Showing posts with label paris. Show all posts
Showing posts with label paris. Show all posts
Friday, 29 November 2013

Versailles & Last Day

1st February 2013
For our last day, we headed out to Versailles which was a very short train ride from Paris. It was an overcast day and everything just looked so gloomy.

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There was a moderate amount of tourists and most were from mainland China and all were under the age of 10. Was it a school trip? Or did everyone have enough money to skip school. All I know is that every single kid had their own DSLR and designer bag and just snapped a photo and walked off. Take a photo and walk. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. There was a Ladurée store upon exiting the palace and every < 10 year old child left carrying at least €100 worth of goods. 


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Versailles isn't a place that is nice to visit in winter as all the statutes were covered up with plastic tarp which detracted from all the gardens. It started to sprinkle so we ran into a random cafe and had an amazing hot chocolate. It really felt like it was melted chocolate with a tiny drop of milk. We had a lot of coins so, embarrassing as it was, we counted out all our coins.

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Necklace Sunbear got me. I wanted a necklace that I could wear all the time (i.e in the shower too since I am too lazy to put on jewellery). This isn't that sort of necklace. Some say that it is okay to shower with it, but I am a little hesitant.

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Love Temple

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We returned to Paris and had another decent dinner.

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Pretty terrible French Onion Soup.

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2nd February 2013
I was leaving on the Eurostar bound for London. It was my last day in Europe and my last few hours with Sunbear. It would be an understatement to say that it was a very, very sad morning. I was dressed like a hobo for complete comfort since I had the 2.5hour train journey followed by a 12 hour flight to Hong Kong. I had my hiking bag and my daypack and Sunbear had his massive backpack. We went to a nice restaurant for brunch and we were instantly judged by the wait staff and everyone seated at the tables. At first, the waiter only provided us with a drinks menu (I guess they thought that we were too poor to actually eat there). They were also so incredibly rude and we weren't allowed to take up two tables (a four seater so we could place our bags on the chair) since it was going to be busy. But we also weren't allowed to leave our bags in the corner out of everyone's way. When we arrived, there were only 5 people seated in a space that could cater for 45 or so. When we left, there were maybe 8 people. Moral of the story: don't judge people by their appearance. We ended up spending around €70 ($AUD 110) between the two of us. Take that. After we ordered, the wait staff treated us a little nicer. Just a little.

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The trip to Paris Nord was so sad. I guess I thought that there would be chairs there but instead, we resorted to crying at the Eurostar entrance before immigration and ticket desks. I also had some issues with my ticket. For some reason, my ticket wasn't included in the email and I had to line up at the counter. Naturally, there were 8 people in line and 2 of the slowest employees on the planet. Sunbear befriended another employee who brought us to the front of the line and I made it to the train with 5 minutes to spare. Our final goodbye was so rushed since I was running to the immigration desk and then on board the train. And that was the last time I saw Sunbear, 2nd February 2013. If everything goes to plan, we will be meeting up late next year and he can hopefully take me around Switzerland.

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My Overall Thoughts
Paris was lovely and it is a city I would love to have more time to explore. Although, the experience was a little tainted since I was sad since it was my last city in Europe and my last moments with Sunbear.

Would I re-visit?
Yes

And that concludes my blog posts of my trip around Europe. In hindsight, I should have stayed an extra week or so as I would have been able to visit Portugal and Spain (two countries that are at the top of my list). But next time, next time. Next stop: Hong Kong.
Thursday, 28 November 2013

Paris

30th January 2013
Paris was my last European city and Sunbear's father dropped us off at the train station so we could catch the train from his hometown to Amsterdam and board the Thalys train to Paris.

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Our room's balcony.

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Sorry what?

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Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris

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The church was quite nice although by this stage I was a little sick of churches.

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Dinner was terrible. We were starving and couldn't find anything so we settled on a dodgy looking Chinese restaurant. This was how it worked. You ordered by 100 grams of the side dishes which they then proceeded to scoop onto a plastic plate and then heated up in the microwave. Seriously. After the disappointing dinner we turned a corner and then, lo behold, all the restaurants appeared. The most annoying moment. We then bought an amazing burger from this little stall and decided to walk to the Eiffel Tower. That was a bad decision since it was quite a long walk. It was a 7km walk. Whoops. Honestly, the Eiffel Tower didn't seem too far way hence why we decided to not catch the Metro.

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31st January 2013
For breakfast the next morning, we popped into this cute little bakery and purchased some croissants and this amazing snail. I also found this ginormous rubbish bin.

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'They had jet-packs back then!'

After a while,we got bored of all the artworks and sculptures and headed to Sacré-Coeur Basilica.

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On the way up, we stopped at a little cafe for some hot chips and the ceiling was covered with bank notes from various countries. I also spotted the Henry Parkes $5 bill and I was tempted to swap it with note that I had in my wallet. When I was working at my old place of employment, it took me so many years to finally get my hands on some of the bills and now I have 2 of those bills.

Walking down the stairs, I noticed -albeit a little too late- that a few African men were approaching us and actually surrounded us and the guy was trying to make us bracelets ~for free~ but I refused and Sunbear refused but somehow they took his finger and made one for him and the other guy tried to take my hand but I pulled away and made a bracelet for "the lady too". Actually the guy asked if we were from Japan and if we were on our honeymoon. My face must have been something along the lines of, "are you kidding me" because he suddenly stopped. He wanted money (d'oh) and asked for 1 originally since he 'made the bracelets for us and we therefore had to accept'* but when Sunbear opened his wallet he had hundreds of Euros (since I had paid him back in Germany, in hindsight I actually don't know why he didn't drop off most of the money at his hometown) and the guy started to demand for 20 per bracelet. In the end, we paid 5 for both and walked off. How annoying.

* I really wanted to tell him that he actually said the bracelets were free therefore he couldn't suddenly claim otherwise as that would make him a liar. But I also didn't want to cause trouble so I just kept my mouth shut.

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We had a three course dinner at one of the streets that we found the first night. The waiter was interesting. He asked where I was from and I told him and then he said, "I am from Woy Woy! Do you know where that is?". At this point, I told him that yes I did, and it was north of Sydney. He then claimed "no, you don't know where it is. It is south west of Sydney". Ummmm. No.