Paris surprised me and I have to admit that I had a good time there. I certainly didn't conquer the language barrier, but I managed to make my way through most of the city without too many problems. The first thing that I have to mention is how much cleaner Paris was in comparison to London. Maybe Monday was pick up day, but there seemed to be bags of rubbish lying at the edge of every street when we rode through London at night. What made it worse was that no one seemed to care either.
Paris has wonderful streets and architecture. It really is a city with style and I was glad that I took the time to climb the stairs at The Basilica of the Sacred Heart to get a nice overview of the city. Of course I had no idea what was spread out before me at that time. It was one of the few cities where we didn't have a map and we had to rely on the maps for the bus routes and metro to find our way around the city.
Busabout had changed our accomodation location so my mental map was almost rendered useless. We were way north of where I thought we would be in the city.
Trevor took charge of leading which was fine with me, since the during the previous night in London I had been the lead. Soon we were on the Metro into the heart of the city. Due to the time of day, we caught the last of the business crowd and people going out for the night. Or to put it another way, the cars were packed.
Upon emerging from the underground we headed for Notre Dame Cathredal. Even in the fading light, it still looked exactly like all of the photos that I had seen except that it was smaller than I had imagined it to be. It was too late to go inside, but I'm glad that I got to see it from the outside.
From there we made our way to the Louvre, which was quickly followed by the Eiffel Tower. Even after seeing it in person, I still don't understand the mass appeal of the struture. It does nothing for me and the year two thousand in lights on its side made it even more tacky.
By the time that we made it to the Arc de Triomphe, both of us were starving and my feet were beginning to hurt. Walking was getting old and we pondered how we were going to get back to the hotel without being able to use the Metro. Our single ride had been one of the last for the day and now it was closed. Trevor kept suggesting a bus, but we never saw any going past us.
While we thought about how we were going to get back to the hotel, we decided to get something to eat. After a brief discussion we opted for something simple and not French. We went to a pizza place that was located on the Champs Elysees and was probably geared towards tourists, but we didn't care. We were too hungry. It had been over twelve hours since either of us had eaten and following French tradition meant nothing to us.
The hostess who seated was a stunning example of French beauty. Clad in black pants and a form fitting top, she was elegant and sexy.
I couldn't decide if our waiter was being condescending or not and I tried my best not to look too foolish. Yes, I did the stupid American pointing at the menu routine, but I didn't want there to be any mistake in our order.