Tuesday, September 8, 2015

My fourth trip to France, and all I got was an absolutely wonderful bottle of water

I guess I neglected to mention (again) that I was in France last week.

This was my fourth trip to France. The first was a personal visit in 2000 (this is when I saw the auto museum in Mulhouse). The second, third, and fourth trips to France were all work-related: a 2010 trip to Osny (including encounters with a hippopotamus and a hippodrome), and a trip earlier this year (during which I dined on a French delicacy).

That third trip was the first time that I was staying near Paris, and before I went, I was thinking about seeing some of the sights. However, by the time that I actually flew to Paris, the whole Charlie Hebdo event had transpired, and the Sunday that I had originally planned to go to Paris turned out to be the day of the massive rallies in the city. I probably would have been fine, but I figured that I'd play it safe and watch the proceedings from my hotel TV.

As this trip (my fourth) approached, I figured that I'd try to see the sights again. Yes, a major incident occurred right before my departure, but in this case, the whole thing was resolved without loss of life. So I planned to go into the city on Sunday and walk around the Eiffel Tower area.

But then, a couple of hours after arriving in Paris on a hot Saturday afternoon, I figured, why not do it that day?

So I bought a 10-pack of t tickets, boarded the tram (I had already figured out the tram on my last trip), which took me to the Porte de Versailles Metro stop. After a bit of confusion (I thought the turnstiles would automatically open), I successfully took the Metro to the Eiffel Tower area.

In mid-afternoon.

On a very hot day.

With my late arrival, and with the lines that were already present, I figured that there was no point in trying to actually go up the Eiffel Tower that day, so I walked around the area a little bit. Rather than buying a souvenir or anything like that, I figured I'd just get myself a liter of water.

That's probably the most valuable purchase that I made on my trip.

As I walked away from the Eiffel Tower, down the Champ de Mars toward the École Militaire, I had to take a selfie.

But that's not my favorite picture from my trip.
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