Well today was interesting. I wandered around for a while, feeling exactly like a tourist. I know I stuck out like a gangrenous extremity. I made my way over to Notre Dame, which looked exactly like a postcard. I think the fact that it is surrounded by city on either side and seems sort of stuck in the middle of the rest of the world somewhat lessens the impact you think it should have. But that aside, it was surrounded my tourists, so this made me feel a little less like a Paris noob. The line to look inside was hideously long, I’m surprised that there wasn’t a wait time posted like at Disneyland.
Needless to say, I didn’t bother. From there I wandered a little more, and took the Metro to the Eiffel Tower, which was also sort of anti-climatic. I think a took the wrong approach, however. The RER station I got off of was at the rear side, rather than up from the Champs de Mars, so rather than seeing the giant open park with the glorious tower behind, my first impression was a little bit of it poking through the trees, then suddenly, BAM: the base. The entire area beneath it was paved and hundreds of people were milling around. There were lineups for each set of stairs, lineups for bank machines, lineups for… the sake of lineups. No, forget Notre Dame, this was like Disneyland.
It felt like it couldn’t have been the real Eiffel Tower, but a theme park replica or something. I didn’t really have that ‘Oh my god, I’m in Paris’ feeling that I was expecting. The other people I met in the hostel think I’m nuts for staying for a whole week. Apparently you can see everything you need to in a couple of days, so we’ll see how it goes. Maybe I’ll ditch out of here early. My hostel is good though, even though it does have a lock out time from 11 to 4, so it pretty much forces you to get up an at ’em. I’ve been really tired today; jet lag, I’m assuming. I slept through breakfast- a mistake I won’t make tomorrow. I almost nodded off on the Metro- a mistake I’m glad I didn’t make. I think tomorrow, the Louvre.