Sunday, September 08, 2013

Paris: Famous landmarks

Helloooo I finally have the mood to blog again! Yay? :) I know I owe you guys a lot of travel posts! So I shall settle my blog debts before the next trip's photos come in. 

Anyway let's continue with Paris:

After our breakfast at Rue Mouffetard, we navigated our way to the iconic gothic cathedral, Notre Dame de Paris.

As a huge fan of Disney, this is definitely one of my favourite historical sites ever. 'Hunchback of Notre Dame' was one of my favourites (actually I watched & loved all Disney films haha) since young, and I remember myself watching it over and over again. To be able to set foot on this famous architecture, I couldn't hide my excitement at all.

First glimpse!

This view definitely gave me a strong 'picture-came-into-real-life' feeling. You could see gargoyles vividly up there from below. It was absolutely stunning!

I must not lie that I actually tried looking up to see if Quasimodo's chilling around hahaha! The architecture was really impressive though. To be honest I haven't been to many churches around Europe but I think at least this is by far the most beautiful one.

Part of the entrance. Those intricate details... O__O

The queue to enter the cathedral was pretty long but fortunately, it was fast moving as well. It didn't take us long but be sure to watch out of certain rude tourists that cut your line. I remember a couple cut the line right behind us but nobody asked them to go behind. Ah well. 

We went on a Sunday so naturally there was Sunday service going on during our visit. I didn't dare to take much photos because somehow it's kinda weird (and rude) when everyone is so quiet and serious inside. Nevertheless, the interior was really grand and the ambience was just...i don't know how to describe but let's just say it somehow makes you feel super religious and dare not do evil. Even though I'm a Buddhist myself, I am still impressed. There were beautiful stained glass windows but a noob photographer like me would not be able to show you the real beauty through my humble camera lens. So let's just leave it for yourself to judge when you go in yourself.

Me and Charmaine in front of the Notre Dame :)

We did not climb up to the top because 1. We skint people don't want to pay entrance tickets 2. We're lazy to queue again and actually climb up the winding stairs 3. I'm such a genius I wore a skater skirt -.-

A breathtaking scenery indeed. 

Boat cafe at the riverside of Notre Dame.

Love Love Love these second hand book stalls along the riverside.  Not that I can read French but this just reminded me of too many romantic movie scenes. The one I remembered most was the scene in 'An Education' when the female lead wanted to buy a book here. So you can imagine how excited I was that time.

Not only books, they sell quite a range of things like vintage posters, paintings, postcards and souvenirs.

Audrey Hepburn <3

I laughed so much when Roy in 冲上云霄 II (Triumph in the skies II) bought pornographic books from the riverside stalls. You see, they really sell a lot of these things! xP

Candid shot of Melody browsing through the music sheets.

Spotted an unfinished artwork near the stalls. The artist probably went for a toilet break? haha

Later then, we walked to the back of the Notre Dame and crossed the river using the love lock bridge-
 Pont de l'Archevêché (ok I googled this coz I don't know how to spell hehe) 

Doggie! (Look at the packed padlocks behind!)

Doggie thoughts: "woof woof when will me find ma true lovez woof woof :3"


There were so many love padlocks there but it wasn't that great. We saw a better one in Koln, Germany and yep, I shall post about it next time when we finish up Paris first at least. #oopstoomanydelayedposts 

After that we took the metro to visit Jardin du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Gardens). It's the 2nd largest public park in Paris with the Luxembourg palace in the middle. It's more or less like Hyde Park in London but I guess it would have been better if we go during Summer. (We went there during early Spring) The view was not as magnificent as it could be but still worth a visit!

Spot the green chairs scattered around. Those are the icons of Luxembourg garden. I find it really smart indeed because you can just move the chairs around as you like. Unlike the usual bench where you are forced to stay at that one fixed spot. Plus, there are plenty of them around so you and your whole bunch of friends can even come and take 10 chairs and play musical chairs lololol.

Me in front of the Luxembourg palace (where inside is the French Senate)

After some relaxing walk around and a little rest at the chairs, we moved on to our next destination.

but before that we walked pass some bakery to get some snacks.

Oo yea saw chocolates too!

