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  • HI I'M RICK STEVES BACK WITH

  • MORE OF THE BEST OF EUROPE.

  • THIS TIME, WE'RE EXPLORING THE WONDERS OF PARIS,

  • MAGNIFICENT AND, THANKS TO MONSIEUR EIFFEL, RIVETING.

  • TO ME PARIS IS THE CAPITAL

  • OF EUROPE.

  • IT'S THE CITY I CAN RETURN TO MORE THAN ANY OTHER,

  • WITH GRAND MONUMENTS THAT NEED NO INTRODUCTION,

  • AND IT HIDES A LIFETIME OF CULTURAL DELIGHTS.

  • EVERYTHING IN THIS EPISODE IS WITHIN EASY REACH

  • BY FOOT OR METRO.

  • WE'LL SEE SOME ICONS OF THIS GREAT CITY,

  • THE INDUSTRIAL-AGE IRON OF THE EIFFEL TOWER

  • AND THE MEDIEVAL STONEWORK OF NOTRE DAME.

  • THEN WE'LL SEE STARK REALISM AND DREAMY IMPRESSIONISM

  • IN THE ORSAY GALLERY.

  • ESCARGOT.

  • WE'LL JOIN A FRIEND DINING ON FRENCH FAVORITES.

  • SO YOU STAB IT?

  • YES.

  • AFTER LURKING WITH BONES IN THE CATACOMBS,

  • WE'LL SEE HOW THE FRENCH REVOLUTION

  • HELPED CREATE THIS GRAND CITY.

  • THE SEINE RIVER SPLITS THE CITY

  • INTO THE RIGHT BANK AND THE LEFT BANK.

  • ITS TWO ISLANDS MARK

  • THE CENTER OF THE OLD TOWN.

  • MOST OF THE ESSENTIAL SIGHTS

  • LIE NEAR THE NOTRE DAME,

  • BETWEEN THE EIFFEL TOWER,

  • THE LATIN QUARTER

  • AND MONTMARTRE,

  • THE CITY'S HIGHEST POINT.

  • THE EIFFEL TOWER WAS BUILT IN 1889 TO CELEBRATE

  • THE 100th ANNIVERSARY OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION

  • AND TO SHOW OFF AT A WORLD'S FAIR.

  • IT WAS A MUSCULAR SYMBOL OF THE INDUSTRIAL AGE.

  • TO A GENERATION HOOKED ON TECHNOLOGY,

  • IT WAS THE MARVEL OF ITS DAY,

  • TRUMPETING PROGRESS AND MAN'S INGENUITY.

  • THIS 900-FOOT-TALL TOWER HAS THREE OBSERVATION LEVELS.

  • THE HIGHER YOU GO, THE MORE YOU PAY.

  • FOR ME, THE MIDDLE LEVEL IS PLENTY HIGH.

  • THOUSANDS OF IRON BARS AND MILLIONS OF RIVETS,

  • ALL ASSEMBLED IN JUST OVER TWO YEARS.

  • TODAY, IT STANDS TALL, AN EXCLAMATION POINT,

  • SYMBOLIZING THE PROUD, INDEPENDENT SPIRIT

  • OF THE FRENCH.

  • THE TROCADERO SQUARE, ACROSS THE RIVER,

  • IS THE PLACE TO VIEW THE TOWER

  • AND TO CHECK OUT A COLORFUL SCENE.

  • PARISIANS OWN THEIR CITY.

  • IN FACT, TWICE A WEEK STREETS ARE CLOSED

  • AND THOUSANDS TURN OUT TO ROLL THROUGH THEIR CITY

  • IN AN EXUBERANT CELEBRATION OF LIFE.

  • PARIS WAS BORN CENTURIES BEFORE CHRIST,

  • RIGHT HERE ON THE ILE de la CITE,

  • AN ISLAND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SEINE RIVER.

  • THE ROMANS CONQUERED THE LOCAL FISHING TRIBE AND SET UP CAMP.

  • TODAY, THE NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL MARKS THE PLACE

  • WHERE A ROMAN TEMPLE ONCE STOOD.

