Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bonjour Eiffel - Euro Trip 1

Imagine yourself in fashion capital and having nothing to wear! Isn’t it a nightmare? That’s what happened to me when I landed in Paris airport. The luggage I checked in at Amsterdam airport didn’t show up in the belt. Not just mine but for a handful who took the same flight. We were told that it would be delivered to Hotel soon.

Mr R who is related to me in so many ways and also the guide cum host for this trip told me its normal and has happened at least 3 times either to him or people who travelled with him. So I am left with a sweater, a laptop, a "sorry kit" from Air-France and life long lesson to carry clothes in my hand luggage.
We took a 30 minute train ride from airport to reach the "Gare du Nord" the city's main metro station. I was amazed to find plenty of Indian restaurants and shops just outside the train station. We hogged on idly, dosa and masala vadai before checking in to the hotel. The "sorry kit" had an XL sized t-shirt which generously covered till my knee (I looked like Rangeela Urmila in the mirror), plastic razor, an odd smelling deodorant, brushing kit and a comb. 20 hours of travel/transit, jet lag and Urmila t-shirt has left me irritated for a while. Later I realised I have only couple of days in Paris and I shouldn’t let any petty thing to spoil my day. Thankfully R carried few extra t-shirts in his hand luggage. I was already wearing a Jeans pant which can be reused and reused ;) So with couple of dispensable brief, I am all set to hit the road.

The hotel we stayed
Overrated is the word I used after the first glimpse of Paris. Its best to know little French as the directions and station names are all written in French (Sortie means Exit). Even the shop keepers and restaurant owners greet you with Bonjour - (Good day) or Merci (Thank you). Its one of the most populated city in the world. So the Metro stations are dirty and crowded.

The Metro trains run on tyres and its quite a bumpy ride. Check and recheck your map several times before boarding a train or choosing a platform, you may get lost easily. I travelled with R who had been there like umpteen times, and we still got lost. We happen to board the right train but it had different route for the day! I noticed people of various races in trains, some of them are dressed in traditional outfits that I couldn’t identify. And be sure whom to ask for directions, it’s not so safe and you can invite unwanted trouble just by making eye contact with wrong persons.
R's friend has a French husband who works in the Eiffel tower. He was kind enough to give us complimentary VIP passes to the tower. This means we don’t have to stand in the long queue for hours to get into the tower ;). Beware its crowded all through the year and especially so on weekends. Paris invites more than 45 million tourists every year and Eiffel tower is the most popular destination in the world. So allot sufficient time for Eiffel tower when you plan your trip.

Gusteve Eiffel a French structural engineer built this tower during 1889 for World's Fair marking the centennial celebration of the French Revolution. You would be surprised to learn that Gusteve built Statue of liberty as well and they both share the same metallic structure. This Tower was widely criticized by many as odious column and public called it eye sore! It only had permit for 20 years and the "city of Paris" was hoping to tear it down by then. The tower was also sold for scrap metal twice! Thankfully the tower was helpful for communication to military during first battle of Marne and became victory statue of the battle.
The tower is made of purest form of Iron and requires 60 tonnes of paint to protect it from rusting. Its also painted in three shades of brownish-grey, darker at the bottom and lighter at the top. This is to maintain uniform appearance from ground to light colour sky.
The tower contains 3 floors of which are accessible by lift. The construction of lift itself is marvel owing to the slanting tracks with changing angles of the tower.
The tower hosts two restaurants and amazing panoramic view of the city. One of the most Iconic image of the world, the tower has featured in thousands of movies, TV shows, photos, paintings and duplicated in various sizes around the world.
These decorative grillwork arches are added later to reassure visitors that the structure was safe!

All said and done, I have no clue how and why Paris and Eiffel tower has become one of the icon for love and top destination for lovers. But as I stood there 280 meters from ground, watching the spectacular sunset with thousands of couples, all I wanted was the presence of my love to share a kiss.
The illuminated tower, glittering effect and the beacon light at the top is yet another sight not to miss. So try to go there by the evening, watch the sunset and when you come down you can spend time in the opposite park enjoying the grand night view of the tower. Most likely you would be treated with good music from concerts that happen regularly. To me the tower felt quite magical, there has to be something more than those iron columns, to attract so many people, to stand as a testimony of time facing innumerable challenges. And my internet search led me to interesting information.During 1920s Father Theodor Wulf a German physicist cum priest observed increase of energy radiating at the top of this tower, the findings were not accepted earlier. But later it proved to be powerful radiations, the one that comes from outer space to earth atmosphere. The one we call today as cosmic rays!

