Paris - Day 0.7

Paris is a mere 3-hour journey from Amsterdam by train. It was only a matter of time before we paid a visit. The ride on Thalys must’ve been the fastest train journey of my life.

The first thing I noticed the moment I emerged from the labyrinth that is Paris Metro was how open the city felt. I had read about Haussmann’s renovation of Paris, but to be walking down those streets is something else altogether.

Lovely boulevardsLovely boulevards

A crossing somewhere in ParisA crossing somewhere in Paris

You don’t get very far if you are walking with a camera - for there is something remarkable at every turn and corner.

You’ll find these random pretty things at every turn and cornerYou’ll find these random pretty things at every turn and corner

We (the collective pronoun when used without a context is for the inclusion of the wife into the narrative) wanted to lunch at the crêpe shops on Rue de Mouffetard. The one crêperie we found open at that time was run by a Sri Lankan chap who kept drawing our attention to how similar crêpes are to dosas. Thankfully, the one he prepared for us didn’t taste like one (largely due to generous helpings of Nutella and bananas).

It’s hard to walk on a tummy full of crêpes, but walk we did and reached the Panthéon. The beauty and the grandeur of the building took my breath away. I wasn’t sure if I had it in me to take a semi-decent picture of the Panthéon, so I contended myself with the buildings around it.

Random wall near the PanthéonRandom wall near the Panthéon

Random wall near PanthéonRandom wall near Panthéon

The Eiffel Tower made its first appearance in the background here:

Eiffel Tower in the backgroundEiffel Tower in the background

Our next destination, after a brief stop at McDonalds (which was a bigger hit with the tourists for the paid loo than for the food)…


…was the Palais du Luxembourg.

Palais du LuxembourgPalais du Luxembourg

You can spend hours here walking amidst the green lawns and flowerbeds.

Lawns outside Palais du LuxembourgLawns outside Palais du Luxembourg

Then there are lifelike statues that cover a range of subjects - from animals, to mythical beings to royal personages of the past.

Animal statues at lawns outside Palais du LuxembourgAnimal statues at lawns outside Palais du Luxembourg

We found ourselves chairs near a huge basin where children were playing with model sailboats. It is quite a sight to see their tiny sails catch wind and glide across the water (a bit like the view from our window on most days - just scaled down several times).

A model sailboatA model sailboat

This statue of Marguerite d’Angoulême seemed to wonder if, after years of standing still, it was now time to sit down.

To sit or not to sit that is the questionTo sit or not to sit that is the question

Having walked for as long as we did, we could understand her predicament, but it’s hard to sit down for long when Notre Dame and the Louvre await you…

September 9, 2011