A day in Paris (2)

Paris Travel Blog

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(cont'd...) The first time I got my first look and awareness about Eiffel Tower and Paris, I thought of them as the embodiment of whole Europe. I knew it prior to my being aware of other equally great attractions in Europe, i.e. London Bridge, Big Ben, the Buckingham, etc. I was a kid then, so my fascination about pictures of buildings and towers was within the same range as my interests with action figures and "match box" cars were. Since then, I've always dreamed of getting to see it first-hand! And I did, and more!

After taking a much needed rest as guests to our friends place, we become energised and eventually prepared to explore the city the following day.

 We went out with the company of my cousin and a friend. Using public transit in Europe, irregardless of country, is as equally interesting and confusing at the same time. Bus, tram, or underground city trains are everywhere, moving as the people move and going to where the people go; a paradox of human urban existence that one can't get away with.    

The sun was out, but the overall weather was overcast. At that point, there's no place for cancelling any of the plans as every schedule must be followed. We only got few days in our hands before flying back home. Our city exploration was mainly a combination of everything, walking and utilizing all three public transportations I mentioned about. Whenever I got the chance to take pictures, I did it with much eagerness because everything that I saw was exceptionally beautiful and I knew that those moments were brief and we might only come back here many years from now.


I was so impressed on how those series of older apartment buildings from every street were gleaming with cleanliness, without any apparent trace of dirt and grit from a distance. I was told that Paris has even a city ordinance for mandatory periodic cleaning of buildings' facade, or property owner would find receiving an unexpected huge amount of fine.  

On our way to our first destination, aside from taking pictures, I made some mental observations along the way. One striking thing I noted, and I saw it more prevalent here as opposed to other European cities we visited are homeless people. Mostly, they were clustered on the street and train station, few were sleeping on the station ground oblivious to crowd passing by.

I even assumed that it has become their private place when I smelled repulsiveness in the air. So stale that it may have come from human urine. Graffiti inside the tunnel complex was as prevalent as those one I've seen in some places from Italy. Personally, it didn't diminish my attraction to Paris because social issues like that are everywhere, they just happened to be highly noticeable in prosperous cities like Paris.

On a positive note, a handful of buskers that we occasionally encounter helped retain the romantic impression we have with Paris. We actually had to stop at one playing marvelously with his violin; a coin or two proved handy at that moment. We moved away after the piece had ended, and half-jokingly whispered to my wife,  "That was a well-deserved parting with my coins for an endearing interpretation of "Aux Champs Elysees, wasn't it?".   

We made several transfers and automatic ticket validations before finally reaching our first spot on the list: La Basilique du Sacre Coeur de Montmartre. TO BE CONTINUED..


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photo by: Sweetski