travels

In Whitby:

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Today is the 262nd day of the year
(so, only 103 more to go)

Frank Zappa once said:

We live in a very special time right now. At no other time in history has there been such mass disillusionment in terms of reliance on governing functions. Most people don't want to come to terms with that. It's been proven over and over again that the emperor isn't wearing any clothes, but most people don't like to look at naked emperors. In the process of turning around to avert their eyes, they saw the discotheques and a few other things and latched onto them.

Paris

Visited : August 2005, August 2008, August 2009


Everything they say about Paris is true

It's difficult to describe how beatiful a city Paris is. I prefer its wide central streets and order in design to the more organic, higgledy-piggledy feel of London, for example. And you just can't argue with the public architecture. Though you can argue with some of the pushier hawkers up in Montmartre. Even then, the cobbled streets and the walk up to Sacré Cœur are worth the hassle.

The Louvre on its own, and its environs (like the Rue de Rivoli and the PLace de la Concorde) and things of beauty in themselves. As was the very nice Siunday lunch I once enjoyed at the Brasserie du Louvre.

As for the charge that les Parisiens are a haughty, rude buch, all I can say is: mais, non!. Coming home from Eurosdisney with my daughter when she was little, we got of the RER at Nanterre, where we were staying (I know, a bit of a trek...) and came out of the station. Katie was carying a Minnie Mouse balloon, but the string had broken and she was holding onto the balloon itself. As we came through the exit barriers, the balloon came out of her hands and drifited up to the ceiling, which was about 12 feet up. She was heartbroken. However, a ticket inspector saw this, and stopped us. He told us to wait, and then set about trying to retrieve the balloon, by standing on a chair. No luck. He then got two other staff incvoled trying to grab it, but still to no avail. Suddenly, another guy appeared, whose shift (I'm guessing) was about to start. When he arrived, he went off to a janitor's cupaord and came back with a long-handled net-thing, which he eventaully used to grab the balloon. Then they dfisappeared for a couple of seconds and even put some new string for her. Cue one beaming little girl, and one effusively thankful Dad. But this wasn't the only example of polite and friendly Parisian behaviour I saw. Perhaps it was because I was with my daughter; who can say? All I know is that I don't quite buy the rude Parisian steroetype, especially if propagataed by Londoners wgo think that making eye contact and smiling on a Tube is a sign of weeakness


Amsterdam

Amsterdam

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Paris

Paris

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Valletta

Valletta

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Montréal

Montréal

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