Monday, 24 March 2014

Lounging in the City of Light

 I do love the weekends but they go so quickly it makes my head hurt!

 That little gap where two days are inserted which refreshes us after the rigors of five days of work are a precious commodity for anyone like myself who is devoid of devotion to duty and lives to see the moment when a small asteroid pierces the Earth's atmosphere and, in a one in a million shot, takes out my place employment. Without me being there at the time!

 Of course I'm joking but the weekends seem to be over barely before they have begun and we are back into the senseless grind of the working week once more, the past two days of leisure but a distant memory, a hologram through which we pass with haste. What a life!

 It could be worse. The tiler reinventing our bathroom has been here all weekend plying his trade. He can't stop as he has so much work. The little gap in the door through which flows the light of the weekend is closed tight for him. I'm glad I'm not a tradesman.

 We have had a family dinner this evening and everyone has now retired to bed except me so I thought that I would write an entry in my Blog and put off the inevitable rise of the Monday morning sun for as long as possible by spending time in the deserted quarter of our house until I keel over from tiredness or simply accept my fate and slink off to bed, the turning of the Earth defeating me again.

 But, as has been my want lately, I am including a "photo of the day", to thrill and enchant you all and what better image of the world could set hearts ablaze than that of the Eiffel Tower in the great city of Paris!

 Some who have done a bit of travelling may be thinking "ho hum, Paris, been there, seen it" but a first visit there is really quite special. "The City of Light", world famous and a distant jewel shining in the dusk to those of us who live on the other side of the world. It is a surreal experience arriving for the first time and six months on I still can't get my head around the fact I was there.

 The photo in question was taken from a ferry on the river Seine. We had arrived from Switzerland in the afternoon, done a quick tour to get our bearings, booked into our Hotel and then we were off to see Paris by night. And what a sight she is!            

  The Eiffel Tower, shimmering, elegant, dragging your gaze to her like a charismatic film star would when arriving on a set, golden lights ablaze, flickering for her guests, letting them know in no uncertain terms who the star of this show is.

 The tourist hordes aboard the ferries which ply their trade upon the river can only sigh and gurgle like babies as the star of the Paris skyline illuminates the night and the lure of the city becomes a spell under which they fall.

 Paris is busy. Crowded. Undeniably beautiful. All grace and symmetry but greatness has left her behind. She is an aged beauty whose youth has passed with the wind. Cheekbones high, lips full, body sumptuous yet wrinkled and in parts a little ragged. The Napoleonic glories are all but forgotten. Yet she remains the uncrowned queen of Europe.

    And, just to prove I was actually there, here I am with the great icon behind me. Paris at night. Living the dream.

 They say Parisians are arrogant and sick of tourists, thus they have a reputation for treating foreigners with disdain but only on a couple of occasions did I feel the French scorn of outsiders upon me.

 Learning the simple phrase, "Excuse me please, do you speak English?", in French, seemed to knock down a few barriers. We even received a marketing call at our bedsitter and the phrase worked even then!

 So, learn a few lines, it may help you out in the simplest of scenarios if you ever find yourself in Paris.

 There is so much I could say and write about Paris but I suggest anyone reading who hasn't made the trip should go. Paris and London should be done by all at least once before you die. I will leave the rest a surprise for you!

 I did manage to climb the Eiffel Tower, at least take a very crowded lift to the second floor where the magnificent views of Paris are overwhelming.

 The thing about Eiffel's great tower is that is essentially useless. It was a pointless structure in the first place, built for the World's Fair in Paris and was due to be pulled down twenty years after. It was barely saved from demolition and apart fulfilling some capability as a radio transmitting station during the First World War, it basically has no point to it except as a major landmark!

 Paris without the Eiffel Tower would be like bacon without eggs. The two go together now and forever more.

 So, I hope you don't mind my quick little sojourn back to France and I hope you enjoyed it. And I hope it fills you with determination to follow your own dreams and one day too see the Eiffel Tower and Paris in all her glory.

 Have a nice night.

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