[Added 7/6/02] These are pictures from a 3-week trip to Europe in May, 2002. These are some of my favorites. Please take your time when viewing these pictures and leave me a comment or two if you could. You can also tell your friends about these pictures using the form in the previous index page.
The trip started in San Francisco with 5 friends hopping on a non-stop flight to Paris. Upon arriving at Charles de Gaulle International Airport, we were tired but intrigued at the thought of finally arriving at Paris! That's PARIS, not San Jose, not New York, but Paris, France! The airport wasn't very impressive at all, with its tiny white-tiled floors and walls, reminescent of the Jerry Lewis era (60's) and the attempted futuristic look. Pedestrian traffic within the terminals was unkempt to say the least but hey, this was going to be an adventure! Only 1 of us had been to Europe before this trip so everything was new and interesting.
A white van driven by a tentative woman driver took us and another party of 3 into downtown Paris. From the freeway, we saw a huge Ikea building close to the airport and then apartment buildings and then finally sky scrapers as we drove through Paris. I thought some of the residential buildings, highways, and office buildings looked very much like those in the east coast cities of the US, e.g. Queens, Boston, Philadelphia. Everything is measured in metrics in Paris (and all of Europe), so distances are shown in meters and km, and speeds in kph (kilometers per hour). The most noticeable thing on the road was the number of small cars. Relative to cars in the US, these would have to be classified as sub-sub-sub-sub-compact. I for one was happy to see that, as it was clearly an attempt to cut down on fuel usage to reduce pollution and probably more importantly (economically) to reduce the cost of transportation. Another factor which became apparent later on is that there were many narrow streets from mideval era and before. Obviously there's no way a car like a Camry or Accord could fit in those streets.
I'm writing too much so let me get
to the pictures. This first one here was taken on the first night
that we were in Paris. We had a few minutes before boarding a night
city bus tour and so wandered the streets a bit and while waiting for others
outside a small grocery shop, a cargo truck pulled to a stop in front of
the store. The driver and a single passenger were both ladies who
were rather well dressed (contemporary dress, not formal). The passenger
got out and we could see she had on a pair of shoes with at least 4" heals!
Anyway, I digress. On the side of the truck was a plastic see-through
covering and behind the plastic was a layer of doll heads as you see in
the picture. From afar, it's unclear just what the skin-colored side
of the truck was made of. But up close, you can see the eys
and nose and mouse of the little baby doll heads. Scary or cute?
I've gotten comments
supporting both, but I think you'll agree that it is very unique!
Go on to Paris (2)
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