Thursday, October 20, 2011

Paris, France

Oddly fitting that I'd find this eerie video of a flooded, abandoned Paris as I'm writing this. Although the cause is unclear, the movie has a chill to it. Citing sources - found here.

Before sunrise we left for Paris (Pahree), France. As it was one of the first trains back up and running it was packed. Every seat was taken, some with standing room only.

On this train there was serious resentment between passengers and I realized how much of that I'd seen in France. To me, I've heard the French stereotype of snobbishness and being harsh. I had thought that it was only to tourists but I realized they are equally that way to one another.

We arrived in Paris. We only had a few hours to stay there as we had booked an overnight train to Munich. Our overnight train was leaving from a different station that we arrived in, a station across town, meaning we had to carry our luggage with us all day. And so that started off Paris.

We stopped in a tourist office to ask for directions to the Eiffel Tower. The woman was so vague we had to go back and ask again. And even after doing that, it still took us two hours to get to the tower.

Frustrated, we finally arrived at the subway that would take us to the Eiffel tower. The subway was one block from our arrival train station, and the subway ride to Eiffel was about ten minutes. One block, ten minutes - it took us two hours. As we boarded the subway, Jonaid dropped his suit on the tracks. My heart stopped as he dove after it.

"It's an expensive suit!" He exclaimed. I just looked at him.

We arrived at the tower and it was magnificent - stunning - I couldn't believe I was really there. The lawn in front of it was unfortunately closed so we didn't get to sit on the grass. Also, we wanted to go up the tower, but with all of our luggage it was simply impossible. So we got crepes and enjoyed it from below.

At that point we were tired of carrying around our luggage and it taking a ridiculous amount of time to get anywhere, so we headed to our next train station. We stopped for dinner on the street and sat, took our time, and watched Paris go by. I had a delightful French Pinot Noir. 

We didn't see much of Paris. Our frustration and luggage held us back. I hope to give it another chance in the future.

We boarded the night train with cabins and bunk beds so small it was like we were on the Titanic. We waved au revoir, opened the windows, and watched as Paris became far away.


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