Tuesday, September 3, 2013
True Nelson Visit's France (Conclusion)
In my Part 2 of this series, I stated that I was not “overly impressed” with my visit to France. Upon reflection, that sounds a little disdainful; and I really didn’t mean it in that way. I enjoyed my trip. It was very interesting. There is an undefinable something associated with France and Paris and it was fun to have the experience – if only for a moment.
That said, and for those who will never make it to France, there are sights closer by that I would recommend – sites that really impressed me: Denali on a sunny day, the Grand Canyon, the Red Woods of Northern California, and Oregon’s Crater Lake.
What impressed me the most in France: I would have to say that it was the Eiffel Tower. Unless you stand at the base of this structure, you really have no accurate concept as to how massive it is. It’s a must see. It was engineered by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 World’s Fair. Interestingly, the residents of Paris initially hated the Tower, considered it an eye-sore and circulated petitions to have it torn down. The city fathers were compelled to agree. However, they could never find the funds for its demolition. Now Parisians love the Tower. And, it is the biggest tourist attraction in France.
What would I have avoided if I’d known better: Some might find this opinion incredible, but I would have skipped the visit to the Palace of Versailles. It was visually stunning and spectacular, but was also a study in unbelievable royal self-indulgence and decadence. The visit was sullied by the massive crowds – the worst experience being the interior of the Palace. Pushing and sweating, as well as tedious lectures was the order of the day. My thought was ‘let’s just get this over with.’
My impression of French Wine: Admittedly, I am not much of a wine drinker. French wine does have cachet, but I think that Oregon wine is just as good.
And, what was the most unusual insect: At a vineyard we visited, this little creature started a debate. ‘It’s a hummingbird.’ ‘No, it’s some sort of bee.’ ‘No, I’m certain it’s a small hummingbird.’ Well, as it turned out, it was a Hummingbird Hawk Moth. You might enjoy watching the following: