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I'm an Aussie who likes wandering all over the world but keeps coming back home to paradise and my family. If you are reading this on one of my travel blogs, I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed creating them. If you are reading the Diabetes and weight loss blog - I hope it helps in your battle with the beast. Cheers, Alan

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Paris, in transit 2013

Travel Dates 18th June and 16-18th July 2013

I love Paris, it is one of my favourite cities. This was my fourth visit, but a very fleeting one.  Despite that I enjoyed the brief visit.

I mentioned earlier the trip from home to Paris via Kuala Lumpur. I flew back to Paris on Aegean Air to connect to my Malaysian Air return flights. It is so sad to see the MH370 and MH17 disasters the airline has had since then, but I had no problems on those flights. I decided to stay a couple of nights and spend the day between wandering the city with no particular goal, just a pleasant day taking pictures like any other tourist.

The RAAF bases I worked at usually had an old fighter or bomber on a post at the front gates, but none were quite this large. It is such a pity the Concorde never really became commercially viable; if it had there would be fleets of supersonic successors by now and Australia would not be such a long, long journey from everywhere.

Charles de Gaulle (CDG) airport is huge. After disembarking we spent a long time travelling along an underground moving walk-way before emerging into this multilevel transfer area. It was like being in a space station.

After collecting my bag I used the excellent internal train to reach the correct terminal to catch my Les Cars bus to La Place de Etoile.

The Les Cars service was very convenient. I had won a deep-discount room for two nights in the Hyatt Regency Etoile using Priceline's bidding system and the bus stopped just around the corner. Once again it was a hot day and the bus took longer than expected in the traffic, but it was still much more convenient than the RER and Metro for the journey.

I spent the afternoon exploring the district surrounding the hotel. When the evening arrived I didn't feel like a big meal. I had a pleasant cheap dinner at a kebab shop nearby; not as good as the Cretan gyros, but not bad.
The next day I took the metro to the nearest station on that line to the Eiffel Tower, Bir-Hakeim. The station is an extension of the Bir-Hakeim bridge, named after a 1942 defensive battle by out-numbered Free French forces against Rommel's Afrika Korps. 

Paris is a city of a million statues. This one is on the bridge; I forget which hero it commemorates but I liked the style.


I was surprised to see how many inhabited barges were moored in the Seine in the heart of the city.


I enjoyed a stroll until lunch-time around the Eiffel Tower district, remembering my first visit when we stayed nearby in an apartment in Rue Surcouf.


After a light lunch I decided to give my feet a respite and spend an hour or two on one of the sight-seeing river boats. 

The next set of pictures were all taken from the boat. Despite the crowd on board it was a pleasant cruise. Seeing the city from the river was a different and interesting interlude.

Several Parisian bridges are now developing infestations of padlocks. Unfortunately love is becoming a weighty problem on some bridges as this report shows. I think the practice is likely to be banned soon.

I noticed something in an upper window and decided to experiment with my 20x optical zoom and stabilisation on the Fuji F770EXR.

The result is excellent for a handheld extreme zoom from a moving boat.  I hope this young bloke stayed safe.

I stopped for a glass of wine at a tavern near the Assemblee Nationale. There was a protest occurring over the road; the speakers had very loud megaphones. I'm not sure what the protest was about but the police out-numbered them and the locals pretended nothing was happening.

The perfect car for single-person city commuting.

After a pleasant day I returned to the hotel to re-pack for the long journey home via Kuala Lumpur.

Cheers Alan

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