Saturday, September 15, 2007

Day 2 - Paris... Arc de Triump, Champs Elysseé, Ferris wheel, Trouffles and the Louvre

September 12, 2007

Woke up after noon, needed some rest after no sleep the day before, Stairmaster Notre Dame and workout a la Eiffel ;) Guess the travel took it's toll too. Auréllion left a cute note and the keys to his appartment before he left (man he's cool). I had some breakfast and then it was time to continue my tour of Paris.

My first stop was the Victory Arch or Arc de Triumph. It was the same there as with Notre Dame, Stairmaster time :D You have to walk up the steps and I'm so glad that I'm in good shape cause I had all my luggage with me (a single backpack weighing 12 kgs....hehehehe....for 4 months) and these steps are really narrow. Another amazing view awaited me and I must say that even though I had already been at 2 view spots in Paris that this did in no way make this place any less. If you go to Paris you have to go here. Met some really nice people from Estonia and I must say that I'd like to go there sometime after meeting them.

Then it was time to walk down the Champs Elysseé (think I'm spelling it right), THE famous street in Paris. The only store I went into (or even wanted to go into) was the Disney Store. It was great fun and I almost started playing with all the toys there ;)

When I had gone down the street and paroused the people there, then I saw a beautiful waterfountain surrounded with trees and kids playing and I decided to have a small picnic. I had some French Cheese with me and bread and fruit and I sat down on a the bench in front of the waterfountain and enjoyed the sun while eating. It was a really really nice experience.

Next on the list, after meeting Irish people and them taking a picture of me and the Egyptian needle, was going on the Ferris wheel. In Icleand a Ferris wheel is actually called a Paris wheel so I had to go on it. They wouldn't let me go alone so I went with 2 mexican women who lived in the States. Great talking with them and if you are reading my blog please remind me sometime to send them the picture I took of them. After I got off the Ferris wheel there was a woman begging for money and I somehow felt that she was diffent so I gave her some money but then I asked her if she wanted some food too. She said yes and I gave her the rest of my cheese, bread, water and fruit. When I went into the garden that comes after the Ferris wheel there is a ledge you can go on that overlooks the places I had been. There I saw her and her 4 children and possible her mother eating the bread and drinking the water and I felt so happy seeing them....I just don't know how to describe the feeling!!! Then the woman saw me and pointed me out to her mother and they all smiled to me, not as good as seeing them eat the food but a really good feeling indeed.

Next on the agenda was walking through the garden and then of course it was time for Mr. Bergmann to get hustled ;) Hehehe. I met a guy from Kenya who tried to stop me and as I always do when I see hustlers or sales people I just say no thank you and keep walking but he said: "No I am artist...this just for me!" and I actually bought it...hehehehe!!! He made me a bracelet on the spot from strings with the colors of Kenya, said that it was Kenyan Viagra. I was so out of it after talking to him that when he said give me some money I just reached into my pocket. He said give me some notes and I'll give you change. He wanted 15 euro for it....I just said no. I ended up "bargaining" him down to 5 euros, still a lot of money but a cheep lesson I have to say for getting hustled ;) and a great memory at that and now I'm going to wear that bracelet since it is a good reminder and kind of cool :D

Then on to the Louvre. The Louvre is huge but I was prepared for it. I actually have to say that it's smaller then I thought it would be. I had 45 minutes alone before Rachel, the couchsurfing host I had for that night, came. I went to see the Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa and actually saw a lot of beautiful paintings before Rachel got there. Then I found out the important info....this was Rachels (age 29) first time at the Louvre. I invited her to the Louvre and then when I found this out I was sooooo glad that I decided to invite her :D It took a guy from Iceland sleeping on her couch for her to go see the Louvre. I kept her ticket at the information desk. The girls there were really great and gave Rachel her ticket when she came....nothing but love to you girls. Looking at the Louvre was really great and it's so good to have finally been there. We saw paintings, jeweles, sculptures, sphinxes and soooo much more. I know my way around now, I knew exactly where to go to show Rachel the Venus de Milo and Mona Lisa :D

Then we went home to Rachels flat and she schooled me for the morning after. She was amazingly wonderful and such a great host. I'm so glad she decided to host me. Her appartment is wonderful, pictures of her all around the appartment doing all sorts of amazing things. I met her cat and the cat slept in the living room with me. Thank you Rachel, it was great meeting you. Bon nui ;)

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