When I was still in Paris I was kinda jakun so everything looks so good and interesting to me. However by the time I reached Belgium, artisan chocolates were everywhere that you can just find one every few minutes of walk (like literally). So actually, these chocolates weren't that nice, in comparison.

But MACARONS were good! I mean duh, it's Paris. Simply walk into some macaron shop also nice already. We tried a few from several different shops.

This is by Fabien Ledoux, some say it was one of the best. 

*bites macarons* *taste* *swallow* .... ....

(But Ladurée is still my favourite! will write about it in my next post)

Then we arrived at the last tourist attraction of the day...


The Eiffel tower. 
 Loveee ♥♥ x10000000

I was so excited when I first saw it. (aiya everything i'm also excited anyway) Ok maybe I'm biased since this is one of my dream place to visit since young.. but seriously it's so beautiful and dreamy I love it so so much. 

Me and my very happy face! That dream-comes-true moment just felt so surreal. I remember myself saving many artistic photos of eiffel tower from google & tumblr and kept on dreaming about visiting Paris one day. Now that I had already been there, I still love Eiffel tower a lot but less obsessed haha.

Bought tickets! Queing for the cable car to go up.

Finally up there! It was so windy and chilly all of us clung together tightly (what if we got blown away by the wind?! xP) 

Despite a little bit misty that day, the view up there was so worth it.

Beautiful Paris!

Me trying to act chic in front of the tower. hahaha

We went there at the right time I think (almost sunset) since we got the best of both worlds- both day view and night view.

Night view of tower.

We then took a metro back to Possoinniere and headed to Chatier for dinner (the one we wanted to eat on the first night but was too late for it). We were early this time!

Queue was still long though.

Our favourite theory: when there is a line, it must be popular and therefore must be good.

We didn't wait for too long I suppose. According to my friend Jia Huey, this is like the local's favourite restaurant where they serve good authentic French cuisine at a reasonably low price. It's definitely not the high end/ michellin starred ones but I really like this place! 

I guess I can relate this restaurant to our local 煮炒 (zhu chao/ zhu cha) in Malaysia? We Malaysian Chinese usually love going for it when we're lazy to cook (they are cheap and good) but there are times when we want to splurge a little more by going to higher class ones like 酒楼 (the ones we go for cny/bday/wedding banquet) You know what I mean right :)

I'm sorry for the bad quality of my photos here but the lighting inside was bad and I'm bad at this and lol. Plus, there were so many French people busily dining inside I was shy to take pictures to be honest. (spot that couple over there staring at us lol) 

It's a very, very busy restaurant. The waiters/waitresses were walking here and there taking orders, serving food...Do not expect a classy, tranquil ambience here. Unless you are ready to be adventurous and step out the comfort zone to try new dining experience.

Luckily for us, the waiter was kind enough to translate the menu for us as they were all in French. I mean we can identify simple French like fish is poisson, beef is boef, chicken is poulet etc. but omg so many different types of fish -.- so we still need help after all haha 

Entrée of the night: Escargots! with basil sauce. 
whee it was my first time trying and I like it :)

Ordered medium cooked steak. Apparently steak is their signature dish.
Looks small right I was disappointed when they first served me. But it tasted good! Really juicy and succulent. Except for the fries. Like give me so many for what?! And where's ma veggie?

Friend's roasted chicken

Dessert time and yes I forgot what was this >__< 

I forgot the name but I remember I finished the last drop of chocolate sauce :P

And phew! Done with the day. To be honest, it was really tiring for us to walk around Paris when we weren't 100% sure of the way. There was once we even walked the wrong direction and realised suddenly after walking for some distance. The weather wasn't good as well (it was kinda chilly) and we walked a lot. Like A LOT. Though the trip looks kinda luxurious (wear nice clothes eat good food), it was after all just a budget trip. Most of the time we tried to save money on metro tickets. It's not much money but still a sum if you keep using it. Unless it's a far distance, we usually walked from one place to another. I think we surrounded the whole Paris city for 2 big rounds already hahaha. In spite of those glitches, everything was well worth it at then end of the day. Really worth my every single footprint! *wears big smile* 

PS. I'll continue tomorrow for the 2nd day of Paris. Stay tuned!