Trip to France
(It is translation from Russian into English language of the author. Excuse for mistakes.)
Aeroplane descent to the airport Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle under the night sky, on which else dark blue sites gleamed, not absolutely faded after Sun which recently to hide behind horizon. The equal strips of fires bordering roads. Shine, small, seeming toy from height, small houses. The wing of plane has deviated at turn a little, and I have seen an Eiffel Tower similar on is proud lady standing in the city on high heel… And I do not know, probably such comparison often came to somebody; it very much approaches this tower. And it reminds lady in clothes of the beginning of 20-th century.
Above the city of Paris
The airport big, beautiful.
The Sheremetyevo-D, from which I have to leave, not worse this airport.
Unless in trifles, however, very pleasant. For example, at Airport Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle
very convenient and beautifully made moving paths. The waiting room is
well looked with a red fitted carpet. The prices in duty free shops have
The mood to me was a little make worse with road to Paris when I went by the bus. Already has absolutely darkened, the road passed in quarters with low, a sad kind small houses. The first that is evident this big population of the black people. I heard about it, but it has all the same surprised. You go to the Europe, to France, not to Africa. And here at first sight 20-30 percent of the black people. And everywhere dirt, rubbish is scattered on roads and near garbage tanks, along sidewalks. All seems very gloomy, disorderly, a place in which for certain it is a lot of criminality. I have a little become downhearted, but hoped, that in the city of Paris there are other areas.
In the central part of Paris quantity the black people a little bit less, though too not a little. From the airport I have passed just the quarters, considered unsuccessful, with the big concentration of the black people population. In that area of city stood out social apartments earlier, and many emigrants have received it. By the way arabs do not make such impression the quantity. Can be them not so much, or they not so differ the appearance. In national structure be evident Jews, those that go in the religious black clothes and black hats, they can be met in the central part of Paris. In Paris very often there were pairs the black guy - the white girl, only once I saw a return variant. This situation leads to an idea: instead of whether the French nation absolutely will disappear, having mixed with others? This question is not too obvious, can be the nation is capable to keep itself long time at existence near to other nations, but can be also cannot. Anyway, in streets I have soon started to distinguish the ethnic Frenchmen, they were still kept, but not a lot of these people.
It is not necessary to think, that I do not understand, that among black people there are intelligent, clever, decent people. Question not in bad or the good relation to any races or the nations. The question that France what we it know, or still while we know, cannot exist without the Frenchmen who have created it. Without them there can be a territory, the name of the country and monuments which they have constructed. Just as there is now Egypt, but there is no great ancient Egypt with people based this country. Also there is Rome, but there is no great ancient Rome.
My hotel inexpensive, but is well located, near to underground Grands Boulevards, minutes 10-15 on foot up to Opera Garnier, and little bit further up to the Louvre and park Tuileries. Number small, in a mansard floor (small numbers in hotels and small apartments are typical for the center of Paris), but service good. The breakfast included in the price, very modest, but for me sufficient as I do not like to eat much in the morning.
In the morning, and it was on Sunday, I the first time was passed on streets of Paris. I was surprised with deserted streets, almost all shops have been closed. In weekend very much many Frenchmen leave for city for rest on the nature. Problem was to buy potable drinking water, and not only on Sunday. Food shops, at least in the central part of city, a little, they also are closed enough early. For all time I have not seen any habitual signboard "24 hours". As to me have told, in Paris it is possible to drink water from a waterpipe, I tried, on taste water really good, but all I preferred water in bottles. Advertising in Paris is resolved only in some, not numerous places. Therefore the city is not disfigured by infinite advertising poster.
On Monday the city has to revive and in streets has appeared a lot of people. Parisians basically to dress modestly and is reserved, colors of clothes seldom bright. By the way speaking, to these they are similar to petersburgers, and Petersburg and Paris are similar in some things. In Russia it is often possible to hear, that Russian women it is more beautiful West-European. I doubt that it so, I saw there very beautiful women. On appearance at once it is possible to tell about some women, that it is the really French. The opinion such is possible has appeared because there women in general put on is more reserved, whereas in modern Russia almost any girl or the woman with more or less beautiful appearance tries to put on defiantly, often and without tastefully, but is bright. Though in days which I was in Paris, it was warm enough, almost nobody was dressed in shorts, except for some Americans. Not all, certainly, but many Americans at once you distinguish on a careless fashion, and a little bit unruly behavior. They often sit in cafe of a fast food of the American sample.
The architecture of the central part of Paris seems a little monotonous, this set of houses in 5-6 floors with a mansard floor. At Napoleon III many ancient houses have been destroyed and these houses with cast-iron parapet on small balconies are constructed here. They are looked as soldiers on parade. However buildings with interesting architecture remains much and this some monotony not too spoils impression.
Louvre. The glass pyramid in the center of the square too is evident and mismatches style of a palace. But under it, at an underground level, the convenient and extensive foyer is constructed. Certainly, the Louvre is to be compared to the Hermitage. Something they are similar, something different. I did not try to bypass all building. It is very great; the sight quickly gets tired of an abundance of pictures and statues, which should be considered slowly. However I have devoted much time to works which for a long time wished to look. These are famous Nike of Samothrace, Venus de Milo (Aphrodite) and Mona Lisa. All of them are really magnificent. The luxury of the Louvre has not made on me very big impression as I many times happened in palaces of Petersburg, but undoubtedly, this magnificence is worthy both with historical and with aesthetic the points of view.
Park Tuileries, the big palace park about the Louvre, liked to me is more than others. In parks of Paris it is a lot of not only habitual benches, but also metal chairs and armchairs which you can put, as you wish. I heard opinion, that it is necessary to be born in Paris carefree to sit on chairs in parks, enjoying a life. Whether I do not know so it usually, but this Parisian art has grasped me at once, I have accepted these views instantly, as something long-awaited. I hours sat about fountains in Tuileries, admiring a varying figure of clouds in the sky. The sky in Paris magnificent. Similar I saw only in Petersburg. The sky shows tremendous performance, clouds are built in fine pictures with surprising colors. My FM-receiver in phone has found about 40 radio stations. Some radio stations have appeared with very pleasant modern French music, is also transferring the classics which has been picked up with good taste. Therefore sitting in park or walking on streets of Paris it is possible to listen to good music. And here the television, by the way to tell, in France, it seemed to me even less interesting, than in Russia. Some free-of-charge channels on which I have not seen something especially interesting. However, plus is that advertising in the afternoon is cleaned. But time to watch TV at me was a little, for a short while switch on only in the evening.
In Paris there is a desire
not so much to philosophize, how many to contemplation and easier to enjoy
a life. The Frenchmen speak about themselves that live to have a rest.
Not only parks are filled by having a rest people, but also set of cafe
in streets are filled with people by a dinner and in the evening. People
hours sit, eat and communicate very benevolently.And in this situation
greater impression of Paris, than of fine historical monuments. Politeness,
goodwill, desire to enjoy life, this feeling of pleasure of a life feature
of Paris, and perhaps in general France.
The Frenchmen love is tasty to eat, behind meal often speak about meal; it is fair suppose meal very important part of a life. I cannot tell, that have well learned the French kitchen, but that I ate, basically it was pleasant to me. If you do not love meat with blood, it is necessary to ask to you to fry well it. So I did, however fry well meat in French, it when on a cut it all the same little bit pink. I tried to eat the frog paws, - anything especial tasty. Meat to taste something an average between the chicken and a fish. I ate very tasty dish from a duck, onions soup - has not fascinated me though it is sometimes quite good for eating. In the city of Deauville (I went in excursion to Normandy), at coast La Manche, I ate oysters, it was pleasant to me, though them, it seems to me, necessary to eat In the small portions. Ate also a batoidea in nut sauce, it is tasty, but not something magnificent. Various rolls, croissants, cakes, etc. are very tasty in France. There are very tasty chocolates, not necessarily elite manufacturers. Very much it was pleasant to me also ice cream. Cheese is the important dish in France. Some cheeses have awful smell; I do not understand pleasure from such cheeses. But usual cheeses happen in France very tasty. Before an input in cafe or restaurant the menu with the prices always hangs, often there is a menu in English, once I saw cafe where was the menu in Russian.
