Paris is a great city, there’s no doubt about that. One I’d like to explore further. But it has an almost overwhelming amount of traffic.
I live in London, I’m used to traffic. Unless you live on the Northern Circular, or one of the other main arteries, it always seems distant, like a cat purring by your feet. In Paris it seems everywhere, at all times, scratching at your heels until you move. The Eiffel Tower? Giant roundabout! Arc de Triomphe? Monstrous ten lane roundabout from hell!
Make sure you don’t dawdle when crossing the road.
Push past the Eiffel Tower and you get to these wonderful avenues where you feel less like you’re being hassled by tourist scammers, and where everything is much more relaxed. I would love to see this when the Autumn leaves are fully in action and not swept in a pile.
Yeah, so the thing about Paris is that it’s pretty hard to avoid the Eiffel Tower. I mean, it’s there. It’s always there. It’s bigger than you think, and then you get close and it suddenly becomes short and fat.
Really it’s everything you thought it would be and you continue taking your pictures in full realisation that there is nothing you can show that hasn’t already been shown before. In the year 3246, when civilisation has fallen, and aliens finally make it to our planet, they will be able to recreate the Eiffel Tower using all the millions of photos of it, taken from every possible angle, and in every possible weather condition. It will look superb. Maybe they will give it a more exciting colour.
Gamla Stan in Stockholm is one of those places that outwardly you want to avoid, but secretly you thrill at the little side streets and cobble stones. Then you get stuck in a crowd of (other) tourists walking at such a slow speed you wonder how they can remain upright, grimace, and try and loom behind them until they get out of the way.
Every now and then, between the shops selling traditionally woven tartan, you catch a glimpse of a quieter part and wonder if this is what life would have been like in The Old Days. Minus the hipster bikes.
Somewhere in the Södermalm district of Stockholm is the Meatballs shop which, as you would expect, sells meatballs. Swedish meatballs, of varying types and meats (and non-meats). Here they are shown served with some creamy mash, and came with pickled cucumber and lingonberry – very tasty, and I don’t even like meat!