so when leffie booked us tickets on the eurostar i was kinda' over the moon. PARIS! I HAD NEVER BEEN TO PARIS! i was so going to LOVE paris! which, you know, I DID, um, until i actually made it to paris.
OH HA HAH!!! THIS IS GOING TO BE A GOOD POST!
first things first, the eurostar is easy peasy. we got up waaay too early to get the second train into paris from st. pancras. here is leff all groggy and on the train.
we were both kind of excited about doing the whole chunnel thing because we are both
i did not even know i had made it to france until my phone told me.
i certainly wouldn't have known by looking out the window since we were surrounded by the fog.
leff got our carnet for the metro while we were still on the train. which was great except for the fact that he had to stand behind some whinging asshole from vancouver while he was waiting. (fun fact! the pacific northwest will try to ruin EVERYTHING for you, no matter how far away from it you manage to be.)
after 2.5 hours or so, we arrived at gare du nord.
and were immediately assaulted by scam artists. this is particularly funny as our hosts, both of whom were native parisians, had warned us about it. you know, with a sneer. still, no harm, no foul as leff just glared at the scammers while i snarled "non!" and threw elbows as we hurtled toward the metro entrance.
ugh, the metro. the paris metro reminds me of the d.c. metro in that you have to navigate by end destination rather than by direction. this makes me hate both of those systems. add into the fact that the paris version is hella' rickety, ugh, just...it is not the tube.
still, i cannot bag on these nouveau stylings.
our first stop in paris was notre dame.
we arrived there via a shortcut along the seine.
check out this facade.
that is a facade to write home about, amirite? and right nearby? un canard.
these next few pictures of the cathedral are really quite funny. i will explain why in just a sec. um, here we have the entrance to the cathedral (which, OMG OTHER PEOPLE. WHY DO YOU NOT LOOK UP UNTIL I HAVE LOOKED UP FIRST? idiots.)
stained glass with an open pane,
the luscious rose window
now, why are they funny? it is because they look tranquil. the cathedral appears unpopulated. HA HA! THIS IS SO NOT THE CASE! THIS IS WHAT IT IS LIKE AT NOTRE DAME.
and most of those people? ARE AMERICANS. AT THEIR WORST. being loud and oblivious and dressed in shorts.
this is where i'm going to flat out say it. the reason that i hated paris? it was because of all of the americans. i am not going to apologize for that statement as my fellow countrymen's behavior was, frankly, appalling at best.
ANYWAY, here is notre dame inside of notre dame.
also, nice shadows.
and under the rose window.
there was a guadalupe shrine in one of the aisles.
i had planned on doing the walk near the gargoyles after seeing the cathedral but we were greeted by this mass of humanity upon exiting.
so this is as close as i got to the stone bastards.
leff and i were really annoyed at this point. not even a fake lascaux bull could cheer us up.
certainly seeing pompidou center in the distance didn't.
we were sad like this god.
BUT!!! things got better. the fog burned off a bit revealing the light that i had been looking for.
i can absolutely understand why someone would want to paint landscapes in paris. the light will slay you, it is so good.
also quite cheering was the cafe that we found. guess what, petit chats? i remembered enough french to be able to order food and bev. cafe creme, bitches.
we sat at the cafe for about an hour and a half and it was fabulous. our hosts had warned us that parisians were horrid. (remember, they are parisians themselves.) but, you know what? i don't agree. I LOVE PARISIANS! i found every one of them we conversed with to be kind and helpful. this is probably because i d'accorded it up and used hand motions instead of speaking english. so, PRO TIP! learn enough basic french to converse and things will be fine!!
after we had cooled off, it was time to head toward the louvre. i did not want to bother with attempting the museum as we were only in the city for one day and it takes, what, nine years to see everything in the louvre if that's all you do every day? * shoulder shrug * this view was good enough for me.
besides, seeing the i.m pei pyramid is just as good as going inside.
although, jesus christ. WHY ARE THERE ALWAYS IDIOTS ON BOXES HAVING THIS STUPID PICTURE TAKEN OF THEMSELVES?! "HI I WENT TO PARIS AND I HELD THE LOUVRE PYRAMID IN MY HAND!!" * eyeroll the fuckity fuck *
ANYway, arc de triomphe du carrousel, luxor obelisk, arc de triomphe de l'etoile. there they are.
