Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Paris is overrated I think...

Maybe it's the time of year that I'm visiting, but I think that Paris is a little overrated. I think so far London is winning out in terms of awesomeness. Today the Eiffel Tower basically took up the majority of my day. Waiting in line to ride up on a huge monument kind of spoiled the experience for me overall. But I did take some cool pictures, but the crowds drove me a bit bonkers.

I then bumbled my way onto the RER out to Versailles to see the chateau of Louie the XVI and Marie Antoinette, but I arrived too late in the day to really have a decent experience there and so I decided to wander into the local tourist shop and buy some tickets for tomorrow. I plan to get up super early and head out there in the early morning on the train. The chateau from the font was beautiful beyond compare though, despite my bad mouthing of it.

I think tomorrow if I have time I'll try to visit the Mussee D'orsay. And then maybe grab some Opera tickets if they are cheap and there is something that I would like to see. I am having a problem with trying to be frugal here. Paris and London are both pretty expensive and I feel like my money is burning a hole in my pocket. Hopefully I will be able to see everything and still have some money led over for other things. We will see, I need to do some budgeting to see have much I have been burning through and how much I will have left to spend.

On the way back from Versailles I met another woman traveling alone named Hidemi, she lives in Honalulu Hawaii and was just the nicest person. We chatted a little about traveling and about where both of us have been in and outside of the US.

There are a lot of immigrants here from various parts of Africa, it's heartbreaking to see so many of them strugglig with work and obviously poor. Many coming to France and hoping for a better life. Catherine was telling me the other day that Nicholas Sarkozy is of the mindset to send all of them back to Africa, since many of the workers are undocumented here. It reminds me of the very similar problem going on in the US. You see them here at the tourist sites selling water, souveniers, cheap plastic goods and other things. Their activities are illegal but no one really tells them to stop or arrest them, since really they are just trying to get by.

I had my first really day yesterday of feeling pretty alone. I was weird, it's definitely an interesting experience being in a country where the primary language spoken is not English. I heard once that to non English speakers that English sounds a bit like quacking, which I think is hilarious and probably very true. You really do feel like you're in a bubble, but hand gestures, facial expressions and an effort to understand breach the language barrier just fine. Most people in Paris speak English anyway, so getting around is easy.

Right now I'm unsure wether I want to go to Spain next or Switzerland. I know that Spain will most likely be ridiculously hot, which is not fun at all. But Switzerland and the Alps might be a great next visit, with which I can then descend into Italy and hit Rome and Florence. I also want to visit a few of the towns in between to see what they are like.

Hope everyone is good back home, bonuir!

1 comment:

  1. I loved Spain! Segovia, Toledo, Madrid & Bilbao are all awesome and mostly to the North 1/2 of spain, just don't talk about the Basque people, or so I was always told. Have fun! <3