My trip toEurope - Part 3
We reached Paris at around 9:30 PM and things were fine till we came out of the metro station. The place was totally deserted and we were the only ones walking (running!) with baggage. To make matters worse, a hotel employee (of a hotel which we entered incorrectly) warned us to be very careful with our baggage and mentioned that "pick-pockets" are very common. Without any adventurous moments (like in Brussels!) , we reached our hotel safely only to find that our room was really small. We were forewarned that rooms will be very small in Paris but I guess I wasn't prepared!
The next morning we went to Notre Dame and climbed through its winding narrow staircase (huffing and puffing, of course) to reach the roof. The views from the top were spectacular. Our next stop was the world famous Louvre museum. Like most tourists to Louvre, we went straight to see Da Vinci's Mona Lisa. After that, it was just mostly sculptures (without heads) and paintings. So after 2 hours of trying to spend some time in Louvre (for the uninitiated, it normally takes a couple of days to just visit all the galleries, much less appreciate it), we left for Arch-de-Triomphe, a tower ordered to be built by Napoleon in honor of the victories of the French army. We climbed some 50 meters (stairs again :-(), to get glimpses of Paris by night and it was worth the climb.
Eiffel tower was our first stop the next morning. Though it is an imposing structure, I did not find it attractive and I could understand why Parisians hated it so much initially. The view from the top was very similar to the ones we had just a day earlier (after all, we were seeing the same city!) but from a much higher elevation.
We then went to Palace of Versailles, a good 60 minutes away from Paris. It is from this palace that the queen of France, Marie Antoinette was forced out during the French revolution. Later the same day, we did some window shopping (again!) on Champ-de-Elysses, one of the famous shopping districts in Paris.
Before we knew, it was 27th Feb and guess what that means... time to pack our bags and bid adieu to Paris and Europe. The only interesting piece on my journey back was the security over kill at Charles-de-Gaulle. I had to answer more questions about my job than I had to when I got my Visa in Chennai!! After an uneventful 10 hour flight, we landed in Chicago and I felt safe for the first time in days. That essentially sums up my trip to Europe.