The Disney Effect?

06 Aug 2011
Posted by Marisa
Marisa's picture

 Do you recognize this place?


It looks a little idyllic. 


Perhaps a little too idyllic.


Sometimes people blame Disney, or Hollywood, for making things appear too perfect. I've often found this a little suspicious, and now I have proof that it's not their fault. These are pictures of the hamlet Marie Antionette built in 1784. They look exactly like they were built from the Disney Snow White cartoon, but they were built about 200 years earlier.


Apparently modern life didn't invent wishing for a perfect world. Or trying to make one.


Sightseeing Quandry

03 Aug 2011
Posted by Marisa
Marisa's picture

The Eiffel Tower is one of those mythic tourist destinations. You don't travel to Paris and skip it. However, I have to admit that the famous monument wasn't quite how I imagined it. My first glimpse was from the highway, at a distance, a glowing tower with a giant spot light roaming the sky. For some reason the giant, roving light made me think it was something from Disneyland Paris, and so discussion ensued and no conclusion was reached.

I was a bit doubtful because if it was the Eiffel Tower, shouldn't I know? Isn't something magical supposed to happen?


The next day did nothing to help put an end to the mystery. We walked around Paris for a whole day, in the rain, and I didn't catch sight of it. I mean, I don't think I had any unrealistic ideas about the Eiffel Tower, I'm no disillusioned Japaense tourist, but I did think that any entrance to the city would have led past it. How can they let you wander around for a day with no sighting? And shouldn't you be able to see it from anywhere? Shouldn't it be peaking out from the tops of the buildings wherever I look?


"Where am I?" I started to wonder, "Am I even in Paris?" It wouldn't be the first time I was confused about my location. "Maybe we're somewhere like Vienna," I thought. "Have I been to Vienna?"


My mental state was at this point confused enougth that I began to doubt the famed tower's existence. Perhaps it was just a giant conspiracy. There's the giant, glass pyramid (and how do they keep so many paintings in such an empty space?), why can't I see the Eiffel Tower?


If wasn't until our second day in Paris that someone finally pointed out the top peeking above some buildings. I felt a little thrill of something begin and I said, "We must go to it." Jordan tried looking at his map, but I delcared, "It's right there! Let's go." 


For a while this method worked, however eventually it was obscured again and my doubts began to resurface. It's not really that tall, is it?


Falling back onto Jordan's method, the map eventually got us there and the tower's reappearance started that little thrill of excitement again.


I really am in Paris.