Monday, November 13, 2006
On to Gay Paree ~ or ~ How Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm?
Our train from Zurich reached the Paris station around 10 pm, and the first thing we saw was the fabled Orient Express. I would never have recognized it except that I read about it and saw photos not long ago on a blog. We shamelessly peered through the windows (well, at least I did) and fantasized about how a trip on this train might be different from the one from which we just debarked....LOL
Was it ever fancy! But that's a dream for another lifetime.
We were going to take a subway to our hotel, but we couldn't find the entrance (nor anyone who spoke English), so since it was late, we took a taxi. I thought the taxis in Rome were fast, but the ones in Paris could race them neck and neck. The three of us were crowded into the back seat of a rather small car, which was racing wildly through the streets. We wondered if the driver was leading us on a circular wild goose chase to run up the fare. But soon we saw La Defense, the modern business district (photos below) and the Grande Arche de la Defense, the city's celebration of the bicentennial of the French Revolution.
The Arch de Triomphe, against a brilliant blue sky, is a sight to behold. Commissioned by Napoleon after the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805, it was completed in 1836. Twelve avenues radiate from this spot., including the Champs-Elysees.
While we were there, a group of Asian men were running wildly, and at first we thought there might have been a robbery. Then we saw the movie cameras following the action. I doubt I will ever see that movie, but it was nice to view some of the action.
Scroll down to see more photos. Comments open at the bottom of the post.