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snippets of blackwings life

Paris.

In March I decided to get some days off in June to visit my dear friend David in Paris. David was the impressive guy that I met on my trip in Malaysia last year – Actually I was quite anxious to meet him.

Basically I clicked myself a 80 euro roundtrip ticket from Lufthansa taking me from Nuremberg to Charles de Gaulle, Paris – compared to >150 euro by train and a ~7 hour ride, again plane wins. Just to make that clear: CDG is probably the crappiest airport I have ever seen in my life – Walking distances like doing a marathon and well-non-organized “flows”…
In order to get to the city I took first a airport-shuttle-train to get to the RER (regional train) station. RER C directly takes you to the city.

Grand OperaParis itself is quite stunning – like one big museum. Wonderful buildings and nice street-life. After arriving at my friends place we took a walk around the area – he is living in the center of the Sentier-Quarter near Opera Garnier – just around the corner of the HardRockCafe…

Great hall at the LouvreOn Friday I decided to get up early in order to spend the whole day at the Louvre – Just after a wonderful breakfast with fresh and crusty Banette and a Croissant.
Walking over to the Glass-Pyramide took me just a few minutes – But there was an ubelievably long waiting line at the Louvre. So here is the trick: House.Take the second entrance at the Lions gate in the Denon wing – There is no waiting queue at all :)
Louvre itself is definitively worth spending some time there – I liked especially the collection of ancient Egypt artwork and the great paintings of French, Dutch and German painters.
It is just way to much to see – I spent around 9 hours in Louvre. Leaving then was not only because my feet hurt, but my brain almost burst…

Tiny StreetsThe weekend David and me took some time to walk around the entire city starting around Centre Georges Pompidou (the wonderful art centre) towards city hall, Notre Dame and after crossing the Seine to Odeon and Pantheon. We crossed tiny streets around there walking to some typical Bistro having a light lunch. Many bistros and brasseries are around this quarter – all really crowded, some of them really famous for being usual meeting points of artists some decades ago – So the prices are even higher…

Tour EiffelAfter walking over to Invalides we continued to the Eiffel Tower – Initially we decided to go in, but the waiting line was extraordinary long (estimated waiting time: 3h – and 3rd floor closed because of overcrowding…). On the other side of River Seine some completely crazy people performed high-jumps using inline-skates… We sat there for time watching them…
Our next destination turned out to be the Arc de Triomphe and the Avenue Champs Elysee. Space Station?Grand PalaisActually I had the impression that not even a single french person was there – Just tourists.
We went over to the Grand Palais, a wonderful building from the Paris World Exhibition, which now hosts art exhibitions. Right now the Monumenta 2008 of Richard Serra is hosted there (see the pics) – But most interesting was the concert by Motus conducted there. Using about 80 speakers the group used echo effects to create a very nice athmospheric impression of electroacustic music.

Sacre Coeur at SunsetWe continued our walk over to the Pigalle, where all the Sex etablissements and variete theatres in Paris are hosted… Moulin RougeWe walked past the famous Moulin Rouge with Sacré-Cœur as destination. Climbing up the hill is quite exhausting.
Being there we walked around Montmatre (which was formerly occupied by artists – now it’s just fake artists and tourists) and enjoyed a wonderful scenic view of the Sunset.Finally we got home and had a relaxing dinner.

Parliament view.After sleeping quite long and having a brunch, we decided to some ununsual sight-seeing in Paris: We got to the Chinese Quarter (around Place Italie), which hosts the biggest Chinatown on continental Europe.
Walking around this area was quite interesting, because unlike all other parts of Paris we had been to: There were virtually no tourists :)

Me @ Tour EiffelOn Monday I started the day visiting the Top of the Eiffel Tower – no waiting line :) The view from there is really good – besides the fact that the weather wasn’t that completely satisfying. I took a long walk around the city and enjoyed doing quite nothing special – Just strolling around and enjoying the flair. Without any hurry or any directions of all sort.

Versaille at a glance.Tuesday got basically the highlight with visiting Versailles. Just a trick to cut the queue at the ticket office in Versailles: Get a combined train+chateau ticket at a SNCF ticket shop (at every RER station). This saves you some money and a lot of time. Garden as desiredUnfortunately Versailles was quite crowded even though I arrived a the royal palace as early as 09:30… But by cutting the queue I managed to spent some time at the royal apartments before the huge crowd (arriving by an uncountable number of buses) moved in. I spent the entire afternoon walking around the park and chilling in the sun.

Before flying back to Germany on Wednesday I decided to get some Saucissons, Goat-Cheese and Rilettes – And my flat-mate Florian liked it. So: Thanks to David for hosting me!

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