Monday, November 23, 2009

Paris in a day

When I traveled to England over the summer and then on to Paris for a last minute one-day trip, I had hopes of taking some really great pictures. It was the chance of a lifetime for me to be so close to Paris, and so I decided to opt for the train under the ocean for the day trip. I knew it would be hectic, but to see the Eiffel Tower, The Arch de Triumph, The Louvre Museum, The Cathedral Notre Dame de Paris, and The Sacre Couer Basilica were all just too amazing to pass up.

However, what I found was that when you happen to be someone that really likes to take pictures, it is best to go it alone. I found myself being forced to conform to what others wanted to do, and sadly I missed some of the picture opportunities that I had really wanted to get. It was a lesson learned, and one that I won't repeat again. I did get a few which I am really proud of, and I did get to see some incredible things along the way, so all was not lost.

I only had a day in Paris, but it would have been so easy to have stayed a entire month just at the Louvre Museum alone. My eyes wandered every where I looked, and I found it hard to take it all in. I was so close to so many amazing things, but did not get to closely examine things because of such limited time restraints.
I had even tried to freshen up on what little French that I knew, however, the first time someone spoke to me in fluent French, I completely fell to pieces. Slow simple French, no problem, but a fast fluent Frenchman...impossible !

I happened to be in Paris the day of a National Rugby championship which meant that the streets were field with thousands of Rugby fans in Paris for the day. The streets were filled with vibrant colors, like the one below which made for some fabulous pictures. They were chanting in the streets, and it made it a very festive day. I had brought my large Canon camera, (which made me look like paparazzi), so every time I raised my camera, the rugby fans would pose without effort. I recall one group who stopped me and started speaking fluid French to me. All I could do was look at them and say, "I am sorry, I am American, I speak English !" they looked at each other and said "Oui, Oui...I LOVE YOU !" it was quite fun. American phrase that transcends any language, and obviously something definitley in English !