46 comments:

Thamizhmaangani said...

oh my god, this is damn so interesting! u made me fall in love with paris instantly!! haha...gr8 post!

and dude, where is the pic of u looking like rangeela urmila!?? hahah....u r damn funny i tell u!:)

hey urs was free and easy tour rite? how much did u spend in all? i wanna go on a holiday too this yr end...to new york! haha.

gils said...

sooper..ula varum olikathir rangeku ezhuthirukada..chaancela :) nallaruku

athivas said...

Could anyone share their experience with these many details? Certainly, I cannot!

Loved pics 8 (the grill work is too minute) and 9, 9 esp (the sunset is awesome). Also 10 and 11.

R-ambam said...

Pictures are awesome.. thats some sunset u saw .. Lucky you !

Rangeela urmila. .. ? LOL :)

gud that u put in all details towards the end ..

Preeti Shenoy said...

Ah! lovely post!

Quite the romantic thinking of a kiss even while seeing a gorgeous site!

Lucky--masala vadais yum yum!

And dont tell me that is the picture of the urmila matondkar t shirt--if it is, it isnt bad at all!

Cheers
preeti

thethoughtfultrain said...

Lovely pictures!! Looks like Paris lived up to its name in the end. It is one of my deams to see the wonders of the world in one trip!!
Why did you go to Paris and not take your love?? That was really strange, buddy! :D

jehan said...

hi Sri! that's really bad.. my Uncle from the States who attended my sister's wedding also lost his luggage. He had a connecting flight from USA--Hongkong--Philippines. While he arrived in the P.I., his luggage arrived in Australia... what a terrible mistake...

A journey called Life said...

wowwwwwww awesome account.. loved the pics and where is the rangeela u?

Srivats said...

@ Thamiz

Pizza ungalukkey ;)
thankfully didnot took a picture with urmila tshirt :)u wanna go to new york but want expense details of europe :) ?

@ Gils
ula varum olikathira ? isnt it a program for temple functions ? :)

Srivats said...

@ Athivas :)
May be you are being modest , I love your writing regarding ur father , well writtern so many details :) yes the pictures turned out to be really good :)

@R-ambam
Thanks! I thought its too much of information LOL , yes the sunset appeared so good in real than in the picture

Srivats said...

@ Preeti Shenoy
Long time no see :) Thanks for dropping by,Nope that wasnt urmila tshirt, as I said in the post its R's not my size though :) I am hoplessly romantic.

@Thethoughtfultrain
You never know ;)

Srivats said...

@ Jehan
Yes its shame, with so much technology these days, staff still managed to lose or misplace the luggages! But its a good lesson to carry atleast few clothes in the hand luggage

Srivats said...

@ AJCL

haha thankfully its only for my eyes :)

Annam said...

உலகம் சுற்றும் வாலிபன்:)

Annam said...

evry one vil use X for unknown....u hav taken the letter R:) always uniquela...gud:)

Annam said...

tower pathi neraya notes eduthutu vantheengala(kaila paper pennoda poiteengalo!!!!!!)

Annam said...

supera ezhuthi irukkel

Annam said...

oru velai engalukku europe poga opportunity kidacha vats guide aaka vendi thaan...since no R s available for us:(

Annam said...

///(Sortie means Exit). Even the shop keepers and restaurant owners greet you with Bonjour - (Good day) or Merci (Thank you)./////////

athukulla French kathukittela:) Gils thitta 4 vaarthai frenchla solli kudungo:)

Annam said...

rounda 20:D apparam vandhu kummaren:)))))))))))))

gils said...

//Gils thitta 4 vaarthai frenchla solli kudungo:)//

pikaali :) ingayuma :) adangaratha terila

Srivats said...

@ Brahm van

X ellam x partner kku dhaan use pannuvanga :) ennoda frienda x nnu kupdradhukku avan enna detective agenta ;)

Achicho frenchla thitradha mattum kathukkaliye, adhunala enna namakku therinja naal varthiye thriumba thirumba thitra maari use pannuvom, pickup ayidom :)

kaila camera oda dhaan ponene, michathukku internet erukku ellai

Srivats said...

pikaali :) ingayuma :) adangaratha terila//

pikaali alaias brahm van alias annam 65 eppo adangi erundhuchu sollu ?

