Monday, February 20, 2006

Paris


The first stop was the monument that's representative of the city itself. You'd think that something that's so overexposed would leave you knowing exactly what to expect, but the Eiffel Tower still takes your breath away. And the view from the top is something else!

I made all the predictable stops; Arc De Triomphe, La Defense, Champs Elysees and several McDonalds. Talking about predictability, staying at youth hostels always ends up being fun. After a day when you think you don't have a drop of energy left, its amazing how you can spend the late night drinking with people whose names you can't pronounce. It was well past two when we finally hit the sack.When I woke up, my dorm-mates had turned a little unfriendly. They accused me of snoring! I told them I was just practising the French 'R', but it's an untrusting world out there. Despite that little sore point, for all the budget travellers to Paris, Deppe recommends the Aloha hostel.

I spent almost the entire Sunday at the Louvre. Sure enough, I paid a visit to the most famous resident, Mona Lisa, and call me a philistine but my first impression was of disappointment ('Its so small'). If it wasn't for all that I've read about the painting, like the divine proportions, and the painting being an androgynous self-portrait, and if it wasn't for the tens of people jostling to get a closer look, or that it was the only item behind bullet proof glass, I'm sure I would have walked past it without a second look. I think I was subconsciously expecting the real painting to evoke the kind of jaw-dropping that the Sistine chapel, for instance, inspires. But despite her enigmatic smile and eyes that follow and all, all I could think was that the lady needs to enrol for aerobics. However I can now confirm what Dylan said "Mona Lisa must have had the highway blues, you can tell from the way she smiles". That apart, I must say with a little help from the audio guide, the Louvre is mindblowingly engrossing.

More pictures.
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