Paris, France

I thought I have completed my Europe Tour travelogue. Turns out I totally forgot about the last leg of that trip. Today I shall write about Paris.

Paris was the city that I enjoyed the most out of the entire Europe Tour. I don’t think it has got anything to do with how beautiful or romantic this city is compared to the other cities that I have seen before this. I think it is because we got to stay here for 2 full days. One day was spent going through a guided tour of Paris. On the other day, we were supposed to visit Disneyland Paris, but a few of us decided not to. We made arrangements with Paul to allow us to spend that day wandering around Paris by ourselves instead.

First, let me show you what you can expect to see if you visit Paris on a guided tour.

1. Notre Dame de Paris

Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris is one of the first Gothic cathedral in the world, and very famous. But I did not know it when I was brought here. In fact (I believe this applies to most Malaysians), mention Notre Dame and the only thing we know is that Disney cartoon, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. To make matters worse, my only prior knowledge of Paris is from two books: The Da Vinci Code, and The Count of Monte Cristo. None of them mentioned this cathedral at all.

I am not someone who is very into architecture, so I was not very excited to see this cathedral. In fact, when I was here, I actually could not wait for us to move on to the next location. So forgive me for not being able to provide more information about this cathedral. I shall just overwhelm you with the photos that my friends took.

IMG_2434
Notre Dame de Paris
IMG_2443
Notre Dame de Paris
IMG_2464
Notre Dame de Paris
IMG_2477
Notre Dame de Paris
IMG_2481
Notre Dame de Paris
IMG_2497
Notre Dame de Paris
DSC00218
Notre Dame de Paris
DSC00224
Notre Dame de Paris

2. Musée du Louvre

Now this one, I was excited to see, because not long ago I have just read The Da Vinci Code. The Louvre is actually a museum, but one of the most famous aspect of this museum is not inside, but outside. In fact, thanks to Dan Brown’s book, the Louvre Pyramid was probably more famous than the Louvre Museum itself at that time, in 2007.

DSC09919
The Louvre Pyramid
DSC09910
The Louvre Pyramid

Once you get inside the museum, near the lobby, you will find another interesting structure that is featured promimently in The Da Vinci Code.

DSC00246
La Pyramide Inversée

La Pyramide Inversée, the Inverted Pyramid. According to Robert Langdon (protagonist of the book), the small stone pyramid under this inverted pyramid is actually just the tip of a bigger pyramid. It is supposed to be the chamber that houses the Holy Grail, the remains of Mary Magdalene.

Well, that’s all supposed to be fiction, but I did notice a couple of white people kneeling down by the stone pyramid. I think they believed what the novel implied.

Pyramid aside, before Dan Brown’s book, the Louvre Museum is actually famous for something else. The museum houses arguably Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous painting, the Mona Lisa.

DSC00255
The Mona Lisa

Now don’t be deceived by this picture, thinking that you can get to this portrait easily. This was taken with maximum zoom. The truth is, the museum is always crowded, and most of the crowd come here for this portrait. To ensure no accident could happen to this famous painting, the museum sets up a perimeter to barricade this painting, and you can only catch a glimpse of the painting from afar. You cannot get up close and personal with the Mona Lisa.

Of course, being one of the largest museum in the world, there are much much more than the Mona Lisa in this museum. In fact, if you are a serious art aficionado, some say you need at least a week to go through all the exhibits that this museum has to offer.

Since I am not an art aficionado, it was not necessary. Just as well because we only had 2 hours to spend in this museum.

DSC00248
Some headless statue, probably of a Greek god or something
DSC00258
Some painting of Jesus and his disciples

3. Eiffel Tower

From the Louvre, we proceeded to our next destination. This is another popular landmark of Paris. This is the Eiffel Tower.

DSC00262
Eiffel Tower

One thing not so cool about seeing the Eiffel Tower when you are on a guided tour is that, you will not be brought to the tower itself. Instead of marveling at the majestic tower up close, you get to see it from afar. We were brought to a plaza called the Trocadero. This place is quite close to the tower, but there is still a river and a road separating us.

