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Day 12/Sunday: It was a long 7 hours bus ride from Amsterdam to Paris. There were 2 rest stops along the way and I’m glad to say that I stepped into belgium =p
The Bus arrived at the terminal at about 2:30 and we took the metro to Jaures Station. Our hotel was just like barely 2 mins walk away if you exit from the correct exit.
We stayed in Hotel De La Comete. It is right beside the Macdonalds. So if you are ever lost, just look for the big M sign and you will find the hotel. This hotel takes the 2nd~7th floor of a rather old building. It can get a little isolated at night and we actually witnessed some quarrel/fight between a drunk man and someone.
Pros: cheap, convenient to metro, decent place and really nice owners (who can’t speak english), i could see the eiffel tower from the window! (stayed on the 6th floor)
You see the blury stick looking thing in the photo? That’s the eiffel tower and this was taken from our hotel window!
Cons: small room, no aircon, no breakfast, you have to carry your luggage up one flight of stairs to get to the second floor. After that, there’s this really small lift which is just nice for the 3 of us =D
Nevertheless, everyone has been telling me really bad reviews of all the Paris hostels so I really had very low expectations.. but i was rather satisfied with this place =)
Tips that you can follow but if you get into trouble, don’t look for me
Transportation: I’m sure you’ve heard about people jumping over the subway gantries for free transportation.. We didn’t exactly wanted to do it.. but we saw people doing in.. so we.. follow suit.
Anyway, on Sunday (the day we reached), we saw people just pushing the gantry which was not locked at all! (So we follow suit) However, the next day, the gantry was locked! I’m not sure if there’s such thing as a Sunday free transport thingy or not.
BY THE WAY, at the place we stay, and the subway exit that we use frequently, there isn’t any office.. which means there’s only the gantry (without any officers in sight) and this makes the ‘jump’ less adventurous. Also, if you are lucky, you might be able to grab on to the exit-ing door and just enter via there. For people with long legs and not so heavy bags, you can choose to jump over the rods and squeeze through the hole. For people with short legs or a super heavy back pack like mine, you can consider crawling through =p
Another way is.. (if you’re skinny enough) to squeeze 2 people in 1 ticket. So you must be wondering.. are the tickets expensive? The answer is.. no. in fact Paris train tickets were the cheapest I have ever paid! You can get 10 tickets for like 8 or 9 euros. I paid 2 pounds for london, 2.55 euros for ireland, 1.50 for italy, $12 for 10 tickets in spain.
So.. you decide if you want to be a risk-taker or not. I HAVE HEARD STORIES OF PEOPLE GETTING CAUGHT.. and the fine can be really hefty! I’m just sharing my experience.. You decide!
By the way, my friend’s friend joined us in Paris so there were 3 of us from now on.. which means that we booked private rooms w/toilets since there are 3 people =)
Alright, so after we settled our luggage down, we went over to Macs for lunch because we were starving o_o McWrap for lunch =D
Then, we took the train to Notre Dame~
It’s a really majestic church. Something unique of its own (like no other churches I have seen in Europe). We had to queue for a while before entering the church and they have those fashion police to check that you are appropriately dressed!
Sights near the Notre Dame & Seine River
Then~ Since it was good weather, we proceeded to the place that everyone goes when they are in Paris!
(FYI, always wondering why your friends always purchase eiffel towel keychains as souvenirs? You might be able to find some people selling 10 eiffel tower key chains for 1 euro; though the cheapest I saw was 6 for 1E)
It was such a beauty and we spent quite a bit of time admiring it.. Lying on the grass (it feels quite nice actually), looking at the tower and the clear blue sky.. awesome. Polaroid worthy!
Well~ I saw someone doing a sketch of the eiffel tower and the artist in me decided to give it a shot! How’s it?
Had dinner in an italian restaurant (right..) about 5~10 mins walk from the eiffel tower but the food was not bad! 3 of us shared 2 people’s serving.. it was just right! (But to the people there they must be like WTHHHHH)
I’ve never eaten a smoked salmon pizza which was so generous with its serving of salmons before..
Our first Lagsane in Europe.. and it got very “jelat” after a while.
And of course, not forgetting the awesome dessert =) My favourite creme brulee!
Day 13/ Monday Musée du Louvre (Closed on Tuesdays)
Louvre is closed on tuesdays and versailles is closed on mondays.. so everyone will go to louvre on mondays and versailles on tuesdays, so if you have the choice, you should avoid it. LOL. we didn’t have a choice at all.