and here is d'orsay.
and, um, the horsay outside of d'orsay.
with a rhino for good measure.
leff and i decided that it might be fun to walk to the eiffel tower. HA! HAHA! do not do this. i mean, you get to see paris, right?
but, and this is so painful for me to admit, paris is kinda' dull to look at? UGH, I AM SORRY!! it is just so homogeneous. i mean, i get it, paris. you are pretty. CAN YOU NOT HAVE A SCAR OR SOMETHING INTERESTING THOUGH? imperfections make things sexier?
after stumbling around for a while and heading into a marche which was not so super, we sort of...happened upon the tower. this is the conversation.
leff: ou est this thing? i can't believe we can't find it. * taking pictures of sidewalks or something *
me: * walking off a bit, looking around corner of building * uh, leff? attend? you might want to see this?
leff: huh. THERE est the thing! * taking this fuck you eiffel tower picture *
so yeah, la tour effiel.
what can i tell you about this? well, HA HA! IT IS NOT A PEACEFUL PLACE TO BE!! leff and i sat on a bench to eat a snack and *BOOM* *SCREAMING* *CANNON SHOTS*
me to leff: are those POLICE IN RIOT GEAR?!?! * texting frantically to let someone know what's up in case we accidentally get arrested and/or tear gassed*
*BOOM* *SCREAMING* *CANNON SHOTS*
leff: jesus fucking christ. THOSE ARE FLARES!??!
*BOOM* *SCREAMING* *CANNON SHOTS*
me: * receiving text message reading "bloody nora!" * *through gritted teeth* i fucking hate paris.
the tower is pretty though? although, guess what is under its skirts.
that is right! AMERICANS! AND BUSKERS!! ARGH!@##
at this point leff and i had, quite frankly, had enough. so we boarded a batobus full of americans and one british dude who was so drunk that he fell out of his chair and cruised the seine. it was as restful as paris could be. (and it was funny as leff kept snarling "guild much?!?" in my ear as he was cranky and quite tired of seeing gold covered things at this point.)
saw an invader on the banks of the seine. you know, fwiw.
we disembarked at notre dame as we thought we'd give it another shot since it was late afternoon and, SURELY, all of the americans were at the eiffel tower, right? turns out that they were.
but, OMG, PARIS! HA HA! YOU ARE TOO MUCH! there was really a goddamned accordion player. i had to sit down because i was laughing so hard.
anyway, notre dame in the evening is spectacular. the direction of the light is just right for the stained glass.
and chanty type music is played so it is possible to relax a bit in the coolness of the cathedral. aaaaah! *contented sigh*
um, that is UNTIL THE FUCKING CLEANING CREW SHOWS UP! BWAH-HAAA!!
it was at this point that i just gave up, looked at leff and said "do you just want to go back to gare du nord? i want to get back to london." he agreed.
we passed shakespeare and company on the way to the metro stop. look at this traffic and you will understand why no one is getting a victor hugo book mailed to them. sorry, peeps!
i should also mention that no trip to paris is complete without seeing 1) a metro mole person 2) the masturbating sleeping bag dude. this is how you know you've really made it.
1) americans aside, i think that i could like paris. i would maybe visit it in november? yeah, that sounds like it might work.
2) leff and i hardly spoke in paris. it's a defense mechanism? we used our personal sign language and whispered to each other. i know, i know, it is weird but it also keeps people from guessing your country of origin. and i enjoy not having that knowledge public until it is absolutely necessary.
3) the bread in paris is just as wonderful as you're heard. the same holds true for the coffee and the cheese. incredibly, we did not have wine. which WHAT?! but *shoulder shrug*
4) in the battle of paris v london? i choose london. i heart london so fucking much. in the battle of cardiff v london? cardiff wins. but more about that in a later post. *shoulder shrug*
5) *shoulder shrug*
tomorrow! leff and i are back in london! regent's park! we start stalking the bt tower! bookstores! a bakery! it was a light day with not so much *BOOM* *SCREAMING* *CANNON SHOTS* which was a nice change.