Sunday, December 18, 2011

Bonjour Paris !!!

For the next day, we were planning to go to Versailles and yes the ride was long and we got lost on our way but not to worry or anything because we were safe and sound :D

The train ride took us a good hour or more and the place was chilling. We stopped at a local starbucks and some of my friends were buying stuff. I did not have anything because I am not into coffees not unless necessary :)

Going to the palace of Versailles itself was not that great because it was cold, and you had to walk in cobblestones. For you to survive, you need to have a good pair of shoes and good layer of clothing if you still want to look fashionable but not bulky.

Anyway, the entrance is beautiful so it paid for that unfortunate long walk and suddenly it rained. I thought it was going to ruin everything and just hoped that castle's inner beauty will be more than that of it's entrance.

There were lot's of tourist from all over the globe and I think tourism is giving life to France.

Anyway, cam whoring is a must inside the castle of Versailles as the paintings the old clocks, chandeliers, beds, tables and chairs and whole lot of century old furnishing are a delight :D

After we toured the insides of the castle, we went outside and checkout the palace garden :D

It was a great day touring Versailles and we were so hungry after that and we had to find a place to eat. It was another long walk and we found McDonalds :) We ate a lot of real French fries :))

Kay, and some of the mates were planning to go to Monet's place but then it was drizzling a bit and so they decided to go with us going back to central Paris. The immediate plan was to actually go to the Eiffel tower.

We reached the station nearest to the Eiffel and it was another long walk - good thing not in cobblestones. Cobblestones are a good sight, so don't get me wrong but they can be painful on your feet if you are not used to it.

Eiffel tower is a man-made marvel I should say.

We decided to buy the tickets and off we went to the highest observation deck in Paris. The queue going to the tower was long but the sight once you are on top is magnificent. That moment on, I was thinking of going back to Paris in the near future ;)

After the Eiffel tower, we decided to go on a river cruise at Siene. We were waiting for Karen so we decided to stroll a bit and took some pictures again and again :D

We bought the tickets for the river cruise but before that, we went to the souvenir shops and I bought a cap which says Paris for my dad. He loves caps so I bought two for him already. I also have a nice notebook for my brother.

Going back, we were queuing at the river cruise terminal. Since the folks were waiting for Karen, some of us had to go in first and reserve some seats and the other waited for Karen. Before the cruise started, Karen and the rest came and the cruise began.

Everything in Paris has a lot of stories to tell. Great men and women in the olden times who contributed to France's rich history. It was interesting to listen to some histories which honestly I forgot but then the sight was beautiful and that river cruise is a must for any traveler in Paris. The cruise took us around 45 minutes and it was great. When we went back to where we started with the cruise, the Eiffel tower was in gold lights flickering and dancing like a star in the night. Karen told us that it's scheduled every hour starting 7PM until 9PM if I am not mistaken.

We were hungry, and the stall selling some sandwich was quite expensive. I did not buy or anything. Our next stop was to go to the Arc de Triomphe. We arrived there and took some pictures then off we went to their shopping districts. Some of my friends wanted to checkout the Luis Vuitton store but unfortunately it was close.

We just decided to buy some snacks at the mall and called it a night after that.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Here We Come Paris !

From Munich, David, Mai and Glenn went with us going to the train station bound for Paris. It is my very first time to ride a sleeper train or for better term, couchette. We just had our dinner at the station eating Burger King meals :D Mai and Glenn has something to do the next day so they bade their good byes or, we bade our good-byes :) David was still there with us sharing some 30 good minutes of his time. When it was time for boarding, he accompanied us to our caboose - we got the class B I think and in one room there were 6 of us. Anyway, it was time to say our good byes and we were thankful for David for all the nice tour. Good luck to his Masters in Munich Technical University.

It was time for boarding for real and so we had to look for our rooms inside the train and our luggage were heavy. I mean I already have 20 kilos I think. I had to have a hand carry. Inside our train room we met Sophie. She is German and she's going to Paris for her studies. She was a good company and in fact really friendly.

It was getting late and so we decided to call it a night. I was not used to sleeping a train so it was not the best sleep I had. I am not sure if it was the same for the rest of the folks.

We arrived early in Paris and the station looked really old and lots of graffiti on their walls, much the same as Barcelona. It was not that bad actually because inside the station it was more peaceful. The first thing we did was to get our tickets for the train rides we will be taking around the city.

Our hotel was a bit far from central Paris but the city's train system is fine so it was pretty much easy to locate. We were staying at hotel Coypel - small 2 star hotel but really clean. Our plan for the day was to just tour Paris by train and on foot. Honestly I was still sleepy but we were there for only three days and I don't want to just sleep :) Since we did not have our breakfast yet, we decided to checkout the restaurant beside the hotel. It was a bit challenging because their menu was in French and the staff was refusing in speaking English to us. But we we've been warned actually about this so we knew what we were getting at. Elaine studied some French at Alliance de Cebu so it was a help on deciding what to eat. It was an interesting meal actually just right for the day. After the meal we had to prepare for our Paris excursion....

After taking a quick bath and all, we had to meet at the mini lobby of the hotel and off we went to our excursion.

A highlight for the evening was we watched a show at the Moulin Rouge with Karen - she's a Cebuana colleague in Gemalto, Singapore whose now based in Paris :)

To be continued ....