I LOVE PAREE
Paris is of course symbolized by the Eiffel Tower. We were heading for Paris on the 4th day of our Tour of Europe with Eiffel Tower already etched in our mind. You will never be considered to have seen Paris if you have not reached this icon of Paris even though there are many other structures that are far older and grandiose than this steel tower. With more than 200,000,000 paid visitors having visited this tower since it's construction in 1889, visiting it is definitely a must. This tower is the world most popular paid visit in the world.
Along the way to Paris from Lucerne in Switzerland, the landscape in the countryside was again undulating land covered with green plants. Many of us had been askance as what plant they are and none in the bus could provide the answer including Eddy the German bus driver. Looking at the bales of grasses being harvested, I could surmise that they were grasses planted to be made into fodder to be fed to the cattle during winter. The only difference is that the bales are being wrapped in plastic which I presume is to help in the transportation back to the barn where the grasses must be dried to make hay that can last the winter.
A tractor cutting the grass with a chateu in the background.
Bales of grasses.
Free grazing cattles. Eddy said this breed of cattles are reared for their meat and he said they are steak on hoofs.
Cattles grazing in a field of yellow flowering plants presumably of the leguminous variety which is different from the gramminae family of grasses.
Still a long way to go before reaching Paris.
We stopped for lunch and Fatthiyah prepared our lunch comprising of rice with the usual stuff of sambal daging, sambal tumis and salted egg which seemed to last due to the cool weather.
Finally we reached our hotel in Paris. The hotel is called Classic Hotels. I can't even tell which part of Paris it was located. The address is Galeries Lafayette, 40 BD HAUSSMANN - PARIS.
Since there was still some daylight left, we did not waste time by staying in the room. We went looking around the area near the hotel. This shop attracted the attention of my other half.
These bicycles caught my attention. They are similar in design and make and all were attached to a pole. Later I found out that you can subscribe to this service which entitle you to pick up any bicycle, use them and leave them at any of such similar stations. So the safety and maintainence of such bicycle will be none of your worries.
This is one of the hotels with free wifi connection from the room and I managed to get online to check my mails but was too tired to make any postings.
An early breakfast for our group.
The ladies were eager to see Paris. The bus driver had to park very far from the hotel as there was no bus parking area nearby so it took sometimes for him to get to the hotel.
The group hanging around near Eiffel Tower while the Tour Leader went to buy our tickets. The group tickets were booked a month in advance by Alina the point to point Tour Guide in Paris. Alina is a Malaysian residing in Paris. If it was not booked early, we will have to join the long queue to buy the ticket. As a group visitor we were allowed the privilege to go up the tower at a specific hour. In our case it was 10.30 AM.
One for the album. Hey I was finally there in front of Eiffel Tower!
Another one with Paris in the background.
This is the River Seine. Look at the colour of the water. In Malaysia, we need some computer wizards to make the water look blue. Here it is the natural color of water.
Another view of Paris.
A sightseeing bus with an open top is common in Europe. A bus with covered top will be used for the winter.
Place de la Concorde was seen from the bus as there was no place to park the bus. All the pictures were shot through the bus window. Fortunately the glass window was clean.
How I wish we could have stopped here.
Louis Vuitton was passed by without stopping. Anyway I didn't miss it since the price of things at such stores were beyond people like me.
The Arc De Triomphe in the center of the Place Charles De Gaulle. It is one of the wellknown monuments in Paris.
Could it be the Opera House? I am not sure myself as I just shoot at it without taking any notes.
I caught the site of the sphires of this building while taking the river cruise. Could it be the famous Notre Dame? I read the Hunchback of Notre Dame for my English Literature while in Form 4 in 1967. I wanted to visit it while in Paris but there wasn't much chance to do that.
When I took this shot, I felt guilty that I was stealing shots of people not related to me so I called out to my other half who waved at me for the second shot.
The pretty lass tried to make way for my other half.
This building was painted with all the well known figures of France. Even at night this building and all the others along the cruise route can be visible as banks of powerful floodlight mounted on both sides of the cruise boats will light up the buildings. It would be fun to take a night cruise.
For bargain hunters, this part of Paris is well known to offer souvenir items at a relatively lower price. Do ask for a discount as a 10 percent discount is always given when you asked for it. Most of the shops were operated by people of Arabic descent. The one that we shopped in was managed by Hassan of Moroccan descent. Here Pak Zawi bought an Italian cap as Pak Zawi already has several French caps oops French beret at home.
In the back lanes behind this shopping area was the redlight area. Go there at your own risk as pickpockets are rampant.
The Tour Guide tried looking for a perfume outlet. Most of the outlets were closed as it was a holiday in France. Anyway she managed to bring us to the Hard Rock Cafe outlet as there were among us who collected Hard Rock T shirts wherever they visited.
A mama rocker posing in front of Hard Rock Cafe in Paris.
That night some of us wanted to see the light show at the Eiffel Tower. Since there were only about 10 of us, we took the tube to Eiffel Tower.
On the train they befriended this lady and tried to struck up a conversation. It didn't lead up to much as her English wasn't good enough to allow us to understand what she was trying to say even though she tried very hard to communicate. She was definitely very friendly.
Trying to photograph oneself touching the tip of Eiffel Tower was a common sight. We just followed suit. Unfortunately the result wasn't so good. Thanks to the half hearted attempt by the camera man.
The sight of an old Citroen caught my sight. Hey beside the Peugeot, France produces the Citroen. This car can lift itself using its hydraulic system. The car is so well balanced it can be driven with just 3 wheels! Believe me as I have seen it.
They seemed bored waiting. We were there at around 7 PM and the show will only begin at 10.00 PM when darkness started to fall. I was not bored as I was busy taking these photographs below.
The silhouette of a statue against the fading sky.
The statue of a naked boy with the details intact.
Of course there was also that of a girl.
It was while photographing this statue that I heard loud murmurs from a few thousand people behind me when the show started. I caught it on stll cameras as well as on video. Unfortunately I don't know how to load the video.
This one is on still camera.
You can visit this site to see a video of the Eiffel Tower light show.
You can read Kak teh's take on Paris here