IMG_2696
Eiffel Tower from Trocadero

And then there are black people selling Eiffel Tower trinkets in this plaza. A lot of them.

IMG_2686
Africans selling Eiffel Tower trinkets

4. Arc de Triomphe

From the Eiffel Tower, we proceeded to another world famous landmark, the Arc de Triomphe. This is an arch erected to commemorate triumph. Now all over Europe, there are many arch of triumph across many cities. I think you have seen a couple of them from my previous posts. But the biggest, world famous one, is this one here in Paris.

IMG_2724
Arc de Triomphe

Now, this arch is located on a giant roundabout. An actual roundabout that cars use. We took this picture from one of the streets off the roundabout. Now this arch is one place where it is actually good to take pictures with it from afar. There are underground tunnels which you can use to go through the roads and come out on the roundabout itself to get up close with the arch, but then, it won’t do much good in terms of photos.

IMG_2730
Arc de Triomphe

See, this photo will in no way indicate that you are at the famous Arc de Triomphe…

5. French dinner

You know how we had Chinese dinner in other Europe cities? Thank goodness Paul was decent enough to break the duck for us on the last leg of our tour. Instead of Chinese food, he brought us to a French restaurant for some French cuisine.

I don’t remember where this is, and I also don’t know how much these costed, it was inclusive with the tour package. It is one of those many restaurants adjacent to Champs Elysees.

Heck, I don’t even remember what these dishes are called.

IMG_2948
Escargot
DSC00275
Some French duck dish with fries
IMG_2986
French steak with fries
IMG_2989
French salmon in orange sauce
IMG_2993
Some French chicken with potatoes dish

Were the food any good? Oh yes, after 12 days of crappy Chinese food, oh most definitely yes! The food was very very good! Tres bien!

6. River Seine Cruise

From dinner, we proceeded to our final stop of the day. We went along one of the most famous streets of Paris, the Champs Elysees. This is where those LV and Prada and Gucci are. To our disappointment, we did not spend a lot of time here. I shall not blog about it now, but I do have another post about Paris coming up tomorrow. You’ll see.

At the other end of Champs Elysees is the Place de la Concorde. Here we were able to see this sight,

DSC00289
Roue de Paris and Obelisk of Luxor

The Roue de Paris is a transportable ferris wheel that from time to time is dismantled and sent to other places in the world for short stints. The Obelisk of Luxor on the other hand, has been a fixture on this plaza since 1836. This obelisk was originally one of a pair from the Luxor Temple in Egypt and is more than 3000 years old. Official history says it was gifted to France by Egypt, but I guess it is in the same nature as saying the rakyat of Malaysia gifted 1AmDeeBee with billions of ringgit.

According to Paul, these two structures are intentionally placed side by side to resemble the binary code, 0 and 1.

Anyway, we did not stop here, we just caught these sights as the tour bus was driving along. Our final destination was actually this:

IMG_2439
River Seine

We were going to go for a River Seine Cruise. Boy was it crowded! It was almost sunset, and apparently a sunset cruise on the Seine is high up the agenda for many tourists to Paris.

IMG_3030
Look at all the people waiting to get on the boat
IMG_3063
So many people on the boat!

The cruise took us along the river and went pass some of the places that we saw earlier in the day. It also brought us pass this original Statue of Liberty. Yes, the one in New York is not the first of its kind.

DSC00319
Original Statue of Liberty

It is not very big. In fact, it felt very tiny. See, it is just twice the height of a normal sized tree. That’s very small, if we compare with how majestic the movies made the New York one looked.

It definitely came up short against the Eiffel Tower, for example…

IMG_3325

Don’t count by the tree size on this last photo. This one, the trees were close, the tower was far. The Eiffel Tower is definitely 20 or 50 trees tall.