Louvre museum used to be some palace or something but then they decided to shift to versailles and transform it into a museum showcasing the masterpieces from all over. So.. when you think of Louvre what do you think of? (1) the Glass Pyramid (2) Mona Lisa (3) Armless Venus.
(Am i right?)
Tips that you can follow but if you get into trouble, don’t look for me
I think it is stated that only paris students under 26 with a valid student card will be allowed free entry to the museum. However, my friend managed to get in with a non-France student card and we tried to enter with her other cards BUT, they wanted to verify our age with our passport because it wasn’t indicated. It was like “failed” entry for us.. so we went to buy the ticket. But apparently when it’s very busy, they are very lax and won’t really check so you can just flash the card and the glance at it and they let you through.. well~ good luck!
Random Masterpieces which I wished I could remember the names:
I really love this photo a lot. He really looks great here. Look at the ceiling! It’s so pretty.
This is quite famous too.. I think it’s venus and her lover?
This is famous too!
Winged Victory of Samothrace aka also called the Nike of Samothrace.
FYI: Nike = Victory!
The Wedding at Cana is a massive painting by the late-Renaissance or Mannerist Italian painter, Paolo Veronese.
(It was so crowded that I couldn’t even take a picture without all the extra heads T_T )
This painting is magnificent because there’s actually a lot of supposedly familiar faces and it depicts the miracle of how Jesus turned water into wine. ( I hope I didn’t remember wrongly)
Created sometime between 130 and 100 BC.
Anyways, such things only get famous because someone attempted to steal it.
The pilgrimage to the Mona Lisa..
I overheard someone in the crowd saying, “If there’s a fire right now, all of us is going to die right here.”
The problem: Everyone takes a super long time to get to the front of the painting. SO when they finally squeezed to the front of it, they just keep taking a lot of photos of it and with it. So its a backlash and the crowd never gets smaller and it’s also difficult to give up halfway because no one is gonna move to let you out. *gasp* i still insisted in going through.
So what so famous about this painting? Firstly, it is by Leonardo Da Vinci. Probably more people know more about dan brown than the painting itself. Anyway, like I said, it got famous because it was stolen not once but TWICE.
Then you wonder, why is this painting painted by an italian artist in PARIS?! So we concluded that during those days, the people conquer here and there, and each time they did conquer they looted and stole a lot of things back to their own country.
(Van Gogh painted 4 sun flowers but only 1 is in Amsterdam)
However, dear wikipedia told me that leonardo brought the painting when he visited france and some king bought it from him.. so in this case, the mona lisa was not a stolen property.
Nevertheless, it is heavily protected by a bulletproof glass which has saved the mona lisa from being destroyed by other mad people many years down the road >_<
So the million dollar question is: What was her expression on her face? Was she smiling?
ALSO, DO U ACTUALLY REALISE THAT MONA LISA DOES NOT HAVE EYEBROW?
I only discovered this in 2012 November, way long after my trip..
By the way, it was a rainy day.. which was why the museum is really crowded.
The Coronation of Napoleon
The all so famous yet controversial glass pyramid which doesn’t seem to fit well with such a historical rich museum =/ Do you see the snaking lines? PLEASE VISIT THE LOUVRE VIA THE BASEMENT!! the long queues are actually for the bag check..
The famous glass pyramid is a very modern thing, which was only completed in 1989. It serves as the entrance to the museum (but not the only entrance)
There’s a lot of controversy regarding its construction as many people felt it was totally too modern for the museum. hmm. and another rumour that 666 glass panes had been used in the construction.
After we felt that we have make worthy of our entrance tickets, we left the museum and grabbed lunch in a random cafe. I like it that they serve the tea by the pot =)
And we had branded macaroons. You got to say the word Pierre Herme in the same tone you use to say Louis Vuitton. It was not bad, but a little steep, at 2.something euros each.
Jasmine Rose + Passionfruit Chocolate (oh gawd I”m hungry)
Macaroons part 2 at Laduree (more famous brand) There’s a store along Champs Elysee!
** Then we had a total adventure in the rain where we attempted to find Lomp Champ ** It was plain stupid because none of us researched, assuming that Longchamp will be at Champs Elysee so we walked and walked (in the rain), and we got directed to Lancel and not Longchamp and we asked 29084098 times for directions until my dear friend replied my SMS and told me that there wasn’t any Longchamp along the street but 2 metro stops away and we gave up and went into H&M instead. zomg zomg zomg zomg ZOMG. Lesson learnt: do not assume, always check!
