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 cafés 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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