Tuesday, April 9, 2013
A Big Steaming Mound of Haricots Verts
Well, here we are, in the wonderful City of Light, after a trip through the Chunnel on a train seemingly full of families bound for Euro-Disney. Lots of little kids. Not what I was expecting, but then, it is Spring Break.
We jumped right in when we got here, taking the metro to Montmartre to find our hotel, and then setting off on a long walk across town to the Champs-Elysees and, as you can see, the Eiffel Tower. We stopped for a glass of wine on the Champs-Elysees and did some people-watching in a cafe where cigarette smoke drifted into my face from both directions. Merveilleuse!
The last time I was in Paris, in 2000, I didn't go up in the Eiffel Tower because the lines were ridiculously long. This time Dave and I found dwindling lines in the late afternoon, and besides, we'd had a glass of wine, so we stuck it out. I'm glad we did. The views are amazing, and we didn't even get all the way to the top. (The top deck was closed, for some reason.) This photo shows the view looking north, through the Trocadero toward modern high-rise Paris.
There's lots of interesting street art in Montmartre, so much that I've already decided I have to limit my photography to what I really like. I could spend a lifetime on it, otherwise. Maybe I merely wasn't as tuned in to graffiti when I was here last, but it seems like there's a lot more now.
There are lots of interesting characters wandering around, too. I've been surprised at how readily people speak English. Maybe they just don't want to suffer through my impenetrable French, but the hotel clerk and both of our waiters switched immediately to English when we began speaking. I do not remember that happening before.
Last night Dave and I had dinner in a little cafe in Montmartre, and I was served the most ridiculous pile of green beans that I have ever seen. Huge. We both had to laugh. Hence the title of this post. (And for the record, I ate them all.)