Posts Tagged ‘Tourists’

Time is Flying

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

I can’t believe it is August already. Where is this year going? Summer has finally arrived in Paris as all of the Parisians head south to the beach. The city is gloriously quiet, except for the throngs of tourists who have descended. And Becky and my vegetable garden is doing amazing things – every day I pick a handful of tomatoes and now every time I look out of my window and down at the garden, this flower smiles back up at me.

Flower

Big. Red. Beautiful.

Poor Me.

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Ok, that’s it. I’m having a whinge. It has been one of those days where I’m fairly certain an evil little man with a remote control and a general mean streak is sitting up in the sky and causing things to happen to me JUST TO BE ANNOYING. He is definitely French and he is most certainly short. I don’t like him. In fact, I hope his arms fall off because this is just ridiculous. Ok, here are the rubbish things that happened to me today:

  1. Whilst making coffee this morning, the plunger decided it was a volcano and spurted hot coffee all over my perfectly clean jeans.
  2. I had to take a tour today at 1pm so I left home at 12.15pm which gives me enough time to find a Velib (which can be tricky sometimes) and ride down to Place Saint Michel. I left the house and found there were no Velibs in the stations near me so I started to walk towards Place Saint Michel. On the way, I found a Velib station, took a bike and all was fine and dandy until BANG! I must have ridden over something sharp and my back tyre blew. So I then had to find a station to put the bike into so I could take another one which should have been easy except the closest station I found had one spot where I could have put the bike back except it was broken. So I then had to walk down the street, pushing the bike in search for another. It took me 10 minutes to find a station that wasn’t full where I could leave the bike. I then had to keep walking to another station as you have to wait five minutes in between taking bikes. By this time, I was late for work. I finally found another bike and rode like the wind (hitting every possible red traffic light) and made it just in time to be told that today was the day they were reporting back to the ‘Big Boss’ as to what time staff were arriving. Excellent.
  3. It rained for about 15 minutes of my tour – at one point quite significantly.
  4. I had an arrogant, know-it-all, likes to butt in, Frenchman on my tour who didn’t give me ANYTHING at the end. He brought with him his two know-it-all sons who proceeded to tell me the CORRECT history of France and how many things I had said wrong (this was probably a good thing though… I considered stealing his brain. Although I did wonder why on earth an 8 year old boy knows the names of every single King of France. He must get teased at school.)
  5. I had another arrogant Irishman on the tour who also didn’t tip me.
  6. My group was full of poor backpackers who are living on 4 Euros a day and therefore are disinclined to give any of it to me for taking them on a 4-hour walk.
  7. During the break in the middle of the tour, I bought myself a nutella crêpe because usually they make everything better. This crêpe was made by a 14 year old boy who had clearly never done it before and who proceeded to completely and utterly stuff it up. It was awful and I had to throw most of it in the bin because it wasn’t worth the calories.
  8. At the end of the tour I took a group to a ‘local French restaurant’ where they could have ‘real French food’ at ‘great prices’ and I proceeded to make measly centimes (that’s French for cents) for each person I brought.
  9. Someone gave me a Russian coin as part of my tip.
  10. I had to come home and cook dinner and then stupidly left the stove top on (I never do this.) Thankfully no fires resulted so clearly the little man has had enough.
  11. I discovered that an apartment that I have been trying to book for when Tom and I go to New York and that up until now has appeared to be available and the guy renting the apartment kept telling me was available, is, in fact, UNAVAILABLE. And now the internet is working at a snail’s pace and I am having to try and find somewhere else for us to stay.
So, as you can see, I’m having a bit of a whinge because I did also spend the day walking around Paris seeing the Louvre, the Seine, Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, the Grand Palais etc, and then I did come home to find that Tom had mopped the floor, defrosted the freezer AND bought ice cream for dessert. The ice cream did fix most things. Except for the internet. That’s still a pain.

More Visitors

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

I’m not sure what it is – perhaps it’s me, perhaps it is my location – but all these people keep coming to visit. I’m usually quite confident that they make the effort in order to spend time with me, but once they’re here all they want to do is visit large towers or eat baguettes. I don’t understand.

Anyway, while my parents are long gone and are currently rubbing Voltaren on their sore butt muscles from excess bike-seat (they did a 12.5 hour bike ride the other day. Holy moly.) Tom’s parents have happily agreed to replace them. They are in town for 10 days and as they haven’t spent the same amount of time in Paris as my folks we’ve been hitting the hottest tourists sites with vigour. Tom’s Dad has a mobility problem so the best solution to get around involved one of the ultimate tourist experiences possible – the open top tour bus.

 

On the bus

Totally Tourists.

Normally I am very anti-tour bus, mostly because you look like a complete drongo sitting on top of a bus taking photos as a ‘remarkable landmark’ zooms past. However, I had to agree that it was an easy transport solution to get everyone around to see the highlights of Paris. The bus tour is divided into four separate routes and covers a large portion of the city. You get to see most of the famous parts of Paris and can get an overall feel for how the city fits together. I did enjoy one of the routes in particular as it took me to places I am yet to explore. The commentary was fairly average but I think that is due to the speed of the bus and the timing of the information. Walking tours definitely allow you to have more time to stop and learn and explore. But overall a good option for our situation.

 

Bus Tour

The view of the tourist

Now my Aunt and Uncle are in Paris as well so I have even more family to catch up with. I like it. Visitors are fun and generally in good moods because they’re on holidays. Makes a pleasant change to grumpy Parisians.

Tower Time

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Today the sun was shining, the birds were singing, and Tom was in the mood to climb a tower. And so he took me on a hot date to the top of the Eiffel Tower. If that isn’t cheesey romance, I don’t know what is.

Eiffel Tower

The tower of love

We had put off going up the Eiffel Tower until the weather improved and today was glorious – clear blue skies and sunshine. Tom has a habit of making off-the-cuff decisions and so I was unprepared for the trip up the tower and chose to go for a run in the morning. I also chose to push myself on the run and came home to discover Tom ready to climb 600-plus stairs. My legs are a tad sore but I will sleep well tonight and wake tomorrow with buns of steel.

Paris

I live in this city.

At the top of the tower, Tom gave me the inspirational idea of writing a book on the theme of “Stupid Things American Tourists Say”. Joining the quote we heard at the Vatican on our last trip when an exasperated girl looked at the continuing stairs in front of her and said, “More stairs? You’ve got to be kidding me!”, today I overheard many American tourists gravely concerned that they had been separated from members of their group. Clearly they had buddies and were all supposed to stick together, but I really wanted to reassure them that the levels on the Eiffel Tower aren’t actually that big and the person they had ‘lost’ could only be within 100 metres of them. The problem with writing a book on this subject is that you lose the accent. Perhaps it could come with a tape.

In other great Parisian news, it is currently Printemps du Cinema – three days where all movies in all cinemas are just 3.50 Euros. Wonderful. You would think the cinemas would be impenetrable but we have just returned home from seeing True Grit and there were lots of seats left in the cinema. Tom went and saw some alien invasion movie yesterday and tomorrow night we’ll probably go and see something else. Have to make the most of a bargain!