Friday, March 15, 2013

Day 2 Paris - Les Cars de Rouges, Musee de Louvre, Notre Damme and a little bit of Renzo Piano

Having passed out so early the previous night, I woke up really really early, with sore throat and irritated nose. You know the kind of feel you get when you're too dehydrated. Travelling during autumn/winter tends to do that for me. I think it's got a lot to do with the heater not having enough air humidifier or something. Or it's just that, living in malaysia, I've gotten used to high humidity, so dry air becomes a shock for my system.

Anyway, after gulping down some mineral water, and making myself a cup of tea, I freshened up, and switched the telly on. Everything but the kid channel was in French. I like the sound of French language, so I left it on, and reached for my Haruki Murakami book, and read it until around 6 a.m when mom called our room, telling us to get ready for breakfast.

We went down to the restaurant at about 7 a.m, to have breakfast. The spread was pretty ususal.Carbs like potato, croissants, french loaf, and the normal loaf bread, some fruit salad bar, ham and cheese, egg bar, juice and cereal bar.

As the norm when travelling, we braced ourselves for eggs and potato breakfast. And that's what we had for a week, as my dad would say "Sebab ini la Tuhan buat telur". On the first day, I was all for it, I savored a generous helping of runny scrambled egg, a cut of cheddar cheese and some croissants, and fried potato. We ate until we were full, and mom smuggled some croissants in her bag. -_-

After breakfast, we went up to our rooms, to get our stuff, so that we could get going. Funny story: we went to mom's room, to let her know that we were ready to leave, when we heard a commotion inside. Mom was turning her luggage upside down looking for something. Seeing me entering the room, she asked "Have you seen my money?" I was like "WHATTT??!! Is it gone?". "I don't know. I think I left the money home". Yes ladies, and gentlemen, mom left about 1000 euros, and 1000 pound at home, and we were cashless for a week. hahahