Saturday, 6 October 2007

The Rugby World Cup and the Eiffel Tower (Again!)

Some of you may know that the Rugby World Cup is on at the moment in France, and in that group of people some of you may know that Australia was playing England today for a spot in the semi-finals. I was pretty keen to watch this game and I had heard there were some screens set up near the Eiffel Tower. So I headed off there this afternoon and found "Rugby Town", a haven of English-speaking drunkenness in the middle of all this French sobriety. Even the commentators were in the English so I could actually know why the penalties were being awarded for once. Too bad Australia lost, but they made too many errors and I don't like George Gregan anyway, it's good that he is retiring. Now I just have to hope that New Zealand beats the French, otherwise I may be forced to cheer for England, which would be a tragedy.

One thing I noticed whilst watching this game is the difference in quality between the French broadcast and the English broadcasts (either here or in Australia). I don't know who is organising the French one, but they really like arse and groin shots, so a lot of the time you have no idea what is going on. Say there is a scrum you don't know where the ball is, because the camera is trained on a guy's bottom, rather than pulling back a bit and giving you the overall shot. Strange.

Rugby Town is set up over the river from the Eiffel Tower in the Jardins du Trocadero and it is from here that I think you get one of the best views of the Eiffel Tower. It isn't even mentioned in the metro-maps or the tourists guides that when visiting the Eiffel Tower you should walk from here, so I'm letting everyone know, when you go see the Eiffel tower get off at the metro stop Trocadero.

There is a big square here, which was built for the 1937 World Fair and the youth of Paris has taken it over. Rather than the underage drinking you could find in Australia these kids are actually doing constructive things. There were groups of kids having dance-offs, seriously they were having dancing competitions. Also groups busking with acrobatics and finally there were these crazy kids on roller-blades jumping over things. They weren't wearing any protection or anything, and were doing this on the marble-style stuff paving which is all over Paris. I suppose you don't get the asphalt-rash you get from concrete when you fall over, but I reckon it is still pretty hard when you fall over.
They were pretty good too, nearly every kid I saw managed to clear the pole.

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