Up to a trip to me somewhere there was information that the cheapest meal is sold in Paris by Chineses. I have tried to eat thus, having seen any mobile oven in park. In small queue there were Chineses and Russian. The Chinese to put meal from the baked potato and different additives in the form of salad in plastic plates. All seems pure, he to put in polyethylene gloves, but tasty and healthy such feed you will not name. In my opinion, if you have not enough money for cafe, it is better to buy something from ready dishes in shop (better large, from any known network of shops), there often wide range of products.
I shall tell a little about Normandy. I was in three cities: Rouen, Deauville and Honfleur. Rouen is known as a place of death Jeanne d'Arc. In city there is a majestic cathedral, the Gothic style, having much in similar with Parisian Notre-Dame. The height of a hall in it is a little bit more. But the city has made upon me impression mainly the medieval houses carefully kept, and any very pleasant, beautiful atmosphere. It is possible to tell that Rouen has fascinated me. Deauville it is a known resort at the Atlantic coast, the ancient architecture was kept, Interesting small town. In Honfleur on coast La Manche fine sandy beaches. I have swum, despite of cloudy weather, but the sea was warm.
Let's return to Paris. Cathedral Notre-Dame. Gothic style is gloomy, but this architecture makes impression. Delicate work and large give significant to these historical monuments. The kept ancient stained-glass windows are interesting. Most of all in Notre-Dame has made upon me impression an organ, I have listened there to a organ concert, and I shall tell, that if you did not hear a organ in a cathedral like Notre-Dame - you did not hear a organ in its all magnificence. Sound - something shaking. The hall is huge, it is high, extended at length, and the ceiling consists of several passing one in another of domes. And the powerful sound of a organ moves on a hall, wonderfully it is reflected from a surface of walls and a ceiling - Impression shaking. Very interesting there was a music at a concert, I still time would listen to it. But anywhere has not found programs of a concert. Then in my very bad French and English languages I have tried to ask. It was possible to learn, that it were improvisations of any student of a conservatory, unfortunately, to me have not told his name. Very talented music.
Notre-Dame in Paris
L'hotel national des Invalides. I wished to look a tomb of Napoleon, but it was necessary to buy the ticket and on survey of a temple in which the tomb is established, and on survey of a museum of army. Tomb very grandiose. The huge coffin is installed in the center of the round hall which is below a level of the ground. Above it the temple. Around of a coffin on a wall the bas-reliefs representing important deeds of Napoleon. In my opinion, he looks there a little bit comically. On a floor, around of a coffin, names of the major cities won by Napoleon, among them are Moscow. The museum of army can be visited to fans of history of the weapon. Many the ancient weapon, an armour. The big section is dedicated to history of the World War II, also there is a big section connected with Charles de Gaulle.
Versailles is located behind city. I went there at first by the underground, and then by the bus. The road passes in very beautiful quarters strong difference of that I saw in day of an arrival on road from the airport. The population basically white, purely enough, is homes interesting on architecture. For purchase of the ticket it was necessary to pass enough greater queue, but it has not borrowed a lot of time. It is convenient, that at an input to Versailles it is possible to take a card in Russian, and also the electronic guide with Russian on a palace, such, by the way, was not in the Louvre. Having passed on foot or having passed park by machines to shuttle there for tourists, in the form of a train on wheels, it is possible to reach up to Trianon, places connected with Maria Antoinette. Input there at additional expense. Before a trip I have just read through the book about Maria Antoinette, it was interesting to look these places. Also much was familiar on a recent feature film about it. The basic Versailles palace is beautiful, but a palace in Trianon less grandiose, more light and simple, more pleasant. Unfortunately, I have not had time to bypass all territory Trianon, park there very beautiful and original. And the big park of Versailles is very great, the big pond in the form of a cross there is located, and it is possible to take for rent a boat with oars.