  • THE CITY'S FIRST BISHOP, ST. DENNIS,

  • HOLDS HIS HEAD IN HIS HANDS.

  • WHEN CHRISTIANITY BEGAN MAKING CONVERTS HERE,

  • THE PAGAN ROMANS BEHEADED HIM.

  • BUT, ACCORDING TO LEGEND, DENNIS JUST PICKED UP HIS HEAD

  • AND KEPT ON GOING.

  • INSPIRED BY THIS MIRACLE, CHRISTIANITY FLOURISHED

  • AND THE TEMPLE WAS REPLACED BY A CHURCH.

  • IMAGINE THE FAITH OF THE PEOPLE WHO BUILT THIS,

  • BREAKING GROUND IN 1163 ON A BUILDING

  • WHICH WOULDN'T BE FINISHED FOR 200 YEARS.

  • GOTHIC ARCHITECTS INCORPORATED THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY:

  • FLYING BUTTRESSES TO SUPPORT THE HEAVY ROOFTOP.

  • ITS GHOULISH GARGOYLES MULTI-TASK:

  • THEY SERVE AS FANCY RAINSPOUTS

  • AND SCARE AWAY THE EVIL SPIRITS.

  • THE CHURCH IS DEDICATED TO OUR LADY, OR NOTRE DAME.

  • MARY CRADLES THE BABY JESUS;

  • THE ROSE WINDOW PROVIDES A MAJESTIC HALO.

  • THE VIRGIN MARY WAS HIGHLY REVERED

  • THROUGHOUT THE MIDDLE AGES.

  • THE FAITHFUL PETITIONED HER IN TIMES OF TROUBLE

  • FOR BOTH COMFORT AND, THROUGH HER INTERVENTION, GOD'S MERCY.

  • AS WORSHIPPERS HEADED FOR MASS,

  • THEY'D WALK UNDER A RELIEF OF JUDGMENT DAY.

  • CHRIST SITS ON HIS THRONE.

  • THE TRUMPET SOUNDS.

  • ALL ARE JUDGED:

  • PEASANTS, KNIGHTS, NOBLES, ROYALS, EVEN BISHOPS.

  • AN ANGEL WEIGHS CUTE LITTLE SOULS

  • WHILE CHEATING DEMONS YANK ON THE SCALES.

  • THE SAVED STAND HAPPILY AT CHRIST'S RIGHT HAND...

  • ...THE DAMNED, A SORRY CHAIN GANG, ARE ON HIS LEFT.

  • CARVINGS LIKE THAT,

  • AND LIKE THIS SCENE OF EVE TEMPTING ADAM WITH AN APPLE,

  • REMIND US THAT THIS ART WAS MORE THAN DECORATION.

  • THESE IMAGES REINFORCED

  • THE STORIES PEOPLE LEARNED IN CHURCH.

  • WHILE THE CHURCH IS DEDICATED TO MARY,

  • THE REST OF PARIS SEEMS DEDICATED TO REGULAR PARISIANS.

  • THE OLD CENTER, WITH ITS TWO ISLANDS

  • IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SEINE, RETAINS A CHARMING ELEGANCE.

  • THE ILE de la CITE IS LADEN WITH HISTORIC SIGHTS.

  • BUT THE LITTLE ILE ST. LOUIS,

  • CONNECTED BY A PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE,

  • IS LADEN ONLY WITH THE DELIGHTS OF GOOD LIVING.

  • ARNAUD.

  • OH, RICK.

  • ça va.

  • ça va bien.

  • I'M RENDEZVOUSING WITH MY PARISIAN FRIEND

  • AND FELLOW TOUR GUIDE, ARNAUD SERVIGNAT.

  • GREAT ISLAND.

  • YEAH, THIS IS ILE ST. LOUIS, RICK.

  • I LOVE THIS PLACE.

