Thursday, May 01, 2008

Paris (part 1)

The Hotel Yllen Eiffel does indeed have a view of the tower if you lean out of the window. 'Une vue spectaculaire!' as one passer-by sarcastically said, when he saw me taking this photo. We exchanged grins.

It is also built above a constantly rumbling Metro and beside a self-important crossroads, but then all crossroads in Paris seem to be busy, and all their little motorcycles seem to buzz around like very loud and angry wasps, and even though my room was directly above the canopy to the left, I slept quite well. In the early hours even Paris sleeps, and the rumble of the underground acquires the comforting familiarity of thunder, and I was grateful to hear it.

Since I arrived early (having set off for the airport at 5.00 am) I decided to dump my stuff in my hotel room and head off into town, towards the tower. Like most streets of cities those of Paris are fairly dingy with a ubiquitous pale stone or rendering. There were some I found interesting though,
like this tall triangular structure which seemed to be a remnant of something larger,

and the contents of some of the windows caught my attention (like these poor escargots spotted in a shop selling culinary delicacies)

then, as I reached the wealthier parts, there were boulevards of chestnuts and lilac,

and a park with more exotic-looking flowers, apparently shifting in the breeze, but which on closer inspection turned out to be a party of schoolchildren with identical orange hats, oddly quiet, clustering for food on the banks of a park.

And then, of course, there was this:

La Tour Eiffel. In the night I would glimpse it lit in a spectacular laser display that throbbed as much as the pictures of microbes I'd see in a lecture mid-afternoon. And from underneath it seemed creature-like too; its ladders and struts, boards and reinforcing rods, like cilia, and the sometimes geometric outlines of cells.


Blogger JL said...

I am jealous beyond imagination. I never made it to Paris.

You lucky duck.

Thu May 01, 10:12:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey JL: Now I have never been to Wisconsin! To me Wisconsin is far more exotic than Paris! But Paris is pretty good I have to say, and well worth a look if you're ever close...

Thu May 01, 10:19:00 pm  
Blogger Susanna said...

looks like you had a splindid get a way.

who needs some high falutin party anyway. Your fans just loved seeing you on your blog.

I love your pictures of the towes. I wish I could go to paris, when I was France we just drove around the burgandy (sp?) reigion and got purposfully lost and before we knew it we were in Germany. But I would love to see Paris just for the history, boring but true. I am just a nerd like that

Fri May 02, 01:13:00 am  
Blogger Susanna said...

oops menat tower!

Fri May 02, 01:14:00 am  
Blogger Kay Cooke said...

Wow - thanks for the first day's tour! Looking forward to reading more about the stay - thinking of you!

Fri May 02, 08:27:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Susangalique: I think you should go to Paris some day - I really think you'd love it, there's so much to see. I just want to go back now because when I caught the bus back to the airport I realised there was so much more...but then there are so many spectacular things to see. I've always wanted to see the Grand Canyon and the Crater lake.

Thanks CB! I've finished it now - I wan't there long (enough)!

Fri May 02, 09:38:00 pm  
Blogger Poetryman said...

so there are snails...

Wed May 07, 11:35:00 am  

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