Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Notre Dame the Latin Quarter and the Eiffel Tower

Another day of sightseeing in Paris. The day started with the Notre Dame Cathedral. This is huge and beautiful. Construction stated in the late 1100 so that makes it some 900 years old. It has been renovated over time and it is a most impressive structure.

Then it was a break for lunch. I ordered a Salad while HRH the Queen of Kutch got a Ham & Cheese Sandwich. My salad was nice and had a tasty dressing. HRH the Queen of Kutch’s sandwich was huge and delicious. It looks great even in the photo.

Fortified by lunch we took a short walk to the Latin Quarter. This is the area on the Left Bank where the intellectuals hung out, thus it’s supposed to be more Bohemian. In addition the universities are located in this are adding to the Bohemian feel. All this may have been true years ago. Today it’s a mess, by Western European standards. Mixed shops, some upmarket, some not so and many book shops. Lots of small restaurants, graffiti and poster filled walls. Not terribly fascinating. Some parts of the University buildings are impressive.

Not being terribly enthused by the area we decided to walk to Rue Mouffetrad a place we had visited when here some 6 years ago. Reasonably charming. Lots of restaurants serving all kinds of food ranging from French to Moroccan to Lebanese to Chinese. Everything and the kitchen sink. Lots of Creperies. The oddest thing about creperies was that in none of them was there a Caucasian [French or otherwise] making crepes. It was always an Oriental.

From there we went to the magnificent Eiffel Tower. Luckily there were no lines so we got into the elevator and were taken up by a series of slow elevators. It was a bit misty so you could not really see anything. But up there I realised how really different we are in India. At the top is a Bar where Champagne is sold. Good Champagne, something Alain Dusasse puts his name on. We bought a couple of glasses and asked a passing tourist to take our photos. Yes, how utterly touristy!! Could you imagine this in India? A bar on the top of say the Qutub Minar. The Muslims would have themselves frothing. They would ask you `drinking licen hai kya?’. Suddenly out of the mist turns up Vasant Dhoble and says `saglyna gheun tak’ , `overcrowding jhale’ `permission nusta 112 logan sathi aahey ani ikde 1120 customer aahey, gheun tak’. Tell me am I being harsh or unreal? Well, it was a most pleasant experience having that glass of Champagne in the mist and in the cold. 

Beautiful Autumn colours

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