Sunday, July 31, 2011

Paris: Just one in several million

So our whirlwind Paris weekend left me with a few thoughts.

Me on the top level of the Eiffel Tower with the Seine behind me.

Paris seems like a much bigger city than London. Perhaps that is because the language barrier makes it more daunting, or maybe we are visiting such a small part of London that it doesn't seem as massive as it is. I felt much more like a tourist in Paris, and the crowded sites certainly reinforced that impression.

However, I did get to hit a few highlights during our three days there. Along with a bunch of other people. I was one of the 6 million visitors who tour the Louvre and see the Mona Lisa each year. My impression: like most other visitors, it's very small (especially from the back of an extremely pushy crowd).

Too many people (and too much glass) to get a good shot of the Mona Lisa.

On Saturday, I went to Versailles, where I was one of the 3 million visitors who annually tour this former royal palace and its extensive grounds. It felt like every single one of those 3 million people was in the house with me when we went through and that put a damper on the experience. For details of my day at Versailles, see the blog entry on the topic.

The Queen's Bedroom at Versailles. Marie Antoinette supposedly fled the revolting peasants through the door shown at left.

On Sunday, I went to the Eiffel Tower, where I was one of the 7 million visitors who tour this icon every year. The view from the top level offered a lovely view of buildings I wasn't all that familiar with, so I mostly took pictures of the landmark I knew best, the Seine. And so I can say I've been to the top of the Eiffel Tower now. But please respect my personal space for at least the next three days while I recover from the experiences.

Waiting in line for the elevator to the top floor of the Eiffel Tower.

View from the second floor of the Eiffel Tower.

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