Sunday, December 17, 2006

Paris Trip - Day 2

After a long evening/night's sleep, the second day in Paris began. We decided to get a museum pass to make sure we make the most of the various museums in Paris. Most of the museums in Paris charge a fee to visit but the museum pass lets you visit them (not all though) at a very economical price. There are 2-day, 4-day etc. museum passes. We thought that we could get the museum pass in the metro station, but then our hotel front desk lady told us that is not so. She suggested that we go to a store called FNAC (which is like a Borders or Barnes & Noble) and so we made our way to the store. This store is in a mall called Chatelet de Halles and the corresponding metro station is right next to the mall. I thought it was a neat idea to have the mall and the metro station so close. So anyway, we go to this store and then find out that they have stopped selling the museum tickets now. So the lady at that store suggested we go to the nearby museum of modern arts called Pompidou Center to get the museum pass. We made our way to that museum (we unintentionally took a detour ...... read we got lost) and got our tickets finally. They let you use the museum pass whenever you want and so we decided to start using it from the next day as we had already blown half of the day. We had got a 2-day pass and so we could use it for any two consecutive days.

It was close to lunch time and we decided to eat at a small creperie (a place where they make all kinds of crepes). They had more then twenty different kinds of crepes. The word "oeuf" was in lots of the crepes and I did not know what it was. So I was making signs with my hands asking the guy what oeuf was and then he bends down and brings an egg and flamboyantly says "oeuf". It was quite funny. And then I thought jambon meant jam but then when I learnt it really meant ham, I didn't get that one. A crepe is like a thin pancake or dosa and can be stuffed any ingredient from simple sugar to Grand Marnier. The most popular crepe is with Nutella, which is a chocolaty jam. Crepe and cafe au lait made for a hearty lunch that day. I was getting anxious that we had spent day and a half in Paris and had not seen anything other than Bastille and oeuf!

We made our way to Eiffel Tower. The whole area by the Eiffel is very nice. There are lots of beautiful places and restaurants and shops to see and they are all by the Seine river. Anything by a river seems extra beautiful to me. It was surprising that we could not see the Eiffel till we were somewhat close to it. It was raining when we got to Eiffel, and I took a look at it and didn't think it was anything special. It just seemed like a metal tower, even a bit less impressive than the St.Louis arch. The rain and gloomy day might have got something to do with it but still I expected Eiffel to woo me and it didn't. At least, not then.

We walked around some and then took a boat ride on the Seine river. It was getting dark and so it was a good time as the lights were coming on everywhere. The tour was multilingual and so we had to listen carefully not to miss the english part, as otherwise we wouldn't know what we are seeing! During the boat ride, Eiffel Tower came into view and this time it was magnifient and romantic. The only difference is that all the lights on the tower was on now. The difference in the tower is like night and day! I couldn't take my eyes of the Eiffel this time and couldn't get enough of it. Just wonderful. We did not take the picture below but this coveys the difference, I think.

Later, when we were standing on top of the Arc de Triomphe, we saw that the lights on Eiffel Tower were twinkling (called champagne fireworks) and that made it more beautiful. This twinkling only happens for a few minutes on the hour.
After the boat ride, we decided to call it a day as it was raining and getting cold. So we had a nice quiet meal at an Italian restaurant where nobody spoke any english. After dinner, we headed back to the hotel with tired legs but hearty spirit after having seen some fantastic sights.

1 comment:

Raman said...

One who travels world over gets to meet with people of different culture, language, food habits, and life style and those exposures give better perspective about our own beliefs and lifestyle.

I happened to taste Crepe in one of the parties and that is a good one for any occasion.

Although we naturally keep looking for places and restaurants that we are used to; you are an exception that you kept looking for change and ultimate sensation in tourism.