Tuesday, August 05, 2008

au revoir

I woke up at 5:30 this morning to a pouring rain. Joe and I had left our hotel window open, and fortunately no rain was coming in. It was nice to lay there and listen to. It came down really hard. It cleared by morning. There is my weather report.

Our last day in Paris! That means we should go up the Eiffel Tower. Joe and I had a little adventure buying Metro tickets, but it’s not worth the story. We met up with the group and got everyone to the Tower, where four thousand other people had the same plans. Fortunately, the Eiffel Tower experience is a well oiled machine, and the line, though long, really only lasted around a half hour. We spotted a man wearing tangerine pants and I made up a song:

Going to France?

Take your tangerine pants!

C’mon, give it a chance

Those tangerine pants

There are more verses, involving “when you go to a dance” and “put the girls in a trance” and I’m sure you can make up a few more for me if you have some extra time.

I’ve never been up the Eiffel Tower, so I was excited! And also clammy. My palms were clammy. I don’t even really fear heights. But you zip up in this glass elevator, and then you get out and the whole thing is sort of swaying in the wind. I don’t know which my mother would hate more, the Eiffel Tower or the Paris Catacombs. But there’s something in Paris for everyone to fear and dread.

Once we were up there for a few minutes I acclimatized pretty well. Even to the point where a few of us felt comfortable sticking our heads out of the Iron Rail. Thank goodness for small heads! We can do all sorts of tricks. I loved being up there. The view from every side is stunning, but it’s especially cool to follow the river from that high. It’s green and it has an interesting trajectory.

We needed to head back to the hotel for check-out, but not before a quick stop at the Saint Michel Subway, and a dash to the Tin-Tin store. I’m kind of a Tin-Tin enthusiast. Joe bought a poster of some people with cat faces. We made a mad, but sad, dash back to the Hotel Ajiel and said goodbye to the incredibly helpful staff there. I will be back, I assured them, and for good measure let the bellhop steal a bunch of songs off of my ipod.

The Eurostar home was crowded, but as soon as we hit the tunnel I moved to the middle of the train and found a quiet little seat apart from other travellers. And I looked out the window for a long time and thought about stuff. And then more stuff, because it's a long ride home.

Back in London, which oddly feels like coming home. Everything is cleaner! The tubes are nicer. The people smile more. Who would have guessed?

photos unapologetically stolen from E. Dabczynski.