Our Parisian Vacation, part 2

June 29, 2012

Day 2 was also spent waiting in a two-hour line to get to the tippy top of the Eiffel Tower, something I have never done before. Definitely worth the wait because the view is spectacular!

Palais du Chaillot (Chaillot Palace)

You can see the Arc de Triumph center-right.

One of the three Statues of Liberty, this one on an island in the Seine. Better pictures of that are on the way.

After standing for so long, and rather than take the Metro again, we walked along the Seine. As you can see it was a gorgeous day.

One of two quadriga on the Grand Palais. “Harmony triumphing over discord.”

(There is an amazing virtual tour at the official Grand Palais website: http://www.grandpalais.fr)

Statue along the Seine near the Pont Alexandre III.

The lower view of one of four Fames on Pont Alexandre III – La Renommée de la Guerre (Fame of War).

The Obelisk at Place de la Concord.

One end of the Hôtel de Ville.

Who could ever visit such a gorgeous city and leave unhappy? One interesting thing, you have to beware of pickpockets, and there is a common scam there where someone approaches you, picks up a gold-colored ring, tries to make like you lost it and they’re returning it to you, and then when you walk away they ask for a donation. My guess is that you feel so fortuitous about being handed a “gold” ring that you donate generously. The first person to try it on us claimed to be a Hungarian evangelist. He also appeared to be drunk, in my opinion. Doug didn’t want it, but took it anyway when the guy got pushy about it. Both of us sensing something was amiss, I told him in French that I had no cash, only a credit card and Doug tried giving the ring back to him. He was very polite until it was clear we weren’t falling for the gag and then he angrily snatched the ring back from Doug’s open palm. And honestly, I would have given him a few euro had he merely asked, but not knowing how elaborate the scam was going to be, I couldn’t chance it. You don’t know when someone else might be waiting nearby to run by and grab your wallet, or if that person really just wants to know where you keep your money on you. This scam was tried on us no less than four times by various people.

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  1. Paul W says:

    I hate the Parisian scam artists, from the ring-droppers to the teenage pickpockets to the aggressive “bracelet-men” at Sacré-Coeur. One of them angrily berated me when I said I didn’t want to buy his bracelet. To add to the frustration, most of them aren’t even French! In the end, though, even a hundred “deaf girls” (who aren’t) can’t spoil a beautiful city.

  2. Lydia Lee says:

    That’s right! A “deaf woman” approached me while standing in line for the Eiffel Tower. They are pretty adamant and I don’t think she was French, either. It was pretty frustrating because she had a piece of paper, trying to get me to sign said piece of paper. I guess the jig is you can’t ask them what you’re signing for because they can’t hear you? I had to wave her off. Good to know that was another bizarre scam. Then you get the extremely friendly passive/aggressive lei women of Hawaii. They walk up and just put leis around your neck until you don’t give them money and then they take them off your neck. Ha!!

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