Paris – 13th April 2009
Today is another day where I am pretty much travelling. I basically catch up on news and events back home, emails and eat a lot of food. I also grab some groceries from the supermarket as I am catching a bus for about 4 hours. Ouch.
I make my way to the Bus station to get there by 1:45pm. However come 2pm, there is still no bus. By 2:30pm theres a bus, but its not ours. Then the driver checks something, and realises he made a mistake. And all the people that got on, now get off and our tickets are then checked and we get on. What a mess.
We end up lost in Brussels, going in circles. We actually get onto the motorway, 2 hours late!
Lessons learned today: Trains are on time, buses are never on time!
We arrive in Paris at Gallieni at about 7:30pm. I have to kill time to about 11 as my couchsurfing host wont get back to his apartment til then. I grab a feed, the only thing open is a McDonalds.
And well I go test out if Pulp Fiction is right. You know the scene, where they talk about Mcdonalds in France….and its called a Royale with cheese instead of a 1/4 pounder. As well as beer. Well I go and grab a Royale w/ cheese plus a tiny Kronenburg. haha. Not exactly what I was expecting from Paris Cuisine, but hey I am on a budget.
I get on the metro and head for the Palais Royale. Wow there is a lot of Royale in this post. Its a stop right near the Louvre. My first view of Paris (well since 1998 I think) is pretty outrageous. I walk through a giant walkway into the courtyard of the Louvre (where all the big glass pyramids all the french hate) and am blown away. Its a major tourist site, but there is hardly anyone. Sun setting in the background, its a scene you wish you could experience time and time again. Amazing.
I stuff around for a bit, just chilling at the far end of the court. Then decide to walk down to the Arc outside the Louvre, and chill on the embankment just past it. I can see the Eiffel Tower lit up in the distant skyline, sparkling like a jewel and beeming out a ray of light.
I then make my way through the Jardin de tulleries…Well I try to but its late and its locked up. So I walk along the Seine, and see the Musee D’orsay all lit up.
Cruising along the seine is pretty unreal, I then cross over into the Place De La Concorde. With the Obelisk de Luxor in the middle.
I transgress across the busy boulevards and start marking my way down the massive Champs Elysee. The amount of cars for a sunday night is a little overwhelming but its genuinely gobsmacking to be here and witness this first hand. It’s just a beautiful sight to be honest.
Walking down the champs with my backpack, unshaven and smelly clothes, I cant help but feel a wee bit out of place, hopefully I freak a few people out. Especially with designer shops nearby. But then again I can do whatever I want.
I get to the Arc De Triomphe and its lit up. An amazing view to be honest. I sit and just watch the carnage of cars go by underneath.
I guess the one thing about walking up the champs was despite having a nofx song stuck in my head (some people will know what song – take a guess. First person to guess correctly recieves a hug) but it was the arrogance of some of the people walking past myself.
Here I am carrying a big backpack, 20kg on my back. And my small pack on the front. And people are still running into me and knocking into me. C’mon, clearly you can see that I’m gonna have difficulty moving out of your road you arrogant idiot. So my conclusion is Paris is gorgeous, the locals are arrogant assholes!
I make my way to my CS host place, he is literally a 15 minute walk to the tower. And I basically crash at the sight of the bed.