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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Paris: Part Deux

I will pick up my tale of Paris with Parisian evenings. First, I shall point out that when we weren't eating crepes, we were eating finger food. I don't think that's because that's particularly what they eat in Paris, but because the event organizers (our European partner, GOA) thought that would be the easiest thing for large amounts of people to consume.

I don't know if it accomplished their goal, but it certainly did mean that all the drinking we did was magnified ten fold. We were using Parisian wine both as nourishment and as a means of passing our time.

Anyway, inevitably at some point in the evening, I would get this hankering to walk somewhere. I mentioned in "Part Un" that the Europeans sure do seem to walk a lot, which counterbalances their consumption of cheese and chocolate and allows them all to stay terribly skinny. But this walking was insane. The first night, I went with Games Workshop license representative, Erik Mogensen, to the Eiffel Tower.

It started, innocuously enough, with a trip to the Louvre, which was around the corner from our hotel, and which he had professed in his late arrival, he had not seen yet.

Then we got there and it didn't seem like enough, and the Eiffel Tower was visible (although according to Google Maps, it is 3 miles away), and so off we went. It was one of the few nights that it wasn't raining, so it was a pleasant and interesting walk. And I guess I should not have been surprised to find vendors selling glow-in-the-dark Eiffel Tower keychains when we got there. I do blame that visit for my false comprehension of the tourism at the Eiffel Tower. Aside from the vendors and a couple cops, we were the only people there. When I visited a couple days later with aspirations to go up it, there were thousands of tourists. I felt indignant that so many people had deigned to come to MY tower.

The second night, Erik and I convinced Swedish journalist Mats Nylund to accompany us on a trip down the Champs Elyssee to the Arc de Triomphe (Several other, much wiser journalists went to sleep). This time we got about half way there (about 1 mile in) and it started to pour rain.

Then of course, there's the matter of the Arc de Triomphe being in the middle of a circle with five lanes of traffic going around it... with no visible stoplights. And then of course, it's also closed at night, which is a bizarre concept for an open air monument.

Still we had managed to make our way just up to the arch itself when several female police officers began to bark at us to go away. We stepped outside of the Arc (me into the street in order to take the pictures), and then had turned around to head back to our hotel, when the female police officer called Erik over again. I thought perhaps she had changed her mind, or was going to allow us to find a victor to the bet "Does the Arc de Triomphe protect you from the rain?", but in actuality she had just called us back to yell at us to go away again.

My favorite thing about this picture in particular is that it looks like both Mats and Erik are WAAAGHing. Very Warhammer indeed.


Milkman519 said...

Wow, part two came fast. Paris sounds like it was a lot of fun.

nweasel said...

You know, while you WERE there technically more or less for business as well as pleasure, I think that that looks like an absolutely awesome time you had. Love the pictures. Wish one day I could go to Paris, so I am in EXTREME envy. Good hearing from you again!

Anonymous said...

You shoulda taken the Paris subway, much easier and faster way of getting around. It wasnt too expensive last time i was there. But i guess the whole subway late at night thing may have not been that great

William said...

When the Arc de Triomphe is open during the day, there is a pedestrian tunnel that takes you under the five lanes of traffic, and right up to the middle. Last time I went to the Arc they had a wreath-laying ceremony while I was there. Pretty neat. Things you should check out:
Musee de l'armee - it's in the same building as Napoleon's Tomb (Les Invalides) and has TONS and TONS of weapons and armor from the Middle Ages to "nos jours" as the French say. You could say it's a research trip for the Warhammer game.