Tuesday, September 4, 2012

paris in a bubble

last week we were able to drive to paris.   we actually went to look at something for my husband's business but figured we might as well take in some sights while there.   it was supposed to be a 5 - 6 hour drive but for some reason it took 8.   such is traveling i guess.   we left at 3 am so we saw the sunrise in another country, at a rest stop, with weird toilets.   one of the things we noticed is that france has more open space than germany.   germany is all forests and towns.   there are farms but they are tucked in between trees and buildings.   sometimes there are small patches of trees and or huge power poles sticking up in the middle of a field.   france landscape was more like idaho.   large spaces of open farmland where the skyline is flat except distant hills.   it felt like i was sprawling out after being cuddled up for a year.   funny, i hadn't thought about it much until we were driving through something that seemed so familiar.   
 same rest stop.   i love watching the farmer.   i'm sure he had been out there since before sun up.   i caught him taking breakfast from his lunch box before going back to plowing.   this was definitely like home . . .until the rocket train went whizzing by right there on the at the end of the field.   your not in idaho anymore, girl.
 on the road again, road construction is a bit different here.   they use moles to do the digging evidently.   at lest the signs are more interesting that the plain ones in idaho.
 this was our first glimpse of the tower.   i think it's interesting how the skyline goes from a city full of tall building to nothing to the tower sticking up out of nothing at this distance.   it doesn't seem that way when your inside the city.
 you can just barely see the tower sticking up over the apartments between the light poles.   this picture actually shows something else that i thought was interesting.   there were always zippers crossing the sky there.  the constant crossing of contrails was fascinating to me.  

 i just loved this conglomeration of cranes.
 this is how they clean under the eiffel tower.   i'd love to see the vacuum they use while the tower picks up it's feet.
 just a fun building
 finally, the tower!   we parked in a garage and walked over to the tower.   it was just easier.   the parking, as well as everything else was expensive.   the opportunity to see a major landmark was worth the 13€ to park for a few hours



 there was a young man making huge bubbles under the tower.   he was very cooperative with me and made them over my camera.   the structure is really beautiful but everything is better when viewed through a soap bubble.


















  there is a bridge and then a fountain in line with the bridge.   all beautiful, even more so together.

 we hung out at the foot of the bridge for a bit and watched the barges floating past.
 and the animals play in the water




thsi huge fountain was amazing.   it's like a park with everyone gathered around, swimming in the fountain and just hanging out having lunch.   there were kids that walked down with their sack lunches.   it made me wonder if they think think it's as cool as i do.   


my husband grew up in germany and never saw any of the sites.   he said that he never thought about it until he moved to the states and had kids.   he wanted to show them the things that he grew up near but never saw.   now that we live in europe, we are trying to see things.
   
it made me wonder what things i missed.   what things did i have near me and never saw because it had just always been there so wasn't important.   what opportunities did i have that i never took?

stop for a minute and think about what things are near you.   what things do other people come and see?  have you seen it?   do you appreciate the world you live near, the opportunities you have and the things you can do?
 just a thought.


 we got a few more shots of the tower.   if you go, everything is expensive.   a hot dog is 7€, soda is 3€.   just be ready for it.   worth it, but be ready.   we brought our lunch but forgot it in the car.   so much for planning.

we couldn't stay the night so we headed back around 5.   paris has rush hour too so avoid that.   rush hour was interesting.   everyone just went and zipped in where ever they could.   places that were marked for 2 lanes had 3 lanes of cars with 2 lanes of motorcycles and mopeds stacked in between them.  everyone was pretty mellow about the chaos though.   the only honking was the 2 wheelers honking to let you know they were coming between the lines.   it was fascinating.   it was the most organized, rushed, patient, chaos i've ever seen.   amazing.

the good thing about the stop and go traffic was that we got to do some clicking on the way.   i call this drive-by photo shootings.   alas, this is what we must do sometimes.

the glass topped grand palais 
horse sculpture atop the grand palais


 i wonder if the people that live her think the light poles are as cool as i do.





 i've always, like since i was 3, wanted to go to the louvre.   well, for now, this is as close as i've ever been.   someday, maybe i can spend a week in there but for now, her it is.   it's huge!   it takes up more that a city block and is at least 3 stories.
 one day, when i don't have crazy blonde curls to entertain, i hope i can go in.
 this was an interesting street market.   there are several of these that lock up at night.   people seel all kinds of things out of them.




 out of the city, we got a glimpse of some more country side before dark.


that's our quickie in paris and france.   a couple more observations about france.   
there is a lot of litter, france is a dirty place.   
don't walk in the grass around rest areas.   people have no problem using the bathroom on the side of the road, the white you see in the grass is tp, nuff said.    little bit gross.   
paris is expensive.   it's a huge tourist attraction so of course it's expensive.      there are people walking around asking for donations for things, yeah, i'm sure the money is going to the handicap or whatever.    the guys walking around selling eiffel towers didn't seem as expensive, but we didn't get one.    i might next time.   
have lots of change for toll and for the restrooms, they are free but you should still leave a tip for the people running it.   there are performers, like the guy with bubbles, leave them a tip as well if you stop to enjoy their performance.   it doesn't take much.   although, if your used to dollars, be aware that the 1€ and 2€ are coins.    freaked me out when we first got here.   you don't want to give people a hand full of change and have it be full of 1€ and 2€ pieces.   that would get spendy quick.


take the opportunities that are around you.    take the time to see the world around you.   and when things look around you, at the things, the people and life around you . . .look at them with new appreciation.   when things look their worst, look at the world through a soap bubble.