  • YOU KNOW, ALL AROUND IN THIS REALLY UNIFORM ARCHITECTURE,

  • EVERYTHING DATING FROM THE 17th CENTURY,

  • AND THE BEAUTIFUL APARTMENTS --

  • VERY EXPENSIVE, THE MOST EXPENSIVE IN TOWN --

  • AND I WISH I COULD HAVE AN APARTMENT HERE,

  • IF I COULD AFFORD IT.

  • THIS IS VERY TRENDY TO LIVE HERE?

  • OH, MY GOD, WONDERFUL.

  • AND ALL ALONG THE STREETS YOU'VE GOT SOME GALLERIES,

  • QUAINT LITTLE BOUTIQUES AND RESTAURANTS,

  • AND JUST DOWN THE STREET THERE IS A PLACE, BERTHILLON,

  • WHERE YOU HAVE THE BEST SORBETS IN PARIS.

  • REALLY?

  • YEAH.

  • YES, THE ISLAND IS CHARMING,

  • BUT THE WHOLE CITY OF PARIS IS CHARMING.

  • IN FACT, IT FACES THE RIVER SEINE,

  • AND THE RIVER SEINE HAS BEEN CALLED BY PARISIANS,

  • "THE MIRROR OF THE CITY."

  • IT'S A GREAT PEOPLE ZONE.

  • YEAH, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE STROLLING.

  • YEAH.

  • WANDERING AROUND.

  • FESTIVALS HERE?

  • YES, INDEED.

  • ON THE BASTILLE DAY WE HAVE A BIG PARTY HERE,

  • BIG DANCING ORGANIZED.

  • DANCING.

  • DANCING ALL AROUND THE PLACE.

  • AND TODAY IT'S JUST SO RELAXED.

  • SO WHAT IS THE FRENCH WORD FOR THESE LITTLE STALLS?

  • Bouquinistes, WE CALL THEM.

  • IT COMES FROM THE NAME bouquin, WHICH IS OLD FRENCH.

  • OKAY, SO OLD BOOKS IN OLD FRENCH.

  • OLD BOOKS, YES.

  • AND THEY SELL PRINTS, YOU KNOW.

  • AND IT GOES BACK A LONG TIME?

  • OH, BACK TO THE 1600s, YES, INDEED.

  • THERE WERE, YOU KNOW, VERY WILD VENDORS

  • WHICH WERE ALL ALONG THE RIVER SEINE LIKE THAT.

  • AND THEY HAD TO BE REGULATED IN THE 19th CENTURY

  • BECAUSE THEY WERE SO WILD.

  • IT'S JUST A CLASSIC PARISIAN SCENE.

  • IT HAS, YOU KNOW, KIND OF A BOHEMIAN LIFE-STYLE.

  • I'M TAKING ARNAUD TO LUNCH.

  • AGAINST HIS ADVICE,

  • I'M EATING ALL THE PARISIAN CUISINE CLICHéS IN ONE MEAL.

  • THIS IS A kir, YOU KNOW, A GOOD CIVILIZED WAY TO START A MEAL.

  • SO IT'S AN APERITIF?

  • MM-HMM.

  • TELL ME ABOUT THE APERITIF.

  • APERITIF IS TO OPEN YOUR APPETITE.

  • ESCARGOT.

  • ESCARGOT.

  • OH, RICK, LOOK AT THAT.

  • IT LOOKS NICE.

  • Merci.

  • Soupe al'Oignon.

  • SO THIS IS THE FIRST COURSE?

  • YES, THIS IS THE ENTRéE.

  • AND ACTUALLY, YOU GUYS CALL THE ENTRéE THE MAIN COURSE,

  • WHEN THE ENTRéE IS THE STARTER IN FRANCE.

  • THAT MAKES SENSE, ACTUALLY.

  • OKAY, I HAVE MY ESCARGOT.

  • AND I JUST USE THIS?

  • Alors, YES.

  • SO YOU STAB IT?

  • YES.

  • THEN YOU TWIST IT OUT.

  • IT COMES OUT EVENTUALLY.

  • VERY CHEWY, YOU WILL SEE.

  • OH, THAT'S GOOD.

  • GOOD, HUH?

  • GARLIC, PARSLEY.

