And so my travels begin again. It's been a gruelling winter in Bristol, UK, and I have the itchiest feet I've had in a long time - and what better way to scratch them than a quick jump over the English Channel to Paris, a city that I had previously vowed to come back to and explore further.
I had, of course, seen a fair few of the big icons of Paris, but I had neglected due to lack of time to visit Le Louvre, the world's largest museum. Originally it was a palace until Verseilles was built, and as all such neglected buildings go it was turned into a museum. This time of year is not the peak season, and so when I arrived there wasn't many people.
I even entered through the main entrance, which is usually a 4 hour wait but for me it was only about 5 minutes. There is another entrance which not many tourists know about, and I was going to use it since there is usually no queue for it, but I didn't see the point.
Inside I spent about 3 hours, looking at all the "big name" paintings and sculptures. I wasn't all that impressed with some of them, especially the Mona Lisa which to be honest is extremely boring compared to some of the other paintings and tapestries I saw. My favourite painting in the museum that I saw was this one by Jaques Louis named David.
Apparently if you look at each item in the museum for 5 seconds it will take you 80 years to see them all.
After the Louvre, I went for a long walk. First I stopped at the lock bridge, where you are supposed to write your name and your lover's so that your love will be sealed forever (or for 2 months until they get cut off), and was amused by this lock.
I was also interested when I saw these street market stalls. They actually keep all their stuff inside these lockers at night, and then open them up in the day.
A glimpse of Notre Dame. Apparently it isn't worth going inside so I didn't bother.
I made a couple of Swedish friends from the hostel, and one night we went up to Mont Martre (as I had done before) to watch Paris over a couple of beers sold from street vendors. We happened to have a little entertainment - a guy with some seriously impressive skills with footballs. You can see him on the pole balancing the football on one foot.
Otherwise I had a great time in Paris, got to see the nitty gritty of it. It's a good place to visit, but I decided it's too crowded and crammed with the small streets and being somewhat overpopulated. So I jumped on a plane headed for New York :)