Paris - The most beautiful city on earth!
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The journey was awesome and I wish I could visit Paris again soon.
Two weeks before the date of departure, there was a terrifying news about the riots taken place in France. I was worried and scared since the news. I thought of to cancel the trip because of safety reasons, but my trip companion suggested us not to do so. Then I checked the message board from the yahoo travel and other websites, and in those message boards I found reviews and messages posted by visitors just had came back from Paris and others posted by Paris residents, in which they mentioned they were safe, and even didn't know there was any problem in Paris at that moment.
After reading those messages I felt relieved and decided to go.
2nd of December, 7:30 am, at CDG Airport
During 13 hours of flight, between Hong Kong and Paris, we arrived t the CDG Airport.
Let me tell you one thing, WE WERE LOST in the airport!! I couldn't believed that we were lost in the airport for almost an hour for finding a bus stop which takes us to the city center. It was so embarrassed!
It was raining and pretty cold that morning.
Around 10:00 a.m., we arrived at the city center. It was really a beautiful city! Everywhere was like magic! I was just wondering who was the magician who made that city such a wonderful place!
Mcdonald's, I'm lovin it!!
In the afternoon we visited the Opera Garnier! It's so beautiful, elegant and magic!
3rd of December, Saturday - NOTRE DAME
The following day, we went to the Cathedrale Notre Dame. Walking on foot from Rue Saint Honore to the Notre Dame, it took only twenty minutes. The Cathedrale just took my breathe away!! It was so beautiful!! It reminded me of a movie of the Hunchback of the Notre Dame!!! It was really an amazing place and I can't wait to go back. Make sure you climb up the tower and the scenery at the top is marvelous. There are 380 steps to get to the top. It's quite a hike up the stairs but it's definately worth it. The view was well worth all the stairs I had to climb. At the top of the tower, I could overlook the centre of Paris, the Eiffel Tower in the distance and obviously the Sen River, and a big castle on a hill in the other direction.
They were just like the guardians watching Paris everyday and night.
CENTRE GEORGES POMPIDOU - around 4pm
After that, we went to the Ile Saint Louis and then to the Centre Georges Pompidou.
Somebody said that the Centre Georges Pompidou doesn't fit in the center of Paris, because it is a building made of glass, elevators and air conditioning shafts sticking out on the sides, but I saw it as a fantastic modern architecture.
At the time I visited the modern museum, there were lots of collections of modern art. I found paintings of Matisse, Chagall, Miro, Picasso, Braque, etc and pretty much any other famous artist during the 20th century.
4th of December, Sunday - MUSEE DU LOUVRE
We spent the entire day inside the museum and it was worth every cent and second we have spent there. We started visited the museum from 10 o'clock in the morning and left there at around 5 o'clock in the evening.
The museum is divided to 4 levels. There are lots of sculpture in the underground and the groundfloor. The Ancient Egyptian Art, the Middle Ages and the Ancient Greek Art. That day we only had time to visit the two lower levels. All the paintings are all in 1st and 2nd floor. I wish I had chance to go back again.
We left the museum at around 5 pm and then we walked into the Tuilleries Garden watching the sun goes down. Next to the garden it was the Place de La Concorde. At around 6 pm, we came to the Champs Elysees. After that, we had dinner in a restaurant called "Pizariano", and after dinner, we went to the Arc of Triumph. We didn't climb up to the top that night as we both felt a little bit worn out by the whole day we have spent in the museum. After taking some photos of the Arc of Triumph, we took a taxi to go back to somewhere near the entrance of the Museum du Louvre, and then we walked back to the hotel.
5th of December, Monday - MUSEE DU LOUVRE
After a warming breakfast taking in the Hotel Saint Louvre, we got back to the Museum du Louvre to explored the unvisited 1st and the 2nd floors. There were huge paintings hanging in the wall and in the ceiling. I personally adored watching the Leonardo Da Vinci's art works. Madonna of the Rocks, the self portrait, Mona Lisa, etc. Standing in front of the master pieces of Leonardo Da Vinci, it made me feel of the connection between the past and the present. Though 500 years have passed, but Leonardo's paintings are still live in our heart!
