The day started off with, you guessed it, more trains. This time I traveled from Luxembourg to Paris. In all honesty the trip was kind of a pain, since I had to take four separate trains to get to Paris when I could have taken only one or two. I’ll explain this more in the next post, when this kind of thing happens to me again.
Anyways, I arrived in Paris in the afternoon, bought a Paris Visite pass (allows me unlimited rides on the metro), experienced numerous difficulties with the Paris Visite pass, had a nice French girl help me explain my Paris Visite pass problems to the woman at the information desk who didn’t speak much English, finally got the Paris Visite pass to work, made it to my hostel without getting lost, and then finally, FINALLY, set about exploring Paris.
I had absolutely no idea where anything was located in Paris, so I just went with the name of metro stops as places of attractions, as is the case in London (example – Tower Hill). This worked well, and I ended up at the Louvre. I know somebody is going to freak out about this, but I didn’t go into the Louvre. Honestly I’m not a huge art fan so I didn’t really care about going to see the Mona Lisa, etc. Plus I was a bit crunched for time.
I did walk around the Louvre though, and I was pretty amazed. I had been told previously that some people have been to the Louvre many times before and still not seen everything in it because the building is so big. My response was always something along the lines of, “Yeah sure, it can’t be that big.”
Oh yeah. Yeah, it’s huge. It’s positively gargantuan. Good grief.
I walked through the Jardin des Tuileries then came to the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, which I of course recognized from the Tour de France (TdF), since the final stage of every TdF is in Paris. I started geeking out again because I could just imagine all the cyclists flying past and all the people crowded along the street, and it made me a little sad that I can’t be there this year when I’m so close. Oh well, some day I will make it there.
From the end of the Avenue des Champs-Élysées I could see the Arc de Triomphe, at the opposite end of the avenue. I thought to myself, oh hey it looks pretty close, I’ll just walk there.
It wasn’t that close. I stopped at one point and got a hot dog since I was starving, and I must say that the bread used for the hot dog was excellent. Far better than the normal buns used. Mmmm. French bread. I continued to walk for a darn long time, and by the end, I wished that I had just taken the metro down to the other end of the avenue. Well, lesson learned.
I took the metro over to Les Invalides then walked to Pont Alexander III, a beautiful bridge that crosses the Seine. From there I took another hike over to the Eiffel Tower. By this time I was hungry again, so I bought a crepe with chocolate and strawberries and then sat down in a patch of grass between the Seine and the Eiffel Tower to eat it. About halfway through the crepe, I received some company in the form of a few sparrows. These are not your average sparrows. These are the sparrows that are completely unafraid of people because they are fed so many scraps by young children. As a result, they’re really annoying. The sparrows came within inches of me and hardly budged when I tried to shoo them away. I told them that I had paid a lot for my crepe and that I wasn’t intending on sharing any of it with them, but they still refused to leave.
Eventually they flew away and I thought I would have peace and quiet to enjoy the rest of my crepe. A few moments later, however, one of the sparrows dive-bombed my crepe. Only my lightning fast reflexes saved the crepe from being stolen by the sparrow.
The sparrows continued to pester me until some teenagers standing some meters away from me made a loud banging noise. The noise scared the sparrows away, and I was allowed to finish the rest of my crepe without hiding it from any lurking sparrows.
After dinner I went back to the hostel. I took off my shoes and socks to discover the most massive blister I have ever seen on one of my toes. I’ve seen a lot of blisters before, but I was still horrified by its size. I found another blister on the same toe of the opposite foot, though thankfully this one was of a normal size.
Stupid toes. I had built up nice calluses on them after all the walking I did in England and Ireland, but unfortunately they wore off and so now I get to form new calluses all over again.
I tried to take a picture of the most massive blister the world has ever seen, but unfortunately none of them turned out. You’ll just have to take my word for it that it was a giant among blisters.
Later that night I met a lovely British girl staying in my room, so we chatted for a while. I also discovered that my hostel didn’t have free WiFi, which is partially why I got so behind on posts. I went to bed early since I was tired after so much walking and didn’t stir throughout the entire night.
The calm before the storm that was to come…
P.S. Sorry for the Pont Alexander III picture vomit, but it was a gorgeous bridge and I just kept finding more and more pictures of it that I liked.