Travel Dispatch: Paris

18 03 2008

We sat in the brightly lit bar of our Parisian hostel, the smell of fresh paint and construction hung heavy in the air. I stabbed a large chunk of gelatinous meat out from my bowl and peered suspiciously at the oily brown liquid dribbling from it. Beef Bourguignon, a French delicacy, apparently.

Expressing Myself Through The Medium Of MusicI hacked off the fatty portion, deposited it on a napkin and placed the remaining sliver of chewy meat inside my mouth. Blurgh. My sister Lisa, who had been delicately removing small bones from her minuscule salmon steak looked equally unimpressed. With a sigh, we pushed our barely touched plates to the side of the table and vowed we would never eat at the hostel again.

Still hungry and €30 poorer, we did the only sensible thing one can do in these situations and ordered a round of strong drinks. A few minutes later we were necking shots of a mysterious blue liquid and thankfully feeling much better about the events of our evening.

The following morning, after trying to counter-act our hangovers with half a dozen cups of watery hostel coffee, we set out on a guided walking tour of the city. Walking tours, I have decided, are the best way to see a city like Paris, neither self-exploration or the prerecorded bus tours come close. Our guide told us lively stories from the history of the city, from the rule of Napoleon to the breaking of Bastille and the French revolution. We heard about the public guillotining of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette and the controversal glass pyramids at the Lourve. Despite the fact this trip was my third visit to the French capital I had obviously missed so much of the city’s fascinating history before.

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