I don't think I've ever visited a place that I've had a more visceral negative reaction to. Maybe it's not
To compensate, I am going to do all four of my days in
I look forward to coming back to Paris someday with someone else. It just seemed like the kind of place I would have enjoyed more with another person or persons, unlike Hong Kong or Tokyo which were quite fun solo. On we go.
Day 1 in Paris
The Hotel Val d'Europe did not come with an included breakfast, so I had some chocolate cereal:
|Chocapic: The Epic French Chocolate Cereal That Actually Tastes Like Crap|
|Crap chocolate cereal and warm Fanta Zero? Is it too late to go back to Pocky.|
You remember my croissant story from yesterday? Well here's a damn French stairwell. Awful.
|What the heck, France? It's called stairwell lighting. It's a damn good invention that maybe you should try investing in.|
I took a ridiculously early train into Paris from the Disneyland area. I alighted practically underneath the Arc de Triomphe. Seemed as good a place as any to start.
The Arc was commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 to celebrate his victories. It was just about the last time France managed to win a war without significant help from outside so it's good they didn't take too long (just 30 years or so) to build it:
|Hey guys, remember when we used to win wars? We should probably celebrate that.|
|Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Very moving.|
My plan was a pretty vague one. I'd heard Paris was eminently walkable so I decided to stroll down the Champ Elysees and, one way or another, make my way to Sainte Chapelle on the Ile de la Cite. As it turns out, I did quite a walking journey - taking a bit over 3 kilometers to get from the Arc to Sainte Chapelle. I did get to see lots of great stuff on the way, including (from a distance) Les Invalides. Once I found the Seine I just followed that, figuring it would eventually get me where I wanted to go. Here are some photos:
|Hey look - it's a Frenchman who knew how to win things.|
|I'll give Paris credit for this much: no one does beautiful, tasteful and just barely over-the-top as well.|
|Where's Churchill's dog?|
|I wonder if this is based on the one in EPCOT... ;)|
|I think all bridges could be improved with such statuary|
|Awww yeah. Thomas Jefferson. Where's Franklin's statue? Would I get syphilis from looking at it? And why does this make me want to watch this over and over again (note: not safe for work).|
|I'm pretty sure these days there should be a German flag or two on there|
|Desperate emergency lunch|
|This is what happens when you let Porthos swing on your light fixtures|
Two-in-one esoteric reference:
|Denis? I didn't know you were called Denis. Well you didn't bother to find out, did you?|
|I had no idea what was going on here but I figured it was symbolic of something|
|Perhaps the best view of Notre Dame|
|Burninating the country side. Burninating the peasants. Man, I am really reaching with these references right now.|
|Not even remotely Notre Dame.|
An entire museum devoted to the French career of George Clooney? Yeah, I'm definitely okay with that. Turns out that it was actually a museum of the Middle Ages, but I'm okay with that too. Could have used at least 20% more Clooney, though. On the way I saw this:
|I'm back in Tokyo?|
|A little slice of Jersey in Paris, much like myself. And equally offensive.|
|Oh please, I could buy one of these in Orlando for at least three times as much.|
|Still no good FFVII stuff|
|I'm going to have nightmares from seeing this up close|
|If you're a girl between the ages of ten and thirty-five (or me) you probably have the theme song going through your head right now. Just be glad it's not It's a Small World.|
A short walk later and I was at the Clooney-less Cluny Museum. I did the whole thing in under twenty minutes, which is one of the joys of doing a museum solo.
|I'm confused - are these good guys or bad guys?|
|They really hadn't gotten down proportions and realistic depictions of humanity yet|
|But they did have a two-headed, no-assed goat|
|Off with their heads!|
|Oh wait, here they are|
|This is impressive|
|Hey look - it's the Eiffel Tower. Can we move on now?|
|I feel quite good on my Japanese culture at the moment, thanks|
|French pastries in Japan, bubble tea in Paris, sushi in Hong Kong, whatever it doesn't have to make sense|
Day 2 in Paris
Still had some chocolate cereal left. It was really bad, but I ate it anyway.
|Chokella, qu'est que c'est, fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa far better|
|So much crap|
|Please note that bar of soap was already opened and used when I got there|
|Nice view. No Mt. Fuji or Disney park, but a nice view.|
Since it was still very early in the day I decided to get a start on sightseeing. It was time to head up to Montmarte and the Basilica of Sacre Couer. Despite the cloudy day, the views were nice. And the Montmarte area was very cool, if extremely touristy. It was early enough in the day that the pickpockets and con artists weren't out in force.
|Sure I could have taken the tram. But why do that when you can walk up hundreds of stairs instead? Sigh.|
|I suspect that's not the tram, no.|
|Signs that I didn't see in Tokyo|
|That's the tram? Hell, I can walk that.|
|And so I did|
|That has to be the holiest pigeon in the world. Bet he'd fetch a fine price in Hong Kong.|
|This window was absolutely gorgeous but my camera does not do well faithfully reproducing blues and purples|
|That crown looked massive and uncomfortable. No wonder the head that wears the crown rests so uneasily.|
|I wonder if I could get Craig to play Dixit if it was in French? I wonder if Dixit in French would be in any way different from Dixit in any other language?|
I was pretty hungry at that point so I got a chicken-filled baguette thing. Very good!
|The recommended roast beef. It was okay. The vegetables were just out of this world,though.|
Days 3 and 4 in Paris
Days 3 and 4 were pretty much the low-energy point of the trip. I did the remaining things I wanted to but that was about it.
Day 3 started in what would have been a disaster if I wasn't generally of a positive and optimistic disposition. I decided to return to Disneyland since I had the pass and felt like I could use a Disney day to carry me through to England. I made the 75 minute trip out there only to realize I'd left my ticket in the room. Naturally, this being Paris home to the worst service in the world, they would not under any circumstances issue me another ticket even if I could provide them with the original confirmation e-mail and credit card. Well then. I could either pay another whatever it was for the day (60 euros maybe) or head back to Paris. I went with the latter.
|Breakfast at the Holiday Inn Express|
|What surprise do you hold?|
|Good morning. I'm going to eat the crap out of you now. And then I'm going to hunt down your brethren around the city and eat them too. Fair warning.|
I did some aimless wandering for a bit after that.
|Matching orange hats, huh?|
|Closest I'd get to the Louvre on this trip|
And bought myself another one!
|Oh yes, you'll do nicely indeed.|
|Tasty French onion soup|
|Even tastier escargot. Maybe the second best I've had?|
|This was a pleasant surprise dessert|
I left quite pleased with the meal, though I'd not call it the best.
|I could be commenting on this gentleman's pants but no, I'd like to point out the mewing cat desperately clinging to his back as he navigates the Metro.|
|Ah, nothing like a lovely view of trash floating in a river|
|They were out of English so I took the Spanish one. At least I'll understand a quarter of it.|
|This is a recipe for disaster|
|Sure, we killed you for advocating leniency during the French Revolution, but at least you get a street named after you?|
|Why couldn't you be Rue Duverger? WHY?|