So, I’ve shown you how a guided Paris tour would be like. Tomorrow, I be showing you other parts of Paris, the Paris that tour groups don’t bring you to…

 

 

26 Comments

  1. I was not very impressed with seeing the famous landmarks in Paris. I feel like I got to the Tower and to the Arc de Triomphe, and it was just like “okay, I see it”. I didn’t feel the need to marvel at it or anything! And I had no desire to go inside the Lourve. However, Notre Dame is D’s favorite building in Paris, and he especially loves it when it’s all lit up at night! I’m glad you finally had something besides Chinese food on this day. Everything looks good except for the snails!

    • I think you should go inside the Louvre next time, just for the inverted pyramid. That one’s in the lobby, you do not need to pay the entrance fee to reach that one. 🙂

      That’s what tours are for, to bring us to see famous landmarks LOL! 😀

  2. The Mona Lisa painting looks small and thanks for Twilight Man below for the sizng. From the sounds of it, it must have been hard to see. I really thought all this while it was like the size of a massive poster 🙁

    Food other than Chinese food must be quite pricey there, no? Or else why would the whole tour meals consisted of Chinese food.

    • It was really really hard to see amidst the crowd. If not for the camera zoom, I don’t think I can see it at all.

  3. Meh, you only saw the “famous” things in the Louvre! I spent a full day there and I loved loved loved the Babylonian sculptures!

    That “headless Greek god” is the Victory of Samothrace, btw 😛 My year of Art History in high school helps a lot when I visit a museum, haha!

    • Well, I’m one of those people who would prioritize “famous” things over unknown things when I travel. After all, I did not (still do not actually) know whether I will be visiting again ever in my life.

      It seems like you learnt something useful in high school as opposed to me! 😀

  4. The tour I went on did all the places you mentioned here but brought us to Chinese restaurants for all the included meals. 🙁 I lighted a candle in Notre Dame. I forgot what it was for.

  5. I have never been to Europe yet… thank you for the guided tour virtually, RG… I hope I would be able to go and visit the places you’ve shown one day! 🙂

    • Tonight I shall post more photos. And tonight/tomorrow you shall feast your eyes on even more photos! 😀

    • What? It is a French delicacy! In fact, you can even find it quite commonly in Malaysia, in places like The Ship for example. And… I imagine it is less horrible compared to having dog meat in Guangzhou, which I have also already done. 😐

  6. Ah, I remember the pyramid from The Da Vinci Code. Oh dear, you got to admire the Eiffel Tower from afar only (I think they brought you all there just so you can take a good/complete pic of it)! Hmm, I actually wonder if that is the ‘real’ painting of Mona Lisa. And the food doesn’t look very French leh (except for the escargots)! 😀

    • One can only wonder so much, they said is real, just assume it is real lah! XD

      Aiya the food, eaten in a French cafe, French food lah. Maybe this is authentic French food leh, and the ones you get in those “atas” restaurants in Pavilion or Publika is not leh… 😛 😛

  7. Ahh, Notre Dame, a very familiar name..Oh yes, I remember that Pyramid from DaVinci’s Code.. But I’m more interested in your food.. Love those escargots, duck & fries and steak & fries..

    • Sadly, the food is the only thing that I don’t remember much of. I only remember it was awesome because we were not eating Chinese food for dinner. 😛

  8. We probably cannot go on tours together as I am one who could spend hours inside museums besides admiring at historical buildings. I am surprised to know the Statue of Liberty originated from there and stands shorter than the one in NYC. I remember the queue was so long to walk inside the statue in U.S. and I gave up.
    I also just learnt from a friend weeks ago that Mona Lisa’s painting is smaller than A4 size paper. I hope to visit Paris someday.

    • hahaha!!! “Mona Lisa’s painting is smaller than A4 size paper”?? who said that???!!! this painting inside
      Musée du Louvre is always surrounded by a big crowd, I guess your friend was only able to catch a glimpse of it from afar and thought it is smaller than anA4 paper.. 🙂

      • Yes, that’s what I think too. Peek behind a crowd, behind a barricaded perimeter. It does seem very small to the eyes, but not THAT small.

Comments are closed.