Saturday, June 2, 2012

Great museums, long lines

Paris is of course, amazing.  There are so many beautiful historical buildings that have been very well kept up and the museums are fantastic. Unsurprisingly I have been eating way too much bread and pastries!  But, the lines!  If you visit Paris be prepared, you will wait in line for everything.  To buy a drink, to use the toilet, and for every museum and tourist attraction you visit.  The French do not rush.  That said, there are a few things you can do to avoid wasting too much time getting tired in the sun.  Did I mention you'll be waiting in all these lines in the sun?  First, get there early, as in before they open.  Second, consider buying either the Museum Pass or the Paris Pass, the latter of which we had.  These passes wont get you out of every line but they do help a lot and are a pretty good value if you use them in enough places.

View from the Luxumberg Gardens, taken this afternoon.

Dinner Friday night, near our apartment.
We've been here for 10 days and have seen a lot of the city.  Today we walked around the 6th arrondissement and ate lots of delicious food there.  Asia has really rubbed off on me because I always find myself wanting to take pictures of food now when I travel.  Tomorrow is our last full day in the city so we'll try to squeeze in the last few things we'd like to do. We have been very lucky with the weather here - lots of sun all week so far!

A few more suggestions if you'll be traveling in the area.  Say hello!  This is a big one here and if you can manage a few words of French when you greet someone your service will improve 200%.  Also, don't miss the Musée de l'Orangerie.  They have two large oval rooms containing Monet's beautiful water lily paintings.

My Mom and I before the tour of Opéra Garnier.

Leaving Taiwan was a bit of a mad rush the last day, because although I was very organized and started preparing to leave more than a month ahead I seriously underestimated the amount of things I had to wrap up before departing.  And in the end I missed my flight and wasn't allowed to bring any luggage on the plane!  So, I'll be going back for a visit in the fall to collect my tax refund and the rest of my stuff.

After Paris, I'm heading to the Visayas which will mark the beginning of a four month backpacking trip around Asia.  Two summers ago I did a similar trip but did not have time to visit all the countries on my list.  This time around I'll be heading to the Philippines, Singapore, Bali, Indonesia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and finally India.  Im looking forward to diving the South Pacific, yoga in Bali, and volunteering at Navdanya near the Himalayas in northern India.

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