||[Dec. 13th, 2006|02:15 pm]
Listen in, listen Ian!
I am back at work. Paris was fun, if cold and wet. Photos will follow, but a brief summary of what I did is:|
Arrive at hotel and check in at about 8.30 pm. Fail to maybe take full advantage of the wealth of culinary options available in Paris by eating at the mediocre BBQ chain which was conveniently just over the road from the hotel. Didn't really do anything else.
- Go to Les Halles to buy plug converter from FNAC to allow me to use my laptop in my hotel room and take advantage of free internet, having brought the converter that works in the USA from home.
- Go to Notre Dame and wander round it. Nice, isn't it? I didn't bother going up the towers as that would have involved queueing and icba queuing for stuff when I'm on holiday if I can avoid it.
- Wander around Latin Quarter generally, go in Shakespeare & Co, get lunch in Italian restaurant because I fancy pasta.
- Go to catacombs. The catacombs are really ace - undeground passages that go on for ever with loads and loads of bones stacked up on either side, often in artistic patterns. There was a good bit where they'd made a big arch of skulls. I was naughty at one point and took a couple of flash photos even though you aren't supposed to because someone else did, and it seems to be the French way to ignore pretty much any notices at all that tell you what to do or not to do. I think I'd favour visiting the catacombs with someone else in the future though, because there needs to be someone else there that you can alarm by jumping out at them from a recess in the wall/pile of bones.
- Eiffel Tower. I got to the Tower just as dusk was setting in, so it looked all pretty and lit up. I avoided the big queues for the lift, and then climbed up to the second level. By the time I got up there it was properly dark, so I saw all the twinkling lights of the city and lit up Arc de Triomphe. It was pretty.
- Go back to hotel, get Chinese takeaway to take back to room, watch Lyon v Paris St Germain on telly.
- Go and look at the Christmas window displays at Galleries Lafayettes, walk round shopping areas towards Place Concorde and up the Champs Elysees towards Arc de Triomphe through cold and rain. Monday is a bad day for it to be raining in Paris, because pretty much all the interesting things indoors - museums and the like - are closed on Monday. Except for...
- The Museum of the Holocaust. Interesting, and worthy obviously, and as I say pretty much the only thing open but not exactly designed to engender a jolly holiday mood. It was very thorough and well done though, and I'd recommend it.
- Ate in a little place on the Ile that isn't the Ile de la Cite, whose name I've forgotten but it was a nice meal - Terrine de Canard and Crepes aux Fruits de Mer. Yum.
- Check out of hotel, go to Gare du Nord to dump bag in a luggage locker. The security check to get into the locker area is as rigorous as airport security - WTF? Now, do some sort of explosive detection thing, certainly, as if I wanted to bomb a railway station then a luggage locker would probably be the first place I'd think of to leave the bomb. But full metal detection including making me take my belt off? What do they think I'm going to do - specifically what harm could I do in there with something metal that I couldn't do in the rest of the station? I'm not going to hijack the lockers am I?
- Then I went to the zoo. I officially declare that Paris Zoo is a bad zoo. First of all there were hardly any animals there - vast areas of the zoo were deserted, closed down or or otherwise animal free. And also, where there are animals the enclosures don't look very good. There were three miserable looking zebras in a gravel pen. The giraffes were shut indoors, in a really crowded enclosure - there must have been about 12 of them in an area smaller than the indoor bit of the giraffe area at London Zoo, if you know that.
- I spent the rest of the day just mooching round waiting until it was time to go home really.
So, Paris then. It's good, but the weather was rubbish as you might reasonably expect it to be at this time of year. Best seen in summer I think.