  • A LOT OF TOURISTS DON'T WANT THE ESCARGOT, BUT I LOVE IT.

  • WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF THE ONION SOUP?

  • AH, THE ONION SOUP IS SOMETHING YOU EAT MORE IN THE WINTERTIME

  • BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, IT WAS TO WARM UP THE EMPLOYEES

  • OF THE CENTRAL MARKET DURING THE NIGHTTIME.

  • I EAT ONION SOUP ALL YEAR.

  • I KNOW, YOU GUYS, AMERICANS, ARE EATING EVERYTHING

  • ALL YEAR ROUND.

  • [ laughter ]

  • Merci, I THINK.

  • THIS IS ACTUALLY THE MAIN COURSE,

  • plate principal IN FRENCH.

  • Plate principal.

  • Plate principal.

  • OKAY, THE PRINCIPAL PLATE.

  • ABSOLUTELY, YES.

  • OKAY, STEAK TARTARE.

  • STEAK TARTARE, YES.

  • VERY FAMOUS.

  • DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS MADE OF?

  • NO.

  • IT'S FRESH RAW BEEF.

  • THIS IS RAW BEEF?

  • RAW BEEF.

  • VERY FRESH.

  • THE SPICE COMES FROM THE WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE,

  • THE KETCHUP, THE MUSTARD, THE TABASCO, SALT, PEPPER

  • AND THE YOLK OF AN EGG,

  • AND THEN YOU JUST MIX IT ALL TOGETHER WITH THE BEEF.

  • DO YOU LIKE IT?

  • YES, I LOVE IT.

  • YOU'VE INTRODUCED ME TO SOMETHING NEW.

  • THIS ONE IS SO GOOD.

  • I CAN'T BELIEVE IT.

  • I'M EATING RAW BEEF AND IT TASTES GOOD.

  • IT IS GOOD, HUH?

  • WOW!

  • ESPECIALLY WITH SOME RED WINE.

  • M-HMM.

  • SO WE ARE, YOU KNOW, HAVING NOW THE CHEESE COURSE,

  • WHICH IS VERY IMPORTANT.

  • YOU DON'T END UP A MEAL WITHOUT SOME CHEESE.

  • AND BASICALLY, YOU KNOW, YOU ORDER CHEESE TO FINISH THE WINE,

  • AND THEN YOU ORDER MORE WINE TO FINISH THE CHEESE.

  • IT'S A NICE CYCLE.

  • OH, IT'S A VICIOUS CIRCLE.

  • A VICIOUS CYCLE.

  • AH, THIS IS DESSERT TIME, RICK.

  • YOU'RE HAVING crème brûlée,

  • AND I HAVE CHOCOLATE.

  • THIS IS SACRED, YOU KNOW, FOR LUNCHTIME

  • TO STOP AT LEAST AN HOUR.

  • WE DON'T WORK.

  • LOOK AT THESE PEOPLE; THEY'VE BEEN HERE FOREVER.

  • YES, IT'S SACRED.

  • ENJOY.

  • OKAY.

  • SO THE COFFEE ALWAYS COMES AFTER ALL OF THE FOOD?

  • AFTER THE DESSERT, ALWAYS.

  • WHAT IF YOU ASK FOR YOUR COFFEE WITH THE MEAL?

  • THEY WOULD SAY, "YES, SURE,"

  • BUT IT WOULD COME AFTER THE MEAL.

  • THEY DON'T WANT TO BE RUDE.

  • OKAY.

  • WHAT A MEAL.

  • EXCELLENT, WASN'T IT?

  • I'M HEADING FOR THE ORSAY GALLERY.

  • OH, GO AHEAD.

  • I'M FINISHING MY COGNAC.

  • AU REVOIR.

  • BYE-BYE, RICK.

  • GETTING AROUND PARIS IS EASY ON THE METRO.

  • THE ORIGINAL STATIONS WERE ART NOUVEAU.

  • THIS NEW ONE CELEBRATES THE SYSTEM'S 100th BIRTHDAY.

  • AND THE LATEST