Well, I am in Paris since nearly one week but this visit seems to be totally different than the last times.
One the one hand – despite the rainy summer weather – the city is even more colourful thanks to the numerous football fans. On the other hand I can not explore the city this open minded as I have done it during the last times. But let’s first come to the cool part.
My friends know that I am big football fan and especially love big tournaments. I really enjoy the atmosphere in the stadium and love the international vibe around. The more amazing it is for me being a spectator volunteer to be able to watch all the games at Stade de France, join the training sessions the day before and sneak into the catacombs and pass the team busses.
For the other games most of the time I just stay at the sports bar of my hostel and watch the games with Irish, Swedish and Swiss people.
As I wanted to get the atmosphere of the fanzone at the Eiffel tower I went there for one game but left at half time as I had a weird feeling. During the whole day the police was preparing for the riots expected from the demonstrations against the new labour law. Just a few minutes after I left the people were locked in the fanzones as the demonstrating people were attacking the police with fireworks again. On top all this terror warnings.
Due to all the things happening in Paris I actually feel a bit weird. The Parisiennes I talked to told me they are not afraid at all – well, what should they do – move to Marseille?
Americans at my hostel confused that I was a bit scared as they went straight onto the Bataclan memorial after arriving in Paris (“We Americans love memorials”). The little Chinese girl at my hostel was more worried about the African looking guys around our hostel. Obviously is this “try-to-feel-as-save-and-secure-as- possible-behaviour” a very German thing.
After all that troubles in the city I just went twice in the centre – ones with my friend Urte from Hamburg and the second time to see, Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Cezanne at Musee d’Orsay. You can not always stay indoor in beautiful Paris.
Until the next match between Germany and Northern Ireland I will escape the ridiculously high prices in Paris and travel a bit around France. As I always wanted to see Mont Saint-Michel I am first heading to Rennes – far away from the bullying English hooligans.