BASILIQUE DU SACRE COEUR - around 3 pm
After lunch, we went to the Basilique du Sacre Couer. It was quite far away from the city centre that we could not get to the site on foot, so we got there by metro.
At the back of the Basilique Sacre Cour, there were lots of artist holding their pencils and drawing board asking visitors for portrait. The price of the portrait is written at the back of the drawing board. They never told you how much for the portrait until they made one for you then asked you to buy it. I was so stupid that moment, cause I bought my portrait for $50 euro ;(Firstly, I was only talking to the artist about Paris, their lifestyle and so on. I had told him that I didn't need a portrait before he started drawing, however, he told me not to worry about it, because that was his habit to draw and to talk simultaneously and he wouldn't ask me to buy it if I don't like it. So, we continued our conversation. After 10 minutes, he finished the portrait. He handed it to me and showed me the price written on the board. Oh my god!!! It cost 100 euro!!!!! I couldn't believe it that moment. You know what, I had been saving my money during the trip and that time I had to pay $100 euro for something I did not ask for!!!! It was quite unfair!!! I was so hesitated that moment, because it was too expensive for me. Of course, I could ran away and ignored him, but he told me that he needs it for art and for a living. I felt nothing but only compassion in that moment. Finally, he gave me 50% off, then I took the portrait.
After that, we went to the S. Lazare Station and the Eglaise Madelene.
6th of December, Tuesday - JARDIN DU LUXEMBOURG
Luxemberg Garden is one of the beautiful garden situated in the Latin Quarter of Paris, and next to the garden, it is the Pantheon.
The building was originally intended to be a church dedicated to Saint Genevieve and was transformed during the Revolution into a temple in honor of Great Men. The inscription on the front of the building reflects this change: "For great men the grateful homeland". I found it quite interesting.
Inside the building there is a spinning Foucault's Pendulum in the middle of the hall.
(from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
"A Foucault's pendulum, named after the French physicist Leon Foucault, was conceived as an experiment to demonstrate the rotation of the Earth; its action is a result of the Coriolis effect. It is a tall pendulum free to oscillate in any vertical plane and ideally should include some sort of motor so that it can run continuously rather than have its motion damped by air resistance."
(For advanced reading about the pendulum, please visit the wikipedia)
After lunch we went to the Musee d'Orsay. The security there was quite tight. There were at least 10 guards inside the hall of the museum and also there were troops monitoring outside the museum.
Although the museum is not as big as the Louvre, but the amount of the collections inside the museum can probably takes an entire day to visit. There are collections of Vincent Van Gogh, Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Millet, Auguste Renoir, etc...
That night it was extremely cold. There were many people waiting at the entrance. Kent didn't wear enough clothes and he said he was too cold here to line up. So, we decided to go back to the hotel then back to the tower before 10 pm, cause the tower closed at eleven. But afterwards, we were late and could not catch a train back to the Eiffel Tower.
7th of December, Wednesday
That day was my birthday.
MUSEE DU PICASSO
That day we went to the Musee du Picasso in the morning. Looking at the map, the building was situated on the right hand side of the map. Instead following the route plan supply in the PDA to get us to the target, we followed the street signs and our sense of direction. After 30 minutes, we found out that we were walking in circle at somewhere near the Center Georges Pompidou. We were lost.
Finally, we got to the Musse du Picasso around 11 am. I personally was not a fan of Picasso, so I didn't stay there longer. But if you like Picasso, that would be a nice place to visit. There are hundreds of collections of the artist. Like, his early sketch books.........
After visiting the Musee du Picasso, we went to have lunch in a restaurant called "Le Leon" in the Bastille. The mussels were the famous dishes in the restaurant. But that moment I didn't know about it until I found out that almost everybody in the restaurant ordered mussels and I ordered steak. The steak was quite raw and I couldn't eat it. So, I tried one of those "today special". They really tasted good.
At the top of the Eiffel Tower
8th of December, Thursday - ARCH OF TRIUMPH
The last day of the journey we went to Le Printemps to look for a gift to buy to my mother. After that, we went to Champs Elyses and the Arch of Triumph. We climbed up to the top and from there we could overlook clearly the city structure of the center of Paris. It was awesome!
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Where I stayed