Paris walking tour
19.11.2010 - 19.11.2010 7 °C
After an amazing nights sleep, a couple of chocolate filled croissants and a coffee, I headed out to join the free walking tour of Paris. I jumped on boards the metro with plenty of time to spare but by the time i arrived at my stop I was running out of time. I had forgot my map and only had a rough Idea on where the meeting point was so I blindly walked up one street and down another. Just as I was about to give up I saw the Aussie guys I had organized to meet up with for the tour. I crossed the road to Place Saint-Michel just in time to join one of the two tour groups. In freezing icy weather with occasional rain showers to increase the delightfulness of the day we headed off across the Seine. We were shown a building with bullets damage in the front of it from resistance fighters in WWII. Then we headed to the Pont Neuf bridge which is the oldest bridge in Paris
We also wandered around the Louvre and were told how the pyramids came to be. It was raining cats and dogs off and on. As we entered a covered area near the Louvre a guy came up selling umbrellas for 10 euros. I thought that was a bit steep but as we were leaving the covered area back into the rain I bartered another guy down to 5 euros. Armed with my budget umbrella which was made from something like recycled match sticks I braved the rain and wind as we headed to a Starbucks close by. Half an hour and 5 euros later we hit the road again in search of more interesting sights. We ended up heading to this park which was originally the front gardens of the palace.
After visiting a few other sites like the Orsay Museum, Place Del la Concorde and a few others we ended the tour at this bridge which has a nice view of the Eiffel tower.
We noticed coming onto the bridge a vivid police presence so we asked the guide to ask what was happening. It turned out that the uni students had organized a march/riot. The police had vans upon vans parked everywhere. Down the side streets they had vans with fold out riot screens to block any one headed in that direction. With the plan to stay and watch we headed over to the Les Invalides which houses Napoleon. After finding out the entry fee we decided to give it a miss. The march still wasn't happening so we headed off to get some bus tickets. Later in the afternoon we headed past the Bastille monument on our way back to the hostel. Just before we reached the hostel the guys showed me the bakery that they had breakfast at so I headed in to try some baking. I purchased a couple of items and my favorite was something that looked like a chocolate cup cake but had a guey chocolate inside. I've never eaten a cup cake or whatever it was that tasted so delicious!
Later in the evening whilst eating dinner we saw how the riots had gone with smashed telephone booths etc. I personally think that the Parisians must not have enough fun ways to let their hair down so they organize a riot or two.
After dinner I headed out for a couple of catch up drinks with Mohammed who I had met in Krakow, Poland earlier in the year.