Thursday, May 14, 2009

Paradisical Paris

The hostel in Paris was pretty good, in fact it would have to rate as the best I've stayed in. The bunks were very solid and built onto the walls, each bed had a light, two power points, a curtains and a large drawer underneath. The room had lots of space and was very clean. The price for all this though, was the price. €25 a night, and the restaurant downstairs was pricey too. I arrived at around 5pm Wednesday afternoon and bludged around at the hostel all evening.

On Thursday I started out by taking a free walking tour. Also taking the tour were Elvis and Mel, the couple I'd met in Nice, a Brazilian named Mattheus, a Chilean whose name we never got, and a bunch of others. Our guide was an Australian girl named Spike (it was not made clear if that was a first name or a last name). The tour started at St Michel, a fountain near Notre Dame with a statue of the Archangel Michael defeating Lucifer. We then crossed the river onto the Ile de la Cite and walked along the Seine to the Ponte Neuf, crossed the river again, continued down the Seine a bit more to the artist's bridge which we crossed and then entered the Louvre complex. We passed through the Louvre and onto the Palace Royal, followed by one of the fancy shopping streets. Needless to say, I did not buy anything there.

Lunch was at a sandwich shop that was alright, but a little pricey. After lunch we took in the Tuilleries, the Concorde, Champs Elysees, and finished up near the Grand and Petite Palaces.

After the tour finished I went to the Arc de Triomphe with Mattheus and a few other people from South America who had gone on the tour. The Arc de Triomphe was huge. I was expecting something on the scale of the Arch of Constantine, but it was at least three times the size. I did not go up top at this time. After the Arc we went to see the Eiffel Tower. We sat in a park across the river from for a while just basking in the view.

We split up at around 5, with Mattheus, the Chilean and I catching the Metro to Montmarte for another walking tour, although this one was not free. Our guide was again Spike, and Mel and Elvis were also on this tour. The tour took in the many sites in Montmarte including haunts of artists like Picasso, locations from the movie Amelie, the work of the space invader guy, the last vineyard in Paris, and of course the Sacre-Coeur, which was close to the end of the tour. After the end of the tour, Mel, Elvis, Mattheus and I went back to the Sacre-Coeur to see the night view of Paris which was pretty good. Then we had dinner at a fondue restaurant that served the drinks in baby bottles. It was a very good meal of meat fondue and cheese fondue.

200904237236.JPGMe in front of some metal contraption.
200904237262.JPGThe lovely tour guide Spike

1 comment:

Nicolas said...

Oh you're in Paris ! I live there. The most beautiful city in the world, no hesitation :)
You seem to have seen all monuments there.
Too bad i just saw your post, you're probably gone. Otherwise i would have brang you to my favorite wine bar, Chez Georges, around Mabillon subway station. Maybe you went there, very international place.
Nicolas (a guy you met in Kiev)