Arc De Triomphedsc07788Eiffel TowerEiffel TowerOver the last week, many asked did “do you feel being in Paris”. The answer then was NO! Thanks to a good weather (and my planning :D ), I got a feel of Paris over the last weekend. Saturday started on a foggy note but thankfully got sunny closer to noon. I started from Arc De Triomphe, a tribute to the French defense forces initiated by Napoleon.

 Compare this to the Amar Jawan Jyoti in Delhi. A 9 euro ticket + 264 steps took me to the top of historical monument. The panoramic view is enthralling and the view of 6-8 roads shooting out of the monument is picturesque. The first look at Eiffel tower, the wonder of the world evidently stands out. It is hard to stop viewing the beauty and walk down. I spent more than an hour at the top! 

Back to the ground level, after long lunch (lunch and dinner are never quick in any French restaurant) at a bistro, I walked through the high fashion crowded Champs Elysees walking into concept stores of Mercedes, Renault, Toyota, Citereon. The Mercedes bicycle and Citereon SUV were the stand outs. At the Disney Store, I found a princessly top (I don’t know what it is called exactly!) for Aashira. After a cafe (cafe = coffee in French) in one of parks, I spent some time walking along the banks of River Seine and clicking photos of the Eiffel Tower during sun set. It was 7pm and took a metro to Trocadero for dinner and a closer look of the Eiffel tower. Dinner was at a cafe sitting along on the sidewalk overlooking the Eiffel Tower. I had read <about servers in French restaurants>. Post dinner, it was a long photo session of the Eiffel Tower. 

Sunday began late, very late. The plan to visit to 2 shopping malls crumbed when I reached the place only to realise, they are closed on Sundays! I changed course and visited the flea market of Paris. Contrast to Champs Elysees, the flea market is like the fashion street in Bombay with rows of cheaper stuff and bargaining is key to making a good deal. The highlight was a stall playing DDLJ music and selling DVDs, posters, t-shirts of Aishwarya Rai, Shakrukh Khan etc! Also, a few stores were selling vinyl records! Does anybody use them any more or is it for the museums? It was late evening; the next destination was Le Chapelle – predominantly Sri Lankan/Tamil settlement. Chennai Silks, Sumangali Textiles, Krishna Bhavan, Chettinad Mess, Jaffna Butchers are the kind of stores. I relished dinner on dosas with spicy chutneys at one of the restaurants.

Usually when I all by myself, I tend to move on faster but in Paris, such is the beauty, I tend to go slow and spend a long time, be it at the top of Arc De Triomphe or banks of River Seine or streets of Champs Elysees 

or the parks in Louvre (the museum that houses the mysterious Mona Lisa and foundation of the theory of Da Vinci Code. As of today, I have no plans to venture into the Louvre. At least 3 have “strongly” suggested I must, but I stand by my position. I have no interest in museums)

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Photos are here