Paris - Pre-Tournament

Paris Travel Blog

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The Eiffel Tower - you can't really tell, but it was sparkling like champagne...beautiful...

My sister and I spent 2 and a half days speed-sightseeing in Paris prior to shipping off to Marseille for the first All Blacks game.  I won't bore anyone with my observations of a city practically everyone has visited. All I'll say is this:

1. Parisians are marginally nicer than they're made out to be; 2. Beware the subterranean portion of the Louvre - it's been converted from hallowed ground into a frighteningly sanitized American-style mall, complete with Swarovski and Starbucks (though I confess I didn't mind the Starbucks too much - France is tough on those of us accustomed to portable coffee); 3. Montemartre is nothing like 'Amelie'; and 4. the French can't party to save their lives (sorry if I offend but it's painfully true.

..more on this later)

On a more personal level, the highlight of this leg of our journey was the second night when we went to an Aussie pub on the Rue St. Denis and ran into some guys from the New Zealand Defence Force who gave us CDs and Kiwi pins and took us out for drinks.  Nothing like teaching a 220 lbs ex-rugby player dressed in a 'Men in Black' suit how to dance to Shakira...

Low point: finding out  before the opening game that the Viewing Village in front of the Eiffel Tower wasn't a village but a white wedding tent equipped with flat screen tvs, an Italian bistro, and a cocktail lounge.  We all ended up sitting in civilized fashion on the carpet like kindergardners at storytime.  The one guy intent on enjoying himself, blowing a trumpet and cheering, was quickly hushed up.  A girl sitting next to us whispered derisively: He's from the south...Whatever, we were rooting for Argentina anyway...

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The Eiffel Tower - you cant reall…
The Eiffel Tower - you can't real…
My first Richie encounter inside t…
My first Richie encounter inside …
Making a mess of my rum baba
Making a mess of my rum baba
In front of the Notre Dame
In front of the Notre Dame
Cafe Oz...the street outside was e…
Cafe Oz...the street outside was …
French fans being very hospitable …
French fans being very hospitable…
My encounter with the New Zealand …
My encounter with the New Zealand…
Paris
photo by: Sweetski