Travelling Africa on a KLR

Author: Kirk (Page 4 of 4)

Paris III

2016-09-04

Monday morning I head out for more sightseeing starting at the Louvre.

The Louvre

The Louvre

Afterwards I head to Touleries Garden and cross the Seine to see the Bourbon Palace.

Tiger Fighting an Alligator Statue

Tiger Fighting an Alligator Statue

Grande Roue de Paris

Grande Roue de Paris

Obelisque de Louxor

Obelisque de Louxor

Palais Bourbon

Palais Bourbon

I cross the Seine again to see the Grand Palace and Petit Palace. A free art exhibit is available at Petit Palace so I take advantage as not working for a year to travel isn’t cheap.

Grande Palais across the Seine

Grande Palais across the Seine

Statues atop Pont Alexander III

Statues atop Pont Alexander III

Entrance to Petite Palace

Entrance to Petite Palace

Fresco in Petite Palais

Fresco in Petite Palais

The police presence is everywhere, at the Petite Palace there were approximately 30 vans filled with gendarmeries and a number of metro stations on Champs-Elysees are closed.

I then walk down Champs-Elysees toward the Arc de Triomphe. A number of high end retailers are located on the strip but I actually only find a couple interesting stores, the Renault and Toyota stores where they have a couple of race cars on the display.

Renault Sports Car

Renault Sports Car

Renault Race Car

Renault Race Car

Toyota Race Car

Toyota Race Car

Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe

Then it started raining so I headed to the catacombs thinking that would get me out of the rain. The lineup was incredibly long and it was looking like it would not provide me the respite from the rain I was hoping for so I went to a café, had lunch, drank beer and espresso until the rain let up. As I was in the neighbourhood I took a walk through Montparnasse cemetery where a lot of famous artists from France have been buried.

Afterwards I head back to the hotel as I am done with the rain.

2016-09-05

On Tuesday I leave Paris headed toward Caen. On my way out of town I stop at Versailles Palace and the Palace Gardens

Versailles Gates

Versailles Gates

Versailles Fountain

Versailles Fountain

Versailles Gardens

Versailles Gardens

Versailles Fountain

Versailles Fountain

Paris II

2016-09-03

On Saturday morning I get a late start to the day despite going to bed at 21:30 the night before. I figure out how to catch the tram and metro instead of the commuter train today to the city centre as it is more convenient for getting where I want.

The first stop of the day is Notre Dame but the train I catch drops me off at Pont Marie so I walk across the bridge over the Seine River to Ile Saint-Louis.

Siene River

Siene River

Ile Saint-Louis

Ile Saint-Louis

This is the quintessential Paris shown in movies with beautiful narrow apartment lined streets. You really cannot find a bad view in this part of the city.

After walking the short distance across the island I cross over a bridge to Ile de la Cite.

Buildings on Ile de la Cite

Buildings on Ile de la Cite

The skyline from the eastern side of Ile de la Cite is dominated by Notre Dame (of Quasimoto fame not the Fighting Irish.)

Notre Dame (Rear)

Notre Dame (Rear)

The path I took approaches Notre Dame from the east where you have a good view of the flying buttresses used to support the upper extents of the building as it grew taller than originally planned. I then walked around the north where you can view the sculpted tympana.

Notre Dame Tympanum

Notre Dame Tympanum

The main entrance is on the west side of the building and a huge lineup has formed for a tour of the building. I decide it is best not to wait in the line lest I burst in to flames upon crossing the threshold of the church and walk around the building to take some photographs of the church and the grounds.

Notre Dame (Front)

Notre Dame (Front)

Charlemagne Statue at Notre Dame

Charlemagne Statue at Notre Dame

After Notre Dame I decide I will walk to Luxembourg Palace but get delayed walking around Ile de la Cite.

The Palais de la Cite (where the royal family resided from the 6th to the 14 century) includes the Palais de Justice (courts), and the Concierge (the fortress where Marie Antoinette was held) is also located on the island. Unfortunately no cake was available.

Palais de Justice

Palais de Justice

Palais de la Cite

Concierge

From Ile de la Cite I walked through the Latin Quarter to Luxembourg Palace and viewed the gardens there.

Luxembourg Palace Across Pond

Luxembourg Palace Across Pond

Luxembourg Palace and Garden

Luxembourg Palace and Garden

The gardens are 25 hectares and the palace now contains the French senate.

Lion Statue at Luxembourg Palace

Lion Statue at Luxembourg Palace

After walking around the gardens I went to the Pantheon, then walked back to Pont Marie along the Seine. Once back at Pont Marie I stopped at the Shoah Memorial, a tribute to all those involved in protecting the Jewish population of France.

Pantheon

Pantheon

By then my feet were sore so I retired to my hotel room.

Paris I

2016-09-01

I arrive at Charles de Gaulle airport at 9:30 having not slept on the flight over and proceed to the taxi stand to get a cab. My cab driver appears not to know how to get to the cargo terminal despite a page long set of instructions from the helpful desk clerk at Air Canada. He drops me off about half a kilometre from the cargo terminal and after talking to some people I get pointed in the right direction and walk over to the terminal. It is quite warm and humid in Paris so I arrive pouring sweat. The staff at the terminal provides me paperwork and points me to customs. At the customs office I am provided with a temporary import permit so Air Canada Cargo can release my bike. All in it takes about 30 minutes to get the bike temporarily imported to the EU. After reattaching the battery the bike is ready to go and I head toward a gas station for fuel as the bike was nearly empty for the flight.

I navigate my way to the hotel with minimal cursing… okay, maybe a large amount of cursing because the GPS isn’t reading directions through my headset and I ended up having to read directions off the screen. The driving in Paris is best described as organized chaos. It appears like there are rules but most aren’t followed, and no one on the numerous scooters appears to follow any rules, but it must work as I only saw one accident while there.

After checking in to my hotel I walk the neighbourhood (Pantin) before grabbing dinner and heading to bed as I was exhausted from not sleeping on the plane.

2016-09-02

I am up fairly early on Friday morning and figure out how to catch the commuter train in to the city and get on the subway to Trocadeo. Surprisingly I manage to find my way with relative ease.

The Trocadero gardens are on the opposite bank of the Seine River from the Eiffel Tower. Unfortunately the grounds were under construction and the fountains were turned off, but it is still the best place to view the Eiffel Tower from.

Palais de Chaillot et Trocadero

Palais de Chaillot and Trocadero Gardens

Eiffel Tower from Trocadeo

Eiffel Tower from Trocadeo

At this point I am excited to go see the Eiffel Tower up close and head over immediately.

Eiffel Tower from the Seine

Eiffel Tower from the Seine

Eiffel Tower Ironwork

Eiffel Tower Ironwork

Pictures don’t do it any justice and I would recommend viewing in person if possible. It is at this point that I begin experiencing the increased security measures being implemented in Paris. The base of the Eiffel Tower is fenced off and you have to go through a security checkpoint to be admitted.

On the other side of the Eiffel Tower I go to the Champ de Mars which is the side most movies show.

Eiffel Tower from Champ de Mars

Eiffel Tower from Champ de Mars (looking like a real tourist)

After the Eiffel Tower I walk around the area and head to the Army Museum which is actually a number of museums.

The first building as you approach is where Napolean’s tomb is stored along with other individuals from the revolution (sorry my Revolutionary French history knowledge is limited.)

Dome des Invalides

Dome des Invalides

Napolean's Tomb

Napoleon’s Tomb

The complex also includes a museum dedication to 1870+ with a focus on WWI and WWII.

V1 "Buzz Bomb" Rocket

V1 “Buzz Bomb” Rocket

French Resistance Bomb Disguised as a Rat

French Resistance Bomb Disguised as a Rat

There is also a museum for armour and weapons from pre-Revolutionary France. It is kind of strange seeing the armour sized for a child as the museum houses the armour throughout the life stages of the Royal Family from heir apparent to King.

Dauphin Armour

Dauphin Armour

The buildings are full of armour and weaponry but the exhibit isn’t lit well for photography.

More Armour

More Armour

I also visited the French Resistance and Napoleon Era museums but didn’t take any pictures.

The last museum I went to houses the relief maps which were constructed so generals would be able to plan artillery positions in defence of various forts and cities in France.

Relief Map

Relief Map

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Good Bye Canada

I am sitting at the airport in Montreal and wanted to thank everyone for their Best Wishes. I will see you when I get back.

Bike at the Cargo Terminal

Bike sitting on the scale at Air Canada Cargo.

Visiting Grant, Jenell, Elsa, and Matthew

Visiting the Kornelson’s before I leave.

Last day at the office

Last day at MineSight.

Going away party

Going away party.

Family at the airport

Family seeing me off at the airport.

What Have I Got Myself in To

 

I have dreamed of going to Africa for many years now. When people ask me why I never have a good answer. I want to see cool things and want to experience new cultures.

This summer after being told by my parents to $#@^ or get off the pot I finally bit the bullet and bought a ticket to Paris, where I will start my journey. From there I will work my way south through Spain to Morocco. After that I will bring the bike and myself back to Europe and fly us to South Africa.

So for the last few months I have been getting vaccinations, doing paperwork, training my replacement at the office, and going grey at a faster rate.

I will be posting about once a week depending on Wi-fi availability and you can track my progress on the tracking page.

 

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