A first impression never goes away (1)

Paris Travel Blog

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East station

"Aux Champs-Elysées, aux Champs-Elysées, Au soleil, sous la pluie, à midi ou à minuit, Il y a tout ce que vous voulez aux Champs-Elysées" - from Joe Dassin's "Aux Champs Elysees". Our early evening walk along Champs Elysees Boulevard was nothing short of romantic. Moreover, I could say that our Paris experience has become the centrepiece of our European tour.

It was already past seven in the evening in Paris when we alighted from our train that departed from Luxembourg City hour or so earlier. The Gare De L'est, which is situated in the east side of Paris is a huge central train station. It is wide and big. Looking around and observing those shops further away from the train concourse and close to the main station entrance at the opposite side, the station could be mistaken for a strip of mall.

Gare De L'est
Not all of the shops were open, but few were at that time. Had it not been for what I thought were original structures of the station (aside of course from rail tracks and train themselves ha ha!) - like this huge decorative circular glass window above the entrance wall, the almost-artisan carved gigantic arched entrances with classic embossed letterings on top indicating a year or a name - I was not sure, and the classy marble (or granite) flooring all over the station; the oversized square-faced digital LED clockpost continuously showing off by flashing its fiery red numbers to every traveller passing by; those strategically-located modern information booths; and at the south-end where a well-lighted and busy central ticketing office is located, I would made it only but a modern and a bit neoclassical shopping centre.
at the lobby
  The visual appeal for a synergetic attempt of its design made this station look outstanding to me.            

As my wife and I were waiting for our friend to pick us up, we just agreed to sit on a bench facing the wide open entrance. From there, I felt the cold air gushing in. It was gentle and cold, but less (as compare to a wintertime in Canada!). Looking outside from where we're sitting, I looked up above past the glass window and saw an orange-hued colour spread throughout that evening sky indicating lively and highly urbanised activities the city of Paris may have been enjoying that night. That iridescent colour mutely brushed off the darkness brought about by evening sky over the city, and the colour became stronger as soon as my gaze level off to the city's skyline which was characterised by an interesting outline of assortment of city's buildings and structures.

Hotel Concorde - La Fayette

The light snow I noticed from the outside falling to the ground gave me an almost surreal perspective of the city and enforced my long-time held understanding of what Paris is. Against a backdrop of some neon- and incandescent-inspired lightings displayed to ornament the facade of a hotel across the street, the free-falling snow that reeled in slow motion before my captivated eyes built the picture I've been drawing upon Paris: the City of Lights. It would proved later on - as you will see from my succeeding journals, that Paris, indeed is right to be called by that name. TO BE CONTINUED...

 

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East station
East station
Gare De Lest
Gare De L'est
at the lobby
at the lobby
Hotel Concorde - La Fayette
Hotel Concorde - La Fayette
Champs Elysees boulevard
Champs Elysees boulevard
Eiffel tower at night
Eiffel tower at night
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photo by: Sweetski