2 Sep 2012

Wandering the streets of Paris


map of parisThe streets in Paris seem so wide compared to those in London.  There don’t appear to be zebra crossings either.  I attempted to walk across something which looked like a zebra crossing, only to be almost run down by a car.  Lesson number one learnt: familiarise yourself with pedestrian crossings.  Cycling is also a popular activity but it’s one thing knowing how to ride a bike and it’s another knowing which side of the road to cycle on and whether it’s mandatory to obey road signs/traffic lights.  Cyclists have a tendency to believe they’re invincible, but I have a feeling this is not the case.  
 
I also splurged out on a “Paris Pratique” map for 7 euros to help acquaint me with my new home.  Apparently it’s the 2013 edition.  I know Paris is an hour ahead of London, but I didn’t know they were a year ahead of us as well…confused.com.  Paris is also a lot smaller than London which is possibly why the map is about a quarter of the size, and possibly why there’s approximately 30 seconds between each stop on the metro.  FACT.  

I then waltzed into the Jardin du Luxembourg, the second largest public park in Paris.  Thanks Wikipedia for that little gem of information.  I went around midday and it was buzzing with tennis players, sunbathers, men and women running loops of the park, kids floating boats in the central fountain and a cluster of ponies ready to be ridden.  Talk about exotic.  There were also caf√©s galore within the gardens and picturesque tables and chairs occupied by tourists and locals basking in the heat drinking copious amounts of lemonade.  And then I couldn’t help but notice the perfectly shaped hedges.

Next stop was Saint-Sulpice, a particularly grand church which also features in the Da Vinci Code (cultural bit of the day: check).  That’s one thing I’ve noticed since being here.  Everything seems so grand.  Whether it’s the large streets, the high flats or the magnificent architecture…it’s simply grand.  They call it a church but it looked more like a cathedral with its bold architecture, impressive paintings and abundant display of candles for that added sense of allure.  I also have a soft spot for pillars, so that was definitely a high point.

Watch this space.

Montana

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