally was almost as spectacular as doing it, being in it...
I'm already having serious issues with the European's apparent lack of personal space. I understand, big city, blah blah, but I feel like no matter where I am, what I am waiting for, there's a European (local French or other visitor) on me in some way or another. Is it a lack of respect for someone else's space or a comfort with your fellow man? Don't like.