Dropped by Moulin Rouge because it was a really nice movie I watched back when i was 11/12?
Day 14 / Tuesday (Last day in Paris)
Grabbed breakfast at Macs (again) and it was 2.70 euros only!! I <3 hot chocolate =D
Had to take the RER train (Cannot cheat) to Versailles. Just follow the crowd.. and gawd look at the # of people D:
So.. there are two queues: (1) for the tickets (2) to enter.. IDEALLY, you should purchase the tickets online.. i think I queued almost 40 minutes for the tickets. We split up but all in all i think it was more than 1 hour?
You are able to borrow an audio guide for free! Do remember to claim it (follow the directions) and set off on your tower in the Versailles!
ANYWAYS, you just follow the numbers and listen to the commentaries and very soon you can cover everything that you need to see! It felt kind of small, but then again, there were a lot of places that the public had no access too.. hmm.
The beautiful chapel =) I love the organs!
Sometimes, I feel like painting my ceiling too..
I like the prints!
Look at how these paintings look like it had some 3D effect.
The hall of mirrors! to be honest, i felt the lighting was bad bad bad bad bad.
so pretty omg. I want this prints in my bedroom in future.
Does this look familiar? Yes! It is the coronation of napoleon painting.. but.. this is the REPLICA. the real thing is in Louvre =p
Now now, there was another confusion going on.. The tickets we bought doesn’t include the Gardens. and the gardens has the GARDENS + MUSICAL FOUNTAIN option. So we spent some time asking the person if we can enter the garden but not watch the musical fountain show, is it possible and will we be able to get any discounts? she couldn’t understand ask and we went in anyway.. so.. we realised.. MUSICAL FOUNTAIN was literally the fountain spraying out water and that music is playing in the background.. (all of us thought/imagined that it as like some SHOW/Sit down performance where there’s like awesome jets of water shooting up here and there (similar to songs of the sea or something around that line)) and gosh we were so wrong. It was literally MUSIC + FOUNTAIN. so.. on days where the fountain isn’t turned on or that the music isn’t playing, you pay for the gardens only. zZz. what a misunderstanding >_<
Nevertheless, it was pretty =) If only we didn’t have shopping obligations, we would have spent the whole afternoon there..
Before the musical fountain show started..
After the “show” has started.
Does this look familiar? Triwizard cup in Harry Potter?
Paddy is taking a rest in the park! What a darling.
How far we walked.. and how big the place is.
Awesome place for photoshoot!
The focus is the fig leaves!! and the statues private parts are all covered in fig leaves.
why? it is dated back to the censorship of the roman catholic.
Left the versailles and proceeded to Pont Alexandre III
One of the more famous bridges along River Seine.
Appeared in the movie, midnight in paris, musical/book/anime Les Miserables, movie anastasia, Adele’s MV Someone like you, …
It is a very extravagant bridge with gold sculptures (real gold?).
Accessible from the Invalides Metro Stop, and it is a historical monument.
If you do read/watch Les misrables, Invalides is a metro stop which is quite memorable =p It is the place where the 24601 guy saved the guy from the sewers. (Suddenly can’t remember all their names). Also, it’s the place where the policeman committed suicide.
FYI, Pont = Bridge
People having wedding photoshoot on this bridge.. This shows how important this bridge is..
Mummy #2 we saw. The first one we saw was near Versailles. More to come >_<
Went to settle our longchamp shopping list and then grabbed dinner and.. we had a sparkling moment at the eiffel tower. It’s literally “Sparkling” and “Moment”
WHY? The eiffel tower lights up for 5 minutes at every hour (after the sun has set)
Before this, i thought that the eiffel tower is not lighted up at all beyond that 10 mins.. however,
The magical moment..
And we seriously CHANCED upon it.. it was so so so so so so pretty! this is why eiffel tower is the place TO VISIT in paris!!
Went back to hotel, pack and unpack pack and unpack, and off we are to our next destination – Italy!
I bought this at the airport. It was not bad, considering the price I paid for it =p
Day 15/Wednesday : flight from paris to Milan on easyjet!! (best budget airline flight I’ve taken before because I slept from the start to the end)
So.. are you supposed to fall in love with Paris?
You tell me!