Random French thoughts

This is written from an hotel room in Paris, while enjoying our last night in the capital during our driving trip to France. While waiting for more thorough thoughts when I get some more time, here is a quick bullet list from our first few days:

  • having been in Macon, I can now subscribe to Sylvain‘s theory: Beaujolais pretty much sucks. I hope I will encounter much better wines during my trip even though,as an Italian bashing French wine is a duty and a pleasure.
  • French hotels rock, and you should really stay away from big chains to settle for the small stuff. We had a great time in a castle hotel near Macon and we have been able to find a great place in Paris with free Wi-Fi, excellent location and very nice owners. My wife is definitely a great travel agent.
  • my French is surprisingly not so bad as I expected. At a very least, much better than the average English waiters and hotel personnel seem to speak. Problem is I seem to be fluent enough to inspire confidence in whoever I’m addressing, who then starts to speak at lighting speed, which makes me kinda helpless as I start not getting a single word anymore.
  • Paris is (surprise!) great. Too bad we are spending just two days here, but we’ll be back, and that’s a promise. But please, turn those stupid Eiffel tower lights off: at random intervals, the thing starts blinking and sparkling as a gigantic Christmas tree. Would be nice in December, but doesn’t feel right in the middle of August.
  • The Louvre is completely spoiled by stupid Da Vinci Code stuff. They are now renting audioguides with special content devoted to paintings somewhat related to the book. Oh my.
  • We had a load of great dining out tips from Stéphane. Too bad I read my email just a few minutes ago, when we got back from our last night in Paris. But we’ll keep them on hold until next time: merci bien, mon ami!
  • My back hurts. Badly. It seems to be somewhat related to driving, as it takes just a few kilometers to have me moaning and acting like a puppet. Strangely enough, getting out of the car and walking a bit makes (most of) the pain go away. Still, given we’re on a driving trip, this sucks in so many ways.

Tomorrow is driving time again. We’re off to Caen-Le Havre then heading to Mont Saint Michel and Brest. On our way back it will be the turn for Nantes, Orleans, Dijon and Geneve (too bad Bertrand is away), before heading back to Milan. Lots of driving ahead, but also loads of fun!

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3 thoughts on “Random French thoughts”

  1. Beaujolais? Which one?! I enjoyed “Saint Amour” -rouge- et Puy Vincelles -blanc!- (hope it’s spelled ok ;)). Good enough even to a “Barbaresco” lover as I am.

    I was surprised by the Eiffel lights as well but a friend of mine told me that the Tour was lighted up for the Expo and then they lighted it off. Lots of people enjoyed the Tours with the lights on but it’s a cost, so now they light it up for five minutes every hour or so. I didn’t check the interval but it sounded reasonable enough :)

    Bon voyage :)

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