Travels with V


Halfway to heaven

Paris part two

To follow us further you’ll need strong legs, or a metro card. But if it’s a sunny day it’s worth the little extra trouble. Near Place de la Republique (Metro station Republique) you’ll find one end of the canal St Martin (once it ran all the way down to the Seine) in a place called Passerelle des Douanes. The canal is a popular hang-out place and on its east side there are lots of bars and restaurants. Among them the legendary Hôtel du Nord where we eat a great, and for Paris very reasonably priced dinner. 

Just a few blocks away from Hôtel du Nord there’s a ”star crossing”, a parisian speciality, where Rue Bichat, Rue Albert and Rue Marie et Louise meet. And today theres a flea market and a band plays balkan-style music. It’s very idyllic and it’s difficult to imagine that this very cross would just a week later see a gruesome terrorist attack, where people were shot to death in two restaurants here.

The Eiffel Tower is a must. I hadn’t realised that on earlier Paris visits, but now that we’re here, and surrounded by marathon runners, i realize that the tower has to be climbed. Period.

We all know that it’s a big tower, but it’s when you’re right under it and have to decide in which one of it’s four “feet” to ascend that you really grasp how huge this crazy creation is. Built with steel rods and rivets just like any railway bridge from the 19th century that you’ll find in England. 

The tower has three “flooors” or platforms and you may climb steps all the way up to the second platform. But to go higher you have to take the elevator. Up there it’s almost difficult to look down, the distance to the ground is so terrifying. There’s also a very small champagne bar up here, if you need to calm your nerves. And  a small but real apartment that Eiffel built for himself. Through a window you can see Eiffels good friend Thomas Edison demoing his invention the phonograph. Edison was actually one of very few persons allowed to visit Eiffel in his tower. 

Some mor pix of the fascinating tower:

Finally two very different art experiences. Musee d’Orsay is a super nice museum by the Seine that we warmly recommend. Short and fast moving queues and you can easily spend a half day here and have seen most of it (The complete Louvre tour takes a couple of days to cover). 

The other art experience is a city partially drowned in grafitti. And the decorations are not just by brats and hoodlums, we pass one wall being painted by a couple of grown-ups while a fashion model poses for a photographer. 

In short: Paris is a city full of pleasant surprises. It makes us happy every time. 

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