I remember hearing some place that driving around the Champs-Elysee was one of life’s grand adventures. I would like to broaden that out to driving anywhere in down town Paris. There is something very magical and crazy about how people approach the traffic issues of this city. While you can get to where you want to go by car I don’t understand why anyone would choose that mode of transport. Meanwhile in the midst of all that automotive traffic there are scooters and motorbikes all over the place zipping in and out of what ever seems to be in their way. Finally there are the squares or roundabouts that seem to be everywhere. At so many places in the city there seem to be piles of streets combining together. Masses of people all converging and going off in anywhere up to 6 or 7 possible other places. There are usually lights that are trying to control who is on the roundabout but I am sure they only sometimes considered by the throng of drivers. I think that I ran a light today, not knowing where I was going and also not sure where to look I had to go for it…. and I went.
Once off the bike first impressions of the city are that it is quite the show. I have met up with my sister and in an effort to keep her awake for as long as possible but not be too far from her bed we went out for a walk. We have both bought a Paris Pass but I have to pick mine up. Being caught by European opening and closing times (which also happened when I tried to go out to do some laundry) we were not in time so a walk further down the road to a Cafe for dinner was in order. I love the energy of the city and it seems like everyone has a very important place to be, even if it is to be standing on a corner talking with friends.
Final story of the day was the explosive device that the police blew up on the street near where my bike is parked. We were walking along to find caution tape around. In the middle of all of this traffic the police had blocked off part of the square and the road and after a little crowd control (which actually seemed very lax) they blew up something. Sarah and I couldn’t see what as I think it was around the corner. As soon as it was exploded they packed up, teared down the tape and life went on.
Just part of the madness of today!
Side Note: If you are trying to go to a laundromat believe the concierge that nothing is open. If you google Laundry you may find a place called Lavomatic and if you don’t look closely enough, just at the opening times you will find that it is open until 2 am. If you are very silly you may go and check it out. When you get there it really will look like the smallest laundromat out there but the guy who is trying to find the door to the bar will possibly tell you what it actually is. Sounds like a speak easy to me! Not saying this happened to me…. just saying be careful, your concierge knows all.