The old and the new

I reached paris close to midnight and was wondering on whether to roam around the city all night or find a place to crash. The signs around paris are utterly useless made even more confusing when the street names (for the same straight street) keep changing after every intersection.

So I took out my trusty map and tried to get my bearings straight when an elder parisian comes along and offers help and shows me directions. This was completely surprising considering the image I had of parisians was that they werent welcoming of tourists (and they do get a lot) and more like fuck you tourist, go home.

Well I was roaming around the streets of paris when I came across a budget hostel and no surprise it was all booked up. Resolving myself to a night on the streets (time to get my rouge and lipstick out) and I came across this run down inn which had a small room by the stairs. Gladly taking the room I crashed for the night.

Getting up late the next morning, I put on the backpack and continued my walking europe tour. My camera was dying on me, so I figured I’ll go to the opposite end of the city towards the Eiffel tower. An hour later, I finally reached the eiffel tower in all its splendid glory. The first thing that you notice about it is how massive it looks from close by.

Continued from the tower to the Arc d’triomphe and down the Avenue des Champes Elysees towards the Louvre.

One problem of covering a lot of european cities at one go is that you’ve feel that once you’ve seen one palace you’ve seen them all and wont be too impressed with the newer ones. France has more of the greco-roman architecture which is funny as the Louis’ and napolean where neither greek nor roman.

Now Paris has lots of major train stations and my train out of paris was a little distance away. So walking towards the train station via Notre Dame du Paris, Panthenon and the Sorbonne, I reached the station a couple of hours before my train. Having time to kill I noticed the bibiliotheque du france not too far from this station and decided to walk over to see if I could get some free internet (emphasis on free).

Walking for about half an hour and I still couldn’t locate the stupid library when I came across this mayan looking pyramid structure having wooden steps all acroos the pyramid heading to the top. Now since I had the time and there was this pyramid looking thing to be conquered I decided to climb to the top. On reaching the top I started walking to the center and I was stunned by the architecture on show.
Right at the center of the pyramid was a forest surrounded on four sides by the walls of the library heading into the earth. Unfortunately the library was closed so I had to admire it from the outside, but I like the direction france is going mixing the old style of architecture with the new.

Well time for me to head back to get my train to Nice.