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paris-it's supposed to romantic, yes? i took a weekend away from london to experience this city with david, my london flatmate buddy. the guy at the hotel wondered why we wanted separate rooms. we traveled to paris by train (the euro-star). at the station in paris, i got yelled at by the lady attendant in the public bathroom because i tried the wrong door. it was pretty hysterical. we had heard that parisians were rude to tourists, but i'm pretty sure the people that have such feeling aren't polite tourists themselves. i got away with using french once during the weekend--asked if i could purchase a phone card. it took a lot of guts, and the dude at the counter was smiling broadly at my attempt.

i was very impressed by paris famous tourist destinations, specifically notre dame. the cathedral was the most dazzling architecture that i saw of all that i visited in europe. it was so spectacular, it almost didn't look real.

notre dame: front entrance view

back view

side view

inside notre dame

garden in the rear

front entrance

stained glass inside

more stained glass
the eiffel was also a treat. we climbed as far as the stairs went. at quarter till midnight, the sparkling lights took us by surprise--to celebrate the millennium, the tower was wired up to sparkle periodically. it was quite amazing. the next morning we head out to the tower again from the opposite direction (front) to get some better pictures. we also went by the arc for photos.

eiffel closeup

la tour eiffel

me & Eiffel

arc de triumph

arc closeup
walking around the city we heard a commotion happening down the street. when we followed the people and music we discovered a random gay pride parade. nothing like glamorous men in drag dancing on floats of various themes, except perhaps barely dressed glamorous men. some of them were quite beautiful.

we also stopped by la musée du louvre briefly and checked out the various exhibits. mona lisa drew quite a crowd, i had to shove my way up front to catch a quick peak of her behind a glass cage. being a tourist i was all caught up in the moment and didn't stop to think why the museum didn't have a no-photograph policy. i took some pictures of various paintings and scuptures, they weren't good pictures, and i was disappointed at myself that i exposed them to flash photography--so i've excluded them here.

la grand louvre
at le cimetière du père-lachaise we visited various resting places of past celebrities. jim morrison's grave was covered with flowers, teddy bears, and other offerings from fans. oscar wilde's tombstone was a sphinx-like sculpture covered with kisses. my favorite was frederic chopin--when i excitedly announced to david that "this is the closest i'll ever get to him!" he replied "this is the closest anyone will ever get to him."

oscar wilde's grave

chopin's grave

chopin's grave (top)

summer 2000 cont'd: london, day trips outside london, amsterdam, people

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