Salzburg to Strasbourg
If you are looking forward to zipping through Germany on the famous autobahn, forget it!
The German hwy which connects Salzburg to Strasbourg is supposed to be the fastest one with no speed limits: fast and furious! The reality though is different, like almost all 500 km are under construction and the speed limit varies from 80 km/h to 100 km/h. It was a big disappointment! We managed only once to get to 190 km/h.:(
The frustration in Germany did not stop here: I could not get into any of their cities as every car must take an emission test.
Once in Strasbourg I was again dissapointed. It is a sad city. It looks deserted and it is extremely dirty even the areas close to the Council of Europe and the other European institutions.
Strasbourg to Paris
Except for the expensive tolls (about 50 euro) I have only good things to say about this hwy, fast and modern, so you can drive with 130 km/h all the way.
It might be called the city of love. It might be called the city of lights. It might be famous and loved. It might be romantic. But, I could not feel or see any of it.
Instead, I was shocked by how dirty it is and how many beggars are on the streets. In Paris, nothing seems to work properly : the metro has problems every day, the stores are closed in the middle of the day because of power failure, people get stuck in the elevators and even the Disneyland world, the tram had mechanical problems for half an hour.
At the Kyriad hotel I have stayed at I was told during a week day, that the room cannot be cleaned as the housekeeping is on holiday 🙂 Oh well, I guess everybody deserves a holiday and I guess all the housekeeping personnel goes on holiday at the same time. 🙂
Next to the Tour Eiffel, there are beggars and it is hard to find a place on the grass, litter free.
Basilique du Sacre Coeur looked similar to me to the one in Montreal, Canada and I was more impressed by Notre Dame Cathedral built in 1300. That’s a long time!
Moulin Rouge looked in disrepair and is under construction. So, if you are into cabaret, you can try the famous girls at Crazy Horse for around 130 euro per person.
In the famous Montmartre, beside paintings, I found the Erotic Museum (Musee de l’erotisme).
It is an interesting place, with exhibits and stories about sexuality all around the globe.
For example, I was not aware that for the Aztec people in Mexico, sexuality represented an attempt to find an equilibrium between the soul and the body and the female and the male were enemies so it was common for men to assault women on the streets.
In China, making love intensely, in complete harmony, is believed to be the only way to happiness and longevity. It is also believed that despite the apparent fragility of the woman, she is superior to the man (Lao Tseu).
In India, the man exists only as a carriage of the phallus. It is in the pleasure and abandon of the act of love when man forgets his ambitions and egotistic preoccupations so he can approach the happiness of divinity.
One famous saying in Japan says beautifully that, even with the belly full and an erection as large as a bow one can die of hunger for both food and love.
Inside the museum you can watch porno movies from the beginning of the television, which are quite comic.
One which I liked said something like:
“Having a husband is like having the same client every night.”
Wow..that’s tough ! You’d better have a really good husband!
The museum also tells the story of the brothels in Paris and their torture chambers.
Now, if the museum managed to put you in a more romantic mood or you are eager to give full rein to your imagination, there is always the Love hotel where for 25 euro per hour you can spend some “quality” time in one of their lavishly decorated rooms. The hotels, very popular in Tokyo, are not too many in Paris.
What else is to see in Paris?
Well, La Fayette galleries are beautifully decorated, but if you fancy buying an item from one of the stores, you are in for a dive.
16 km long and having 35000 exhibits, Louvre is the second largest museum in the world and I have spent an entire day there without seeing much.
There are all kinds of interesting exhibitions going on, such as La mecanique des dessous, at the Art Museum, explaining what people, mostly women, endure to make themselves look better.
A cruise on the Seine with Vedette Pont Neuf to see Paris at dusk is also a good idea and I have enjoyed it much more than taking the famous Bateau Mouche, which was more expensive and more commercial.
I also went to Disneyland Paris as it was on my list for a long time. Unfortunately, it was one of those things which you have to try to know that you don’t like it. However, seeing kids everywhere and listening to their funny, silly questions and seeing happy parents kissing and hugging made me feel quite happy hoping one day I will be the same.
Last but not least in was Versailles turn. The gardens were beautiful and the fountains’ show the same. However, it was very hot and humid, and no AC inside. So, I felt like fainting most of the time. It is good to know that after 4 pm you get much cheaper tickets, so for about 6 euro you are in. Unfortunately, so are the big tourists groups…
Dishes you must try:
- Beef tartar which was delicious
- The pissenlit which is nothing else than dandelion salad and
- Motabbal (eggplant salad mixed with sesame).
Someone will have fun in the kitchen soon!:)
Love is an untamable creature. It does not come when you want, where you want and with whom you want. And I guess to have some control over it, one can just start by relinquishing control. Love does take prisoners and between the most dangerous one is our ego, our pride. Although, the trade off can be quite painful, confusing and sometimes might makes us think whether it is worth it, shared love is what can make a city like Paris from grey to beautiful and an evening on the grass watching the lights of tour Eiffel from ordinary to quite special.
When I was there, there was a statistic done, which found that 85% of the French people, make love four to five times per week. So, I guess after all, I was in the city of love… making.