…in Paris.

A fish may love a bird and they would live in Paris.

Paris is wonderful. It is not only the city of lights but furthermore just a great memory of yet another new year with my beloved A.
We went to Paris on Jan 1st and stayed til Jan 5th at Hotel Kensington, right across Tour Eiffel. What a wonderful sight every night and every morning.

On Jan 2nd we went up the Eiffel tower and were able to get a magnificent glance of Paris. We tried to capture every monument we could see and tried to put it on our mental maps for orientation purposes. Notre Dame, straight ahead, right next to the seine. Louvre with is enormous collection of art, is on the “left” of the seine. Somewhere we saw a ferris wheel and on the very same street the arc de triomphe.

After a little nap and some re-adjusting to Paris, we decided to go on a cruise on the seine, turns out this is only fun if you’re above 85 years or below 3 years, nonetheless, we enjoyed the ride and got to see the statue of liberty, the musee d’orsay with it’s huge clocks, wonderful bridges and of course many couples strolling along the seine.

By then I had convinced A to walk with me towards the ferris wheel and just see if he would ride it with me. (Note on the side, he REALLY doens’t like them). A and I had the nicest conversation and after what seemed like an eternity in the cold finally arrived at the ferris wheel, where there was a new year’s markets and punsch and crepes and all kinds of different fun stuff to buy. This was also where I had my first Nutella crepe ever and very much enjoyed it. Halfway at the ferris wheel we discovered an ice sculpture exhibition but decided not to go in, since for now, my great mission was the ferris wheel. By then A had reluctantly agreed on riding with me, even though I knew that he would hate it. Nonetheless he was brave all the way through and even could look outside the booths without getting sick. Yes, this is the man I love.

After this great adventure I knew he needed something not quite as life-threatning and we dediced to give the ice sculptures a go. And I am glad we did. It was freezing cold inside but worth every frozen finger and it was a great way to end our evening.

We had the most awesomest cheeseburgers at Cafe Central, close to the Eiffel tower and enjoyed the nice neighborhood. That’s when I first realized that the French people like to sit close together and also eat close together. Tiny table, tiny seats, little space, yet big plates and a lot of food.

I should mention, that as a Christmaspresent my brother and my grandparents got us the Eiffel tower tickets plus two musuems passes, metro passes and a cruise on the seine, all of it I warmly recommend to everyone.

Next day, Monday, we decided to inspire our artsy side and took the metro to the Louvre. This is also the place where the over-stimulation started. But let’s start at the beginning. Of course, the wonderful Louvre invites about 1.000.000 people on a daily base and it also holds that many. So you can see that the lines – no matter what time you get there – are enormous. Yet, since we already had our tickets, we didn’t have to wait in line, by then we haven’t understood quite yet how awesome those tickets were.

However, the Louvre, with it’s countless sculputres, paintings, figures and archealogical displays is just wonderful and would also be worth a 10-our-wait. All the wonderful art. Oh and of course, Monna Lisa, where the real question was not, whether or not she was pretty but how to get in front of the line to get a real good shot of her. Yes, that was also half the fun.
After the Louvre we strolled along the seine towards Notre Dame and hit a little cafe there for lunch. Yet again, tiny tables, tiny seats and way too many people in one room. And the waiter, yet very french, proofed us right in our very american/austrian way of perceiving the french. He – and this puzzeled me – was the only one though, who clearly did not welcome us. The food was still good – just saying.

After our very enjoyable lunch, we hit the Notre Dame and decided not to go up the church but go under it and enjoy the archealogical site of it. Little did we know that Paris does keep their doors open only from Tuesday to Sunday. So we did, what every normal couple does and went on on our list of things to do. We took the metro to the outer parts of Paris and decided to go to the aquarium. Yet again, no open doors on Monday, which by then shouldn’t have surprised us but disappointed me big time. A though, already used to my mood swings, had me laughing so hard, I thought I’d pee myself only minutes later. See, in Paris, when you ride the metro, you have a ticket, that needs to be scanned when ever you go in and sometimes when you go out. These turn-styles are sometimes a bit tricky and sometimes not so tricky at all. I pass mine and asked A which way to go, when I turned around and saw him struggling with passing his. He had one leg over the turn-style already, clearly exhausted and confused and tried to pull his second leg over it, when he realized that the doors, that are connected to the turn-styles, don’t open automatically, them too, have to be activated with your ticket, which he had in his hand.
So he tried to get back again and almost toppled over himself, only to put scan his ticket et voila the turn-style worked just fine.

We then went to the Arc de triomphe to – once again – enjoyed our museumspasses (which proofed as a wonderful investement) with NO waiting at all. And went the tiny stair cases up. This is no fun, if you tend to get sick easily. I do. Nonetheless made it up all the way and had yet again a great view over Paris. That night we played it low, had a nice dinner, got some great deserts for to go, a mango princess and an apple-something, fresh grapes and a fine piece of chocolate and then enjoyed a nice evening in our hotel.

We knew there was much to see on the next day (hoping that tomorrow the doors to the aquarium would be open…. yes, I love aquariums).

So the next day, also our last day together in Paris, we decided to start of with Napoleon’s tomb. Which by the way is the largest tomb I’ve ever seen. The halls and the fine work they did there are just phenomenal. It’s basically an inside graveyard but just unbelievable. Napoleon’s tomb is probably a little higher than a one story building and the rich brown color, just exquisite.
But even being so great, it’s a tomb and it will always leave a depressing taste, so we went on to the Rodin museum to enjoy the thinker. Also here, NO waiting lines for us, thank you museumspass. But since Rodin’s work is mostly outside, we decided to walk through the museum’s yard, look at the sculptures and then move on to the Notre Dame – again. Still hoping that the archelogical exhibition would be open that day. Which it was. And it was great to see how little people needed as far as home space goes, that’s probably also the reason why nowadays they still keep the space in restaurants very limited.

After a quick break at a cafe, we took the metro to the aquarium and enjoyed the water side of Paris, also to get away a little from all the people running over the Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Eiffel tower and many other great sights. The aquarium was our little getaway. It always is. We got to see the missisippi alligators, some little crocodiles, the way turtles express their love for each other and many more other fishy things.

We only had one thing on our list to do and that was musee d’Orsay, where even with our museumspasses we had to wait in line but we also had to wait in line to exit the building (not quite sure what’s up with that…).

This was the only place where no photography was allowed, which came in handy, since A’s battery of his cam was empty by then. We strolled around and enjoyed the fine art, the most marvelous sculptures I have seen. Just magnifique. It also was our last stop before we went back to the hotel.

By then we decided to go back to the Cafe Central for some last great burgers and some desert and also… yes, also for some snails. Until then I have never eaten snails in my life. A was ordering and getting super excited about it, he told me that they taste like a piece of beef with tons of garlic. Believing him, I decided to give them a try and ate one myself… After the first chew I nearly puked. I knew then, there was no way I could swallow a whole snail without throwing up. So I quickly spit out, what was there to spit out and finished the one little bite that was left in my mouth. REALLY bad choice btw, if you don’t like it spit it ALL out. I think I bit off the antennas of that little thing and I highly doubt I will ever eat a snail again…. EVER.
Nonetheless the burgers and chocolate cake and ice cream were awesome.

A and I knew that this was going to be the last night together for some time but this time will only be short. Only 3 weeks until we get to see each other again. That’s what I told myself today at the airport, when we both departed from Paris. I flew back to Vienna and he’s still up in the air, on the way to Philadelphia. I miss him already.
It was a great stay!!

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