Swaram said...

XL sized t-shirt which generously covered till my knee (I looked like Rangeela Urmila in the mirror) - Ha ha ha! Gud one :P No pic ;)

N U have described the Eiffel tower so beautifully! Hw romantic the place is rt!

Loved the pics too :)

Annam said...

///gils said...
//Gils thitta 4 vaarthai frenchla solli kudungo:)//

pikaali :) ingayuma :) adangaratha terila
//////////////////////////

naanum unaku peru vaipen:)veena u kindifying my vaai ....

aatam poduravanga thaan adanganum I mean u the Great terror of mumbai:)

Annam said...

ada naana 25 potten:)

Annam said...

////Srivats said...
pikaali :) ingayuma :) adangaratha terila//

pikaali alaias brahm van alias annam 65 eppo adangi erundhuchu sollu ?
///////////
Mr.Europen eppo annam aatam pottuchu adangurathuku inimel thaan arambam:)

Annam said...

////////// gils said...
//Gils thitta 4 vaarthai frenchla solli kudungo:)//

pikaali :) ingayuma :) adangaratha terila
/////////////////
$!@#(^!%#*(!%^&*(#%^(!#%^!&*#%^!&*%#&*!#%!*&%#&*!%#&*!%#&*%&)*%&*%#&*!%#&*!%*&%!&%!&*#%*!%#*!%

Annam said...

me the 29:)

Annam said...

and also 30:)

Naangalum vilayaduvomla:):P

Ramesh said...

Hey nice post and lovely pictures. Paris is a riomantic city - so can understand sentiments about the kiss and love !

I hope there are more posts coming on Paris. Waiting to see your take on Lido or Moulin Rouge - which one did you go to ?

Charissism said...

W_O_W. that's all I can say. IT is indeed, magical. Love your narration as always and I know that more magical entries will come in the coming days. I will forever treasure the token you gave me from Paris. Someday(hopefully next year, finger's crossed) I can see the beauty of Paris too. Keep those stories coming! :)

Srivats said...

@ Annam

Ungalukku @ Brahm van nnu oru comment potteny pakkaliya ?

Annam said...

//Srivats said...
@ Annam

Ungalukku @ Brahm van nnu oru comment potteny pakkaliya ?////

அடப்பாவி ஏம்ல 2 பிரண்ட்ஸும் இப்படி round katti பேரு வைக்கிரீங்க

Annam said...

/////Srivats said...
@ Brahm van///////////

Ungalukku @ Brahm van nnu oru comment potteny pakkaliya ?
///
thellath theliva solli kaamikireengallakum epdi ipdi ellam:(

Annam said...

ithellam remba over aakum

Annam said...

singapore irukura :-) mumbaila irukura:-) oru peroda varaen
adangura maathiri therila 2 perum:P

Annam said...

me yosiching & c(G)uming :)

Annam said...

u both

Annam said...

appalikka :P

mybittersweetkoreanlife said...

The Eiffel Tower looks spectacular in photos!

mybittersweetkoreanlife said...

I'm sorry to hear about your missing luggage...

you still look decent for a guy who lost his luggage ^^

...ceedee... said...

paris became my instant favourite bcos of ur writing.
tut 'rangeela urmila' was really funny!! ha ha!

G3 said...

Avvvvvv!! Indha postkku naan comment podaliya :(( Oru vela kaanama pona unga potti maadiriyae en commentum kaanama poiducho !! :P

Vidya said...

VERY NEAT! I am glad you had a wonderful time, Mr.Urmila! I thought that was so funny.

I am learning French now and I was very excited to hear you describe Paris! :D Did you get a chance to go elsewhere, say Rome?

Vidya

Srivats said...

@ Mybittersweetkoreanlife

haha yea thanks to R's tight medium sized t shirts :)

@ Ceedee

Hope u wont get disapointed when u go there :) haha

@ g3

sari vidunga next postla onnukku renda potrunga, adhaan commenta sonnen

@ Vidya
Glad you liked it , if u know french paris would be very welcoming, regarding the places I visited, u got to wait , posts are on the way , a little surprise is what we need right ? :P