Thursday, September 01, 2005

Paris in the Summer- Oui, Oui, Oui!

I wanted to write more frequently than this, but we didn´t come across many internet cafes in Paris when we were looking for them, and then would find them when we were busy with something else. So, anyway, I haven´t written about the end of our Berlin visit and Paris.

Paris was great! As soon as the taxi drove into the center of Paris, feeling the vibrancy and seeing people of diverse ethnic backgrounds as well as the beautiful Paris neighbourhoods made me come alive again. Berlin had been an interesting place to visit. There was something a bit too efficient about it for me. I think I have an affinity for places where things don´t work quite as they are supposed to. Well........ I´m not sure of that is true. I do like efficiency, so I´m not sure what it is. I met a guy who said that we MUST visit Munich and places closer to the mountains, which are absolutely beautiful.

Our hotel in Paris was great. It was near the Bonne Nouvelle and Strasbourg St. Dennis stops on the Metro. It was also a very ethnically diverse area, which I loved. There were many shops and restaurants- you hardly needed to leave the area, but of course we did.

On our first night, we went to the Gallaries Lafayette, which I supposed can be likened to Harrods or Selfridges in London, or maybe Saks in the States. I say this partly because it was an expensive store and Narcisso Rodriguez´s For Her eau de parfum and eau de toilette (which is my ab-so-lu-te-ly favourite perfume in the world!!!!!) can only be found in Saks Fifth Avenue in the States, which is a very expensive store. And I´m sure, if I checked, I would find it in Harrods and Selfridges. Gallaries Lafayette was beautiful. The main building had a breath-taking stained window dome roof.

On the other days, we visited Arc de Triomphe, the Champs Elysee (which is a long street with shops on either side-basically), Place de la Concorde and it´s landmark obelisk, the Notre Dame and it´s garden, the Les Halles area (with it´s quaint shops and many restaurants), the Latin Quarter, Saint Chappelle and the Eiffel Tower.
I think my favourite time in Paris (if I can choose just one) was the evening we went to the Eiffel Tower. It was our last evening there and it was an afterthought, like "How can we come to Paris and not see the Eiffel Tower?" So, we went there and took pictures. We then found a bench to sit on for about 40 minutes or so. I love summer evenings, because after the heat of the day you can enjoy the cool breeze and just enjoy seeing things wind down a bit. Around 9PM, when we were leaving, the infamous light show come on. I say "infamous", because although I hadn't even heard about it, I later found out that it's considered to be rather gaudy and tasteless. Flashing lights strewn all over the Eiffel Tower was the last thing I expected to see, so it took Ayoola and I totally by surprise. I loved it and apparently so did the rest of my fellow tourists. We all "oohed" in wonder and, for the next few minutes, the flashbulbs of our cameras added to the sparkles of light.

Edited to add photos:

River SieneThe River Siene, taken near the Assemblee Nationale.

Behind the Notre DameThis is the garden behind the Notre Dame. It was absolutely beautiful and my sis and I had a good doze there.

Eiffel TowerThe Eiffel Tower taken at night, during the light show.

(Photos taken by me. Please do not reproduce without permission)

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