Paris

Arrived in Paris early in the morning at Paris de Bercy. It’s an old bus station. We departed from Victoria Station in London in the evening and took the 7-hour  bus ride to Paris. The ride was actually quite smooth with Wifi and all. But I slept all the way.

 

 

 

Bought a croissant and an expresso for 3.20 euros. Delicious croissant and fantastic coffee although I am not a coffee lover. Umi went on a meeting with the Prof so my daughters and I went away for a stroll around the area. Witnessed a nasty traffic jam as people trying to get to  work. One thing about Paris is the language , of course, what else.
Very frustrating instead if you don’t know the language where people have no clue what you’re saying and you likewise. But I managed my way around although not very pleasant; such as, buying breakfast, find your way to the toilet or getting to the place you wanted to be. As we strolled across the River Seine, we reached the top of the national library, Francois Mitterrand Library. A huge place with sophisticated corridors and alleys. The security was tight like going through the airport gate. But a library is a library where ever you go and this one is no difference. I wish to have more time to explore more of this magnificent place.

 

Musee de Louvre

It’s hot day today in Paris. The summer crowd has definitely arrived; notably, the Americans. The place was huge and filled with people taking pictures to capture their time spent here in Paris. I was one of them. It has been a dream to someday come to this museum and experience the history of France and the French people. I read a lot about their long history of struggles in the French revolution but most  intriguingly their enduring effort to preserve what’s left for us to see and remember. But the whole of Paris is like one big museum; I just could not imagine how much money and effort have been put into the preservation of their culture and heritage.

 

When Hitler called up his general and asked “Is Paris burning?”, in the WW II, I would imagine the whole place had been  burnt down to ashes. But it seems that the city had survived the trouble times and witnessed the atrocity that came with the war. Many old buildings from the medieval time are still standing strong. One of them is old church of Notre Dame. The walk to the church of Notre dame from the library gave us the glimpses of the past; the time of aristocrats roamed the city of Paris. The luxurious life of the higher class of Parisians could clearly be seen from the buildings and the streets of this magnificent city. It was once used by the rich and famous of the old society. Just could not imagine how advance were the French compared to the rest of the world.
 
The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower stood as magnificent as always. I was here a couple of times before but today is different as it is the summer season. The actions were everywhere and people came in busloads from God knows where. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves in every way they please. There was live music with pretty good performance.  A fake guess- where-the-ball-under-the-cup-is pulled the crowd also. The whole thing has been a set up and I watched as they come and go. The weather was excellent and I spent long hours just sitting there experiencing the atmosphere. Notably the police and army personnel were there and when  they came those illegal

The glass floor
view from the top


traders and fake gamblers would scramble away for cover. They sold cheap souvenirs which we bought some for friends back home. As always, the photo session is a must and we have done a lot of that; this time from all angles possible. The festive atmosphere is visible from all corners of the tower, l’est, oust, nord and south ….

As the evening grew, it’s time to move and made our way back. It has been a fabulous short trip to Paris. I gained more experience and understanding of life here in Paris. The city is unique with its own characters, colors and individualism. The place where you can see people enjoy being themselves. They have their own standards and this has made British standards insignificant in every way. If London is a lively morning sunshine; Paris is an awesome endless evening.

The Paris Metro
old but still good and comfortable
 
Riding the metro is as exciting as the humming sound of the incoming carriages. Although they are old and dirty; they have played important role to keep Paris alive and kicking. The timing is excellent all the time and just could not imagine what would happen if the trains stopped for a moment. Chaos and disaster would be inevitable. Everybody seemed to ride the metro and we could see all type of people on all type of trains. They have a double-decker train which is very exciting for me to see as it snaked in and out of the platform. The engine must be very powerful to pull the carriages forward ; so are all other maintenance and support that come with it.
 
 
The system has a very loose control as I saw a lot of people squeezed themselves through the door and we don’t need to insert the ticket to leave the station. I guess the system has paid itself to cover this nonsense from a few irresponsible persons. The most enjoyable prt of riding the metro is that how easy it is for me from outside Paris to use the system; despite the fact that I don’t speak the language – the francais .

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