This has definitely been a day that’s a strike against organized tours. I took work off for no reason: even though our bus left London at 7:30 in the morning, we didn’t make it to Paris until 6:30 at night. I should have worked and then flew here; would have ended up a few bucks and a lot of comfort ahead. Also would have been wise to get my own hotel: ours isn’t even in Paris, so we have a half hour on the lovely bus to get downtown. Live and learn, I guess…
Anyways, complaining aside, I did get to see a little of Paris. Walked by the Cathedral of Notre Dame, which was surrealistically stretching stones supporting high spires, and even saw some street performers on our way to dinner at some little restaurant. It had a French name, but I think it was a bit of a tourist trap: no actual French people were eating there. Maybe George Orwell had a good test of Parisian restaurant quality in asking whether Frenchpeople frequent the restaurant… We did have all-you-can-eat salad bar and all-you-can-drink wine, but, strangely enough, the wine was Spanish.
After dinner came an ill-timed night tour of Paris. Everybody kept falling asleep and some poor guy puked on the bus, but we did get a beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower. It’s significantly smaller than I expected and sports a cool spinning searchlight setup near the top…
A sleepy busride back to the hotel concluded our sightseeing for the day, once again reminding me how annoying organized tours are.