Alexander's III bridge, perhaps, the most beautiful bridge of Paris constructed by the Russian tsar. From it the fine views on Eiffel Tower. The Champs-Elysees are a long street passing a part among shops and restaurants, a part through park. I went there in the evening. In the street there were many people, a part from them of a fishy kind. It is often visible the tipsy Russian, from grown rich riffraff. The Champs-Elysees have not made on me very positive impression.
In Paris there are no stray dogs and cats. And the people walking with dogs can be seen often enough. In city many homeless people, are visible them in the most unexpected places. So about Alexander's III bridge I have seen small settlement from tent and cardboard boxes. I heard, that on suburbs of city many such constructions from the cardboard boxes which have been not suitable for normal habitation.
Movement of transport on roads of Paris quiet. The permit speed of 50 km/h, everyone go approximately with this speed. I heard that the Frenchmen sometimes can go as will take in head, breaking rules, but everyone to let each other pass. Accidents, probably, are rare. In streets it is a lot of motorcycles, it is often possible to see motorcycles with two wheels ahead. Many people go by bicycles. I expected, that pedestrians on passages will not pass street to red light, but as soon as the stream of cars abates, almost everyone go on red.
About the attitude to Russian. To accept to consider, It is considered, that the attitude of the Frenchmen to Russian as to people and the attitude to a policy of the state various things. I heard that the attitude of the Frenchmen to Russian as to people and the attitude to a policy of the state Russia various things. To Russian in general the attitude good, even seemed to me especially benevolent. When I was enter into cafe and shops me, probably, all over again usually consider for an Englishman or the American, and the attitude in this case is felt polite, but a little bit coldish. But when learn that you Russian, the attitude at once changes for the better. So repeated many times. For example, in shop where I have come to buy wine and foie gras (a dainty dish from a liver of the goose or a duck), the woman behind a counter, when in conversation she has learned that I from Russia, at once has begun to smile and, very kindly helped me to choose necessary, and has started to tell to me that her mum from Russia too.
To a policy of Russia as I understand, a lot of the critical attitude. As the first figure in the politics of Russia continue to consider Putin, instead of Medvedev. I heard, that at visit to France Medvedev stopped in Hotel Ritz, the most chic and dear hotel of Paris. And it has caused the ill-disposed attitude of the Frenchmen, as the many Frenchmen is considered, that the president of the country should not to so spend money.
In the beginning of a trip,
as I very badly speak in French, I was glad to hear Russian speech, hoping
to ask road. And Russian speech, by the way, in Paris you hear often enough.
I expected that Russian compatriots are glad to see each other. But Russian
usually is not glad to Russian, unlike other foreigners. The attitude
of Russian to each other any cautious, suspicious, cold or even aggressive.
Road show reluctantly, and can insult without the reason. Therefore soon
I have ceased to speak with compatriots, preferring to ask road or to
ask any other questions to the Frenchmen, not looking on my bad knowledge
For a week which I was in France I constantly repeated: bonjour, bonsoir, merci, s'il vous plait. Having arrived to Moscow, I have noticed that I continue to speak with people in same very polite manner, and soon I have felt that here it out of place. Many things which seem earlier habitual, began to seem ugly and ridiculous. For example, I easy come into "aeroexpress train" (a specialized electric train) going from Sheremetev to Belarus station. Suddenly across from two parties to me two women rush, hardly not knocking me down, also shout, that I push them, and any the man behind me seizes my hand, dragging back. At shop two men with appearance of neanderthal men or pithecanthropes, with current on wide faces whether perspiration, whether fat, have a conversation habitual at us with dirty slang and obscene language. Hi, the native land! This impression of rudeness and nonsense in Russia is awful. I love and I appreciate in Russia better qualities, but arrival all time to keep running through head phrase from any song: "The country of fools, the country of fools". Surprisingly as it is a lot of after arrival you notice trifles which you see anew. As if all is made so that to not be convenient, comfortable for a life, but to do a life of painful and difficulty creating continually.
As a whole my trip very much has liked me, and France has enchanted me. Something is unusual, beautiful and light in this country. Shortly before a trip I somewhere have read, that Paris will enchanted you and will dream after arrival. I have understood it as a poetic image. But three nights in a row Paris dreams me.
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