I can understand the philosophy behind the action of the unions calling upon the workers to go on strike as a form of protest against certain unfavorable policies. This time, it was something to do with the pension fund policy in France. On one hand, I am pleased to see workers coming together to achieve a common goal. It is a rare scene from where I come from. On the other hand, it sucks when we as tourists have to bear with the inconvenience and uncertainty in a place that does not communicate in English. Every moment, there may be a surprise on where the train is heading, where the train is not heading, which station it does or does not stop. Through chitchatting with the locals, we learned that a strike or better known as industrial action or social movement is well planned in advance. And it is usually set in stages. Every morning during the strike period, the unions get together and vote to decide if the strike should be intensified to the next stage. Or if their objectives have been achieved, the unions may call off the strike – for now. The beauty of it all is, no one knows what tomorrow would bring.
Although the train service was shutdown to the minimal, we stuck to our plan and visited Versailles that is about 25 km away from Paris. To read more, there are:
I am not a big fan of Eiffel Tower. But when we visited France, I had one mission in mind: To take a photograph of Eiffel Tower that is seldom seen before. I think I have somewhat achieved that. There is some deeper connotation with regards to how this photo is composed. But I shall leave it to open interpretation.
Day 4 and the weather got warmer and warmer, more like a summer holiday. It did take some time for Cynthia and I to recuperate from the jet lag, change in weather, and slip into a more productive mode of being a tourist. In the morning, we have visited the Sacre-Coeur or Sacred Heart Basilica. It is hard to miss this basilica when you look at the landscape of Paris. It is white in color and is located on top of a hilly area called Montmartre. We had spent a good number of hours under the sun admiring the monuments. And we had spent a good number of hours inside the museums. By the time evening arrived, we had a delicious dinner at a Corsica restaurant. Likely to be one of the best meal we had in Paris.
To read more about our 4th day in Paris, here are the options.
Finally, the blue sky appeared on the third day of our holiday. We switched from museum crawling to monument crawling. If I am to pick one place in Paris I love to hang out the most, that has to be the two islands – Ile de la Cité and Ile St-Louis – in the center of the city. These two islands are so tiny but yet, to me, they are the focal point of the numerous momuments in Paris. That is why when you climb the 387 steps and stand on the top of the south tower of Notre-Dame, you can see Sainte-Chapelle, Hôtel-Dieu, Palais de Justic, Arc de Triomphe, echoed by Grande Arche de La Défense to the west. Saint-Jacques Tower and Sacré-Cœur rise up over Montmartre to the north. To the east, the Bibliothèque Nationale and to the south, the Latin district and turning westwards, Les Invalides.
To read more about the third day of our trip, here are the options.
Time flies. If I don’t get started documenting our travel journal, year 2011 may hit me before I know it. June this year, we have visited France. Like our trip to Spain last year, I am going to publish an article every weekend, until I run out of materials.
I am familiar with Paris. When I was studying in UK, I spent my summer holidays staying with my relatives in Paris, helping them with their work and in my free time, I wandered the streets of Paris. I have worked in Paris too. And I have always wanted to bring Cynthia to Paris and show her the city inside out. 10 years we have been married, it seems like a destination long overdued.
Late June, we would have thought the weather was going to be sunny and warm. We landed in Paris on a cold, cold morning of 9 degree Celsius. Time to jiggle our plan a little bit and improvise. Below are the options to read more about our first two days of the trip.
Here is a quick peep at a highlight of our photos.