For some reason I was quite comfortable walking around Paris, enough so that I was willing to get lost around the area (which makes me really cool, by the way). (I hope you laughed at that last statement.) It was a pretty nice day. Kind of cloudy, but people walked around happily—especially tourists. I was a little annoyed by that. Still, it was obvious that kids were off of school and adults had the day off, so seeing people happy and relaxed on this holiday was great. I snapped some pictures of a happy Weimaraner and a kid that was enjoying a small door on a little building.
The famous Berthillon ice cream parlor was closed on that day, but there was another gourmet gelato place that was open and making a killing on hungry tourists. I also bit. The gelato was delicious, but expensive. Still, I needed my gelato. As I ate, I reflected…
I took my gelato to a nice little park near Notre Dame and ate, and then read. It was nice.
Even though most of Paris had the day off, it was still a working day for street performers. Well, actually, only the bad ones. Not really worth the pictures. This guy, however moved a puppet’s hand and mouth up and down to the American song, “She F***ing Hates Me,” which the tourists just ate up.
Finally, it was about time for me to go find a seat for the fireworks. On the way there, I was excited to find two more Arago medallions, across the river from where I found the others.
After telling myself that to resist the temptation to look for more medallions, I walked toward the Eiffel Tower. The more I walked, the more crowded Paris became. I didn’t necessarily know where I was going—just kept heading towards the Tower, and following the huge crowds.
My stomach was filled with excitement when I saw that there was street food along the streets. Mmm. Candy, crepes, sandwiches, fried things. Oh, if I didn’t have so little money and, more restricting, such a small stomach! I decided that I would buy a snack and some sort of meal-like thing. A candy stand that had a plethora of gummy things, licorice-looking ropes, roasted cinnamon nuts, and much more was calling my name. Why would I buy something I know I’m going to like? I thought to myself as I pointed to a large, strawberry-shaped something. Perfect.
It was like a giant, strawberry-flavored marshmallow Peep that had been sitting on a shelf for about 40 years. Still, I’m glad I tried it.
Now looking for my dinner, I came to a stand that consisted of nothing more than a table with a large skillet on top, and a man and a woman sitting in folding chairs behind it. What was coming from the skillet smelled delicious, and there was a long non-English-speaking line, so I decided I would eat whatever they gave me.
When I was done eating, I walked closer and closer to the Eiffel Tower, the crowds getting denser and denser. Somehow I found a patch of grass near the park, in the middle of a large crowd, and sat down to wait for the show.
Then the fireworks started. I had never seen anything like it. Not only were fireworks shooting up around the Eiffel Tower, not only were they shooting from the Tower itself, but somehow images and shapes where being projected on to each side of it, metaphorically telling the story of France throughout history. It was incredible.
Pay no attention to the fact that I look absolutely wasted in the frozen shot of this video before you push "play." I'm not. I just have no control of what frame blogger decides to freeze my video on.
What a wonderful way to spend my last night in Europe. I walked back home to the following beautiful sight - its beauty was a little diminished because I wasn't necessarily sure if I was going to get mugged or not.
I will talk about my return to the Fifty Nifty and reflect on it all in the next couple of posts. I'm sad that this is coming to an end soon! At least I have more to share...