Monday, July 6, 2009

In Paris


The third and final leg of the trailblazers.com European Tour brings me to Paris, supposedly the most romantic city in the world. I have to admit that, stepping out off the Gard du Nord train station, romance is hardly the first thing that comes to mind, as the smell of urine and vice-peddling isn't really my idea of a turn on. But one shouldn't judge a city by a lone location, let alone a heavily utilized transit center, so I'm keeping an open mind.

I finally found my hotel after walking about ten blocks in the wrong direction, something I was prepared for having previously visited the city five years ago. The streets here branch off in every direction and signage is often impossible to find or nonexistent all together, but if you stay calm and keep your wits about you, navigating this city can be a fun adventure. Thus ends my Rick Steves impersonation.

I'm here to see Nicolas Batum (natch), a task I've accomplished less than 24 hours into my stay. We talked for a while at his agent's office, then walked around the city for a bit. Posts, pictures and video of that on the way soon enough.

I set out for the subway this morning, only to find the trains weren't running. Some poor soul had decided to commit suicide by laying down on the tracks. Things are tough all over.

So I ended up walking about two miles to the meet up spot, which gave me a chance to do a little sightseeing. Getting deeper into the city, I found the filth and debauchery I was greeted by at the train station gave way to a vibrant and historic landscape, a tourist paradise. One might even call it romantic.

4 comments:

millertime said...

whats natch mean, nick name or something?

Barry said...

It's short for "naturally".

fivehundreddogs said...

There's a reason that there's a song about how lovely Paris is in the springtime, but not too much about Paris in the heat of summer; the smell is atrocious! The sun bakes up the dog and human waste that has been lurking in the cracks all year, creating a wave of putrefaction that can only be described as chemical warfare.

The best advice that I could give anybody going to Paris would be to make a day of walking the big sights(Tour Eiffel, Arc de Triumph, Louvre), then devote a whole other day to just the Louvre. After that, get the hell out of Paris.

Small town France is where it's at. Just remember that market days are Wednesday and Saturday(only savages shop at the supermarkets), and for the love all that is good, get a car with GPS and explore.

Go Blazers. Vive la France!

elizabeth9187 said...

Casey - I follow your postings somewhat regularly, and I must admit, I get incredibly frustrated by your grammar mistakes. I realize that you're typing quickly, but please take a few minutes to read your entries through.

I hope you enjoy your time in France. Vive la France! Paris, je t'aime!