Paris Travel Blog› entry 2 of 49 › view all entries
September 5th, 2007 – by: bvanb
That night the four of us met Adam at the shop to take the night bike tour around the central city. The ride was very pleasant and culminated with a boat ride on the Bateuax-Mouches up and down the Seine. The bridges were gorgeous all lit up and they were very different from each other. The buildings are also well lit, the coolest being the Eiffel Tower, with rich green light at the base and yellow up the tower.
Adam had the next day off so we all returned to the city center to enter Notre Dame and continued to the Petite Palais to look at art. Notre Dame filled me with great emotion, thinking of those I love and all of the people who have brought their love to the church, not to mention, the Gothic architecture and design is simply awe inspiring. We finished our tour at Luxemburg gardens, where we sat and talked over the dinner we picked up along the way. I also grabbed a custard pastry topped with raspberries and some sort of gelatin.
After the park we visited the apartment of Adam’s co-workers to watch the opening rugby game, France v. Argentina, and of course the victors, Argentina. Finally, post-game I got my chance to go salsa dancing. Peter escorted Sonja and me to La Pachanga located in the south side of the City. Once we got passed the doorman thinking Peter was a Nazi, the 8-euro cover, the cigarette smoke, and a few bad/inappropriate dancers, I had a great time and was more than excited to see how they do Cuban style in Paris. We stayed out until 4am or so and took the well-utilized night bus home.
I slept through the afternoon, waking up around 3pm to meet Ben Green, my good friend from back home in Arroyo Grande, to go to the England v. U.S.A game in Lans outside of Paris. Unfortunately though, I was late and he was mislead and confused about the train departure station and time, so we missed that opportunity. We found an Argentine café that was showing the game, although it was not much of an Argentine place as they only had flan.
The next day was still dedicated to rugby. This time Ben, Sonja, Peter, and I went to the Marias neighborhood to watch the game in a Scottish pub. The cigarette smoke was thick there, my eyes burned, my nose was freaking out, and I was all around miserable, so I mostly sat outside. This pub was the first we saw of the Scots in their kilts that would soon be taking over the area in the next couple of days for the European soccer qualifying games.
Sonja, Peter and I returned to this area nearly every day after to see the Pompidou, an amazing building, cultural center, and museum, that had all of the typically interior infrastructure on the outside. We left Peter there to look at the art, he is a painter, and continued around the area visiting Place de Vosges, the first elite residential square in European history, more failed attempts at wireless, and we finished the night with the best falafel in Paris.
The last place I visited in Paris was Park Buttes Chaumont. The park was once the City dump for refuse and human waste, until Napoleon converted it into an English garden, which are human attempts to improve upon nature. The park boasted great views from the many intertwining pathways. That night the three of us met back in the Marais with a new salsa friend named Marco, from Guatemala, for tapas and desert for my birthday.
That night I slept for a few hours and took off the next morning for Italy, which was a little stressful because everything was new and I do not necessarily have confidence in my travel skills. But I made it and it has been truly amazing. I am so relaxed and happy here.
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