Monday, May 01, 2006

Bonjour Paris!

After a long flight from Ottawa via Heathrow I arrived in Paris. It was about 15:00 hrs. The only point of interest during the entire flight was when I happened to look out the window and spot the white cliffs of Dover. I immediately snapped a pic and started up Eric Johnson's Cliffs of Dover on my Dell DJ. Tres cool.

Caught a cab to my hotel, Hameau de Passy, and after unpacking a few things and snapping a couple of photos of the room (before it got too messy) I took a 30 minute power nap. At about 19:00 I gave my StatCan colleague a call and together we headed north to see the Arc de Triomphe.

For perspective, note the people at the bottom.

After a few pics we strolled down the Champs d'Elysee looking for a place to eat. We settled on beer and pizza. I ordered a curry chicken pizza and a pint of 1664 (a French staple). Yum.

FYI, the Louvre is at the far end of the Champ d'Elysee.

From there we headed back up to the Arc de Triomphe to check it out under the glow of several spotlights. Man this thing is big. Snapped a few more pics and then headed back in the direction of the river and the Eiffel Tower.

A couple of cute girls took this pic for me. I returned the favour.

Every hour the Eiffel Tower lights up with a million little lights flickering on and off like fireworks.

For an idea of what the traffic is like around the Arc check out this video clip taken from the top of the Arc de Triomphe (37sec). Chaos or not, I did not see one single accident during my entire stay in Paris.

Time to head back to the hotel and get some rest. Tomorrow we tour the left bank including Napoleon's Tomb, the Latin Quarter, Notre Dame Cathedral, and Saint Serverin.


Other links of interest:

If you still want more of Paris check out these video clips I found using Google's video search:
A Week in Paris: Arc de Triomphe (12min)
A Week in Paris: Napoleon's Tomb (10min)
A Week in Paris: Notre Dame de Paris (11min)

Or this interesting footage of some psycho in his go-kart slamming it around Paris at 5am (8min). How he doesn't get hit is beyond me.

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