Friday, November 7, 2008

EUT08: Paris

Paris was a breeze, since it was my 5th time there. Already knew the metro system and had all directions to places, metro times, ticket prices etc in the excel sheet. Our hotel was 10 mins walk from Alesia metro station. Refreshingly, the room was huge with 3 single beds. So each of us had his/her own piece to claim for cluttering. Obviously Aarnav did not want his own bed and wanted whichever Baba (Anant) chose. This past 6 months at least he has been Baba's tail, wanting to do, eat and wear anything that Baba would. So I have been having some alone and peaceful time for myself, at least until Aarnav decides that he wants to tag along with me.

So once again after dragging the luggage to the hotel, we crashed for sometime and then freshened up headed for the city.. We saw Arc du Triumphe, walked on the Champs Elysée's, saw the Place de la Concorde, just spent some time in a Jardin, whose name I don't remember now and Pont Alexandre III. The bridge is really very beautiful with elaborate golden and black carvings. We saw boats sail lazily on the Seine and had dinner and returned back to Alesia. On our way back we stopped over at a supermarket to pick up some breakfast for the next morning, since breakfast was not included in the hotel. We picked up some milk, cereal, juice, mineral water, ice cream and fruit. The ice cream was gone by the time we walked from the store to the hotel :-).

The Louvre Museum and Eiffel tower were planned for the next day. We decided to go to Eiffel first in the morning after our little packaged breakfast. By the time we got to the Eiffel by Metro, Aarnav was fast asleep. We dedicated the rest of the afternoon to the tower until Aarnav woke up. Once he woke up he actually got to see the Tower and wanted one of the miniature one's for himself. We bought a little red Eiffel for him for a EURO and that was enough to satisfy him. Little boys, little demands. Then we headed to the Louvre museum. Once we got off at the Louvre Rivoli metro station, we could not find 5th time there was not helping. I found some “Desi looking” guys selling water bottles on the street and just took a chance and asked them for directions in Hindi, and it worked. We were in front of Louvre in no time. We clicked a few pics here and there and waited to get in the museum. It was 5 pm by that time, and discounted tickets were available from 6 pm onwards. So we just spent some time going up and down on the stroller elevator inside the glass pyramid. Aarnav loved it a lot and could not get enough of it, and an hour flew by. We then got the discounted tickets and followed the way to the Monalisa looking at the map. I have to say that all my experiences with maps inside the Louvre have been confusing. Not one time have I found the way in one shot. Anyways, we saw the entire museum, even the parts that we were not interested in, while looking for the Monalisa. The Monalisa needless to say came at the end of our search. Anant could not stop laughing when he looked at the size of the picture. I had raised his expectations and in addition to that we had been looking for it for so long while inside the Museum. He had thought that the picture would be BIG, occupying a whole wall. I told him that the beauty of the art and not the size of the picture, was important. Anyways, that did it to our enthusiasm and we grabbed one of the benches in the art gallery and rested our feet. We had been walking the whole time since morning that day. It was 8 pm already and we all were hungry. I satisfied Aarnav's hunger a little bit by giving him left over pizza from the previous day. We then walked out and wined and dined in a Chinese-French restaurant. The food sucked big time, but the wine was Good.

Tired and sleepy, we returned at around 10:30 pm to our supermarket, to stock up on breakfast supplies and water for the next day. Our train to Lucerne was the next day afternoon, so we took it easy, woke up late had a late breakfast... Aarnav had his song and bath for an extra long time in the extra large French tub and used up all the little liquid bath gel bottles to create his bubble bath. All in all a fun morning. We packed and left for the train station to catch our next train to Lucerne, Switzerland.