Sunday, 22 August 2010

Paris - je t'aime (only sometimes)

Oh Paris. City of lights. City of love. La mode, l'arte et l'amour.

My weekend trip to Paris with my mother started off easily enough. Passing through customs and security at St Pancras was a breeze, and the train ride passed with little incident. We arrived in Paris in a mere 2.5 hours at Gare du Nord, ready to start our Paris adventure.

Our hotel had been rated #15 out of zillions of Paris hotels in TripAdvisor. I typically put good faith on reviews, and was quite excited to stay here, especially after looking at the website. Personally I wouldn't stay there again - I prefer to be in the hub of action and this place was a little too quiet and off the beaten path for my liking.

It was my mother's first time in Paris and that meant hitting all the big spots. The Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Champs Elysee, basically anywhere you would find a group of tourist following a flag-bearing tour guide, Nikon cameras hanging from their necks and sensible shoes on their feet - we went there.

Exhausting doesn't even begin to describe it.

The lines. Oh dear god the lines. Zig-zagging, meandering and always long. This was followed closely by the crowds and crowds of tourists. Everywhere.

"We need to go see that - it's famous" my mother would say, pointing to said famous object before marching off in a determined fashion, camera in hand.

Still, having not seen my mother in months now, I valued being able to spend this one-on-one time with her. We poked fun at the silly tourists who lined up for hours to take the lift up the Eiffel Tower when we waited a mere 5 minutes to hike up the bloody thing. We sat in a typical brasserie on a rainy afternoon, ordering wine (for moi) and hot water with lemon (for her) until the downpour stopped. We marveled the sheer number of chinese tourists. We gazed at Eiffel Tower at night. We peered past tourists for a glimpse of the teeny tiny Mona Lisa. And we just spent time together. Good quality mother-daughter time.

Merci Paris

Outside the Louvre

Do I even need to say? Although the damn tourist managed to cut off the top of the Eiffel Tower. Ah well... tant pis as they say...

Me attempting to capture the view from our hotel terrace

Stepping off the Eurostar, trying to look very Parisienne

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