Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Oct 2012: Walking to see Quasimodo

So I had to pop over to Paris for couple of days for some work.

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King’s Cross St Pancras Eurostar station

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heh@ display on the eurostar ticket terminal

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I am solo!

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erm, no, i dont want to talk about the loo

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we land in Paris. And we are now waiting for our taxi to come pick us up to take us to the Hotel.

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The side entrance to Gare du Nord

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Grill, eh>

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Yes, please I would love a grilled Hippopotamus.

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And then there is McDonalds’s. I always have a chuckle whenever I come to Paris. In the land of gastronomic delights, I see McDonalds, did you know France is the second biggest country for McDonalds? There’s even a case study on this.

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Its a lovely place to walk around in…

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all lighted up and warm..and inviting…and food..

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the taxi arrived, the moon is up and everybody is heading off.

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driving like a bat out of hell in the taxi.

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Nice name of the shop

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stop, i like this idea of having the traffic lights at eye level as well…

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now that’s an imposing door.

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i reach the hotel, check in and find this really really sad and manky looking macaroon on a lonely plate. I wouldn't touch it.

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We dumped our stuff and then went out for a walk, nice tree and even nicer fertiliser

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The shops in the Champs Elysees are, as usual, major..

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we arrive at the junction, the moon is up and the searchlight on the Eiffel Tower is shining bright.

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the Sculptures on top of the National Galleries is burning bright.

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crossing the Champs Elysees, looking up at the Arc du Triumph

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and down the other side

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Another view of the sculptures on top of the National Gallery. You have to admit that Paris is full of these monumental buildings.

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the fountain here is like a blaze of light

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hmmmm, big party here looks like

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the entrance to the National Gallery, imposing, eh?

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Opposite is the Petit Palais. One day I have to come here and spend few weeks pottering around the museums..

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Charles de Gaulle would have never got on top of a bike

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Wow, a statue of Churchill!!!

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We arrive at the Pont Alexandre III bridge.

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crossing the cours la reine

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the entire city is a blaze of light.

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pretty imposing bridge

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view of the Seine.

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And of the bridge

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Very nice.

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Looking back at the National Galleries

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Wherever you look, there is a sculpture or something to gaze on.

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crossed the road…this bridge is considered to be the most ornate bridge in Paris. And was named after the Tsar Alexander III who signed the Franco Russian Alliance in 1892. Loads of beautiful sculptures all over the place. The lion sculpture is particularly well done. Very impressive.

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We walk up and you can see the bridge in its full glory, huge long span.

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and the tall towers which form the counterweight for the long span. The statues on top of the towers are the Fames. See more here.

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We move upstream. This is the Pont de la Concorde.

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Somebody called as Albert? Why do they have to make that statue so high? cant even see the face..

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We emerge with the Place de la Concorde on the left. This place has so much history. The buildings at the back are very imposing, the one on the left was the headquarters of the German High Command during WW2. Now the right hand side is the French Naval Headquarters while the left one is a hotel.

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But when you walk around here, you don't realise that this is the place that the guillotine was setup with a whole host of people lost their heads including King Louis and Marie Antoinette. I unfortunately didn't feel it, its just too big if you know what i mean?

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We go on to the Bridge.

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Zooming into the Notre Dam Cathedral.

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And then go back to the square. Here’s the massive Obelisk which is commemorates the reign of that old man, Ramses II. Cool, eh? nice one. This is where the guillotine used to stand during the French Revolution.

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the gates to the Tuileries Gardens, unfortunately closed at the moment.

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Peeking down one of the side streets.

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We arrive in Rue de Rivoli, this street is one of the most copied streets in the world, no? I have been this kind of a structure in Italy, in other European cities, in Corfu even!

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Passing Place Vendome, I will return here day after…

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I am not sure what this means…google didn't help either.

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Another road down the side…

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a golden statue of Joan de Arc. one of France’s enduring heroines. And I learnt about the Battle of Patay, the counterpart to Agincourt.

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I peek around the Place of Pyramids into this magnificent sight.

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This is, of course, the Louvre.

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Looking back down

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And there’s the famous pyramid

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the right hand side of the museum.

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The Place du Carrousel entrance.

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Walking up the Louvre side.

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This is the Arc de Triomphe at the Carrousel. not the main one.

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Getting closer to the Pyramid

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A big statue…bit ott..

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It is quite imposing.

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We keep on walking, somebody is standing with flowers.

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There was a photo shoot there. South Korean I think. The lady was seriously good looking…I wanted to take some closeups but the chap on the left stopped me, dammit.

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Looking back at the pyramid

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Had to move on, this is the problem when you are out with a group, they keep on chasing you up

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We reach the Pont des Arts.

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Its a pedestrian bridge and these locks are hung on the side railings by lovers who then write their names on it and then chuck the key into the river.

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One of the river boats…why do they have such powerful lights?

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You can see the padlocks highlighted

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coming to the end of the bridge

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This is the Bureau des Longitudes. Fascinating history of this place. And people here wanted to change the strange idea of hours, minutes and seconds into the metric system…it would have been so amusing to see that, eh?

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the chaps went down the stairs to the riverbank

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See? constantly stopping and waiting for me.

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nice one.

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A riverboat…with a little library..very nice.

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This is the Pont Neuf. Its the oldest standing bridge across the river.



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I didnt know that the last grand master of the Templars was burned at the stake here!. gosh.

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This was all river port territory..see the mooring iron rings…making a mark on the stone wall

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the river boats have some very very seriously powerful lights. see how harsh it is..

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Pont Saint Michel..

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passing under the bridge, it was seriously smelling of pee.

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And there’s the holy grail

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Hmmm, what’s this then?

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Here’s Petit Pont. This is a stone bridge connecting the two banks and has the dubious honour of being destroyed 13 times and then rebuilt.

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We climb up to the road, some interesting bills on the walls

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the cathedral of Notre Dame.

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Did you know this place has the crown of thorns, a fragment of the true cross and one of the holy nails? impressive. (yes, I know, I know, if you added up all the fragments of the true cross, it would be a forest).

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it is extraordinarily beautiful, i love this church.

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towering up…but somehow the towers look lopped off.

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still a very imposing building

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with statues all around the place

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one can spend days in here…

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we head back

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and a lovely little bookshop

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and a little water fountain..

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I love the chalked statements..

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people browsing away, but i dare not buy even a single book…too much

we stop for a little beer and then head back to the hotel

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And I open the suitcase to find Diya had given me this little teddy bear to be with me as she cannot be with me..