Travelling Africa on a KLR

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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3 Comments

  1. Hennifer

    Amazing pictures. I especially appreciate the resistance bomb disguised as a rat. Those resistance fighters. So crafty.
    Glad to hear you are doing well and avoiding traffic accidents as much as possible. I enjoy your writing style and am looking forward to your next post.
    Stay safe xo

  2. Julie

    Sounds good so far Kirk! I missed the Army museum when I was there, I planned to do it but just couldn’t fit it in. SO MUCH WALKING. I’m glad to hear they have upped the security measures though.
    Anyways, I hope you are having an amazing time! If you haven’t already, check out Versailles if you get a chance! (Get tickets in advance online)

    Also, hope you’re practicing some French, I was forced to in some cases, whether I wanted to or not, haha

    • Kirk

      The army museum is definitely worth it but I am definitely with you on the so much walking. I should have used the metro way more than I did. I went to Versailles on my way to Caen a couple of days ago.
      My French is still very poor, I had an instance at the motorcycle shop the other day where we had to get by on broken English and broken French in both directions. Fifteen years of not speaking a language and learning another in between has definitely messed me up.

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