Wednesday, October 05, 2005

An Evening in Paris

We walked around the fashion street of Paris. The streets were filled with expensive stores – think of a designer and you would probably see that store on that street. Our heads reeled at the prices so we sensibly stopped looking at the prices and then started admiring the clothes, watches, shoes, accessories and whatnot with greater peace of mind. We even went to the Gallerie la Fayette, which is THE shopping mall in Paris though we didn’t do much except look around after going there.

We went to the National Opera, and stood in line for some cheap last minute tickets. Unfortunately, they were sold out just two places ahead of us. Though the guys running the show must have been relieved about that because we were the only ones in jeans and sneakers – the rest of the crowd was dressed in suits, skirts and fine dresses and adorned with gold watches and jewelry.

We then walked along the Champs Elysees, which, for a reason I still cannot comprehend, is the city’s most famous street. Apart from high pseud factor, there doesn’t seem anything to distinguish that street from others. The street leads to the Arc d Triomphe, which is a larger, grander version of the India Gate and serves the same purpose. It is an impressive building and we climbed up the close to 300 stairs to view how it felt to be in the centre of the world’s largest traffic roundabout – but after the view from the Eiffel Tower, every other view of a city by the night has been ruined.

One can imagine that our feet were swollen and our bodies dead by the time we got back to the youth hostel. Yet, we got up early the next morning and set off for the cheap shopping district. The first shop we went to had some very cheap and fashionable stuff – all of which were ‘Made in Bangaldesh’. After some more searching, we came across some reasonably priced stroes whose products were not made in Asia and I went on a spree till I started converting my purchases into Indian rupees.

We finally set back for the airport where our rented car was waiting for us. However, our pleasure at the thought of having mastered the Paris public transport system was ruined when we boarded the wrong train and had to get down, retrace our route to some distance and catch another train. Trust me, the system is quite complicated and just when you think you’ve got the hang of it, something like this happens. We did reach the airport, an hour late, and set out for Brussels, and after some amazing driving in heavy traffic and rain, we reached Brussels, returned the car and I went home and slept like a baby.

A couple of observations about the city:
Atleast half of the city’s population must be non-Caucasian.
All the buildings have that old European look, including the ones that have been built recently. You will hardly find any ugly glass and chrome structures. That’s what makes the city so beautiful
The Eiffel Tower is an extremely ugly structure which mars the city’s landscape by the day. At night, it is at the centre of the magic that is Paris.

All in all, I thought Paris was a crazy, chaotic, amazing, magnificent, charming and magical city. I loved it!!!


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CalVEiN said...

ramyaz going places....amazing onez at that...sorry for not posting all the while, been busy and when i see ur blog after a month, u r at paris !!!

"some pics plsss !"

pm said...

Looks like you are having a very nice time. I just started packing and it is not such an enjoyable experience.. Moreover, I hate shoppoing too :-(.

And hey, why did you knock off an year from your age? You are not 40 yet.

pm said...

Don't you think the french have a very cute accent, even when they carry it over to english?

James said...

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Anonymous said...

what the hell going in brusells .... no posts ???

Anonymous said...

Speaking of youth hostels, anyone know what happened to Backpack Earth? I was getting ready to book my entire trip and the site is half down it looks way different. Anyone?

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