Thursday, July 29, 2010

Notes: Paris

1: Too many people hyped it up for. Sigh.... I wonder why Rome doesn't inspire the same thoughts in people.

2: Holy SHIT the metro is everywhere. It's like big brother. And there is barely any region in the metro where you cannot get a GPRS signal, let alone normal cell phone coverage.

3: Can someone tell me a time of the year when Eiffel Tower or Louvre is little less crowded? Also, can someone gift me a wide angle lens before I go see these places again?

4: The river. It adds something to a city. The sight of a full, serene river is magnificent. It helps that there are 400+ years old buildings on either side of the river.

5: Roller blading / Inline skating in Paris is fun. And painful. My feet hurt for 2 days. Try it people. A map and skates and off you go.

The past few days, I have been wondering why I wasn't floored by Paris. It's lively, yes; and it's busy. It's got old, giant buildings with loads of history that made me think two things: "Whoa" like Keanu Reeves, and "umm, whats wrong with us Indians? What do we not want to protect our own structures and locations?" But is it a city to visit alone? I don't know.

I wasn't alone, in the strictest sense of the word. I met loads of new people. Partied, picnic-ed, sight-saw did some sight-seeing, lunched, roller-bladed, took-pictures, got lost, cooked, with these people. I think I made some fun friends, who I hope to catch up with soon. But there was this one moment where I wished that a bunch of people I knew, from India and US, should have been on the trip with me. A phone with internet gives you all info about a place you are visiting, but wouldn't you rather eat up half-truths told confidently?

A place where I was at bliss being alone is the Musée des Arts et Metiers. There is a link to the official website (which is mostly in French) on the wiki page. This museum holds the original Foucault's pendulum, and loads of other stuff. The best part - it's almost empty, because it's got science exhibits. The place is where the climax of the book Foucault's Pendulum is set; a book which I enjoyed a lot, even though I found it very difficult to keep up with.

Fun Fact got from the museum: To calibrate the measure of 1 meter, the distance between Barcelona and Dunkirk was measured, over a period of 7 years. They got it right to a few millimeters (2 or something). This was in 1792-9. Yea. Deep breath. Soak up that. Try measuring the length of your room correct up to 2 mm.

I spent over 2 hours on one floor of the museum, the one that housed all these stories. I rushed through the other parts, the comparatively recent exhibits (just 100 years old or so on).

Do I want to go back to Paris? Yea. I feel I have missed something. Not just the fact that I didn't go inside Louvre. Or Notre Dame. I can't pin point it, but I want to go back and stay a few more days.

Does that mean that I actually like the city after all?