Monday, October 15, 2007

Hello Paris? It’s Blair from America.

You guys are really nice. Who ever said Parisians or The French in general are rude was wrong. On the train from Waterloo to Paris I was met by many nice people asking me questions in French that I didn’t understand. When I got to Paris I was so impressed. The ramp was waiting to help me off the Eurostar. I was then bumped in front of the taxi line. I wrote down the wrong hotel from my travel agent’s email and the men at that hotel, although swearing at the mix-up in French, called another hotel and booked a room for me and paid for my taxi. My taxi driver sang in French the whole ride to the new hotel.

The new hotel was in a beautiful old building with a lift that had the door you must close first yourself and then it takes you up the inside of the staircase. My room had the huge French doors that opened onto a balcony overlooking the street.

The noise of Paris at night rivals that of London and New York. Paris at night is somehow sweeter and prettier. I left my hotel with a tourist map given to me by the nice young man at the front desk and ventured out into the night to find the Eiffel Tower. I rolled about twenty blocks and found it. It was beautiful and very quiet.

I didn’t know it sparkled at one o’clock. But it does. I took a cab back to the hotel. I was only in Paris for one night. I want to come back.
I took the train from Paris to Milan. The train is about six hours but worth the trip. The train ride went through the French Alps. The mountains are huge and the countryside is clean and it glows. You see small towns on the way that have never been disturbed.

The interesting part is the slow migration into Italy. It was as if you were taking Metro North from Poughkeepsie, New York into New York City. The countryside becomes seedier and more graffiti litters the walls of train stations and buildings as you progress closer to Milan. I asked an Italian man in Milan why this is and he said Milan has many writers and artists who want their work to be seen. We just call them gangs in New York, it’s just semantics I guess. Oh, Paris.

Best Western-Bradford Elysees
14 Rue De Caumartin-75009 Paris
#33 (0) 1 42 66 1515
Wheelchair Accessible room upon request. A step up to the elevator. Lobby not accessible. Dining area accessible.
Rate: 135 Euro/night


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