As I expected, I was first to bed last night and there was a new room-mate in addition to the Italian. Never saw him or heard him so zero details.
Morning came too fast. I woke 20 minutes before my alarm and lay there trying to get that last bit of sleep to no avail. I probably could have slept later, but having come VERY close in the past, I just can’t do it anymore Still, one hour after the bus left I was checked in and through security. Two hours to kill… To rub salt in the wound, the flight was delayed. I wasn’t surprised, the fog was quite thick and still was when we took off. The delay was due to the incomng flight taking longer.
Getting here, I went through a lite version of pasport control. I guess because I was coming from another EU country. I mean lite as in I filled out zero and they only glanced at my passport. Wait, I may not have done much more when I went to Italy. LOL
Getting from the airport wasn’t as easy as others told me. That or I am half asleep. The train was straightforward. Finding the connection to the Paris Metro at Gare de Nord, that was the confusing part. I finally found it, fed my ticket into the gate and had some jackal jump the turnstile in front of me trying to use my ticket! Well, he got in but I steamrolled over him to make sure I made it through the same turn of the gate. The look of shock on his face was worth it.
A few stops later and I was in Montmartre… My thoughts on Paris just from that exposure (trains to here) was cesspool. I try not to have kneejerk reactions but that’s where I was. I had (and have) seen more grafitti than I’ve seen anywhere else. And were not talking pretty murals here, most of it is ugly tagging. I think I saw a Parisian grandmother standing in her garden tagged by the local hoods.
After getting settled in I headed out. Took in a little of Momtmartre which didn’t help my opinion. Crowded, rude… I’ll stop before this turns into a gripefest…
I eventually made my way to the metro with the intent to find my way to the Eiffle Tower. I needed to change stations and somehow missed the correct turn and the next thing I knew u was past the gates. Dang! How did this happen!?
Well I was at the station for Notre dame Cathedral so I figured i’d have a look and walk the River Seine a while. Actually at this point looking at the map, it didn’t appear so far to the tower.. Right, I did walk it but I don’t recommend it for anyone who is not anxious for cardio, particularly in the winter when sitting down isn’t enticing.
So I do have this to say for Paris. At night, when the grafitti mostly fades into the shadows, and the lights come up, it’s fairly pretty. For the only time really on this trip I accutely missed my tripod. I can make do without it, but this is a city it would be outstanding to have on hand.
I did eventually get to the Eiffel tower and it is awe striking. I would have gone up but the top level was closed. Hoping just because it was so late. I’ll try again.
On the way back, I more or less got my bearings with the metro, navigating the stations, by no means to say I know the routes, etc yet. Nor will I probably know much of it in five days from now.
I’ll try to take in Paris at face value for the test of the trip without baggage from today, but I’m definitely getting the feeling at heart, this city and my rhythm are not in sync. Just as some probably visit cities I love and don’t love them, I am not enamored so far by this one. There’s still time.