Thursday, July 30, 2009

My Last Day in Paris

After my nap in the hostel, I decided to walk around the city for a bit.  I hadn’t gotten to take a look at Notre Dame yet, so I took the metro over to that area. Apparently Bastille Day is pretty popular among tourists, so the lines to get in the cathedral were terribly long.  I walked around Notre Dame, though, and took some pretty fun pictures. 

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...


  1. Hey cool, I forgot about Notre Dame! Good for you, it looks pretty :).

    THAT'S what a Weimaraner looks like?! Huh, who knew. I've always thought those dogs were really cute. I would be willing to own one someday.

    Hehehehe for some reason I find it really funny that you decided to take a picture of a little boy having fun inside a small door. Good one.

    At least there is ice cream here in the states--sounds as good as gelatto to me! Good thing your girlfriend likes ice cream so much, eh? Wow, what a cool girl.

    I find it entertaining the way you separate yourself from the other "tourists." Who do you think you are? :) Hahahaha. I guess you are cooler than the average tourist, but I'm still going to make fun of you.

    That candy looks DISGUSTING :D.

    The fireworks seem very pretty! How long was the show? I wish I had seen them in real life. Also, when you were filming for those 3 or 4 minutes, please tell me you weren't looking only at the camera, but that you were seeing it with your naked eyes and ignoring the screen.

    Aww, you look absolutely euphoric in your last video! I love how happy and wonderful your last few days were!!!

    And I love YOU,

  2. christie, you have no idea of the amazingness of gelato. NO IDEA. a bowl of hard ice cream from the freezer is NOT THE SAME.


    but yes, i have gone from a "i'll-just-have-one-bite-of-ice-cream" kind of guy to a "BACK-UP-THE-TRUCK!"

    i know, i do seem to try to pretend like i'm different than all those other tourists, even though i'm not. at least let me have this moment of thinking that i'm an experienced adventurer! :)

    the fireworks show was about fifteen minutes long. really cool. yes, i was watching with my naked eyes...SO COOL.

    i was quite euphoric and SO READY to just keep traveling in that last video. *sigh* some other time. :)

  3. This is Brenda not Christie haha, I wonder if you would have figured it out? I think so....

    Such cool pictures Brian! You are so lucky to have this blog with all of your memories. I do not know the song the monkey was dancing to, probably not on my ipod huh?
    You are braver than me spending your last pennies on food you were not sure of but really what made you pick that disgusting strawberry thing? haha
    I'm off to read the next post now!

  4. i just love weird candy. mmmm. and i'm really happy that i ate that strawberry thing. it was like a gooey meringue, and covered with colored sugar. the more i think about it, the more i appreciate it. i did eat the whole thing, by the way. :)

  5. ewww, you said it was 40 years old! gross! sicko!