The Tale of Two Cities

» 10 December 2003 » In Travel »

Sometimes the best things happen in the most spontaneous way. I was supposed to go to London to work out the project plan with the UK engineers there. Originally, we planned it for middle of November, but the visit of Mr. Bush there resulted in enough disruption that we had to postpone until the week of Thanksgiving. “Well”, I thought, “since I have to work on Thanksgiving and I have 2 floating holidays that I need to use before the end of the year, maybe I can combine all the vacation days and work out a quick trip somewhere nearby… Paris!”

Yes, Paris, that fabled City of Light.. I have heard much about it from my parents and friends, and I seized this opportunity to see it with my own eyes. I stayed there from Nov 19 until Nov 25, with no particular plan of action; every morning I would sit in a cafe, having coffee and pain aux raisin or pain aux chocolate and figure out what I wanted to do. Of course, I went to the Louvre, the Eiffel Tour, the Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Arc de Triomphe, and the rest of the tourist staples, but I also walked a lot every day, exploring the arrondissements (the districts), sitting by a fountain here, window shopping there, stopping for lunch at the wonderful outdoor cafes, grabbing a banana-nutella crépe from a street vendor.. That is the only way to get a feel for the new city, in my opinion.

Some good places in Paris to go to for food and drink:

  • Aux Trois Maillets, an excellent jazz bar, very friendly and non-assuming
  • Les Bookinistes, owned by Guy Savoy, serves up delectable cuisine and exceptionally friendly and pleasant service
  • China Club, good place to relax and chat with friends or listen to jazz in the upstairs room. The bartender there really knows his stuff!
  • These guides that helped me get around Paris:

    On morning of Nov 25 I took the Eurostar high-speed train to London. I had not been there previously either, and obviously, I did not have much free time in that city, but I still managed to see a few sights and go on a pub crawl with the UK guys. If you visit London, check out The Porterhouse in Covent Garden – they have 200 draught and bottled, and also the largest collection of beers on display that I have seen, over 10,000 of them. If you bring in a full bottle of beer and they don’t have it yet, you get a free drink and they put it in their collection.

    The pictures from the trip are here.

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    1. andrei
      pierre
      10/12/2003 at 4:47 am Permalink

      Hi Andrei!

      Sad to have missed you there 😛

      It seems you were in the tourist part of Paris 😉 I hope we can meet once in the future. Have good times in UK!

      pierre

    2. andrei
      Tex
      11/12/2003 at 12:58 am Permalink

      So, do they really smell in France?

    3. andrei
      Ferg
      11/12/2003 at 1:12 am Permalink

      They smell, they touch, they see, they hear, they taste. French people are really quite adept at the five senses.

    4. andrei
      Jacque
      11/12/2003 at 4:19 pm Permalink

      Yes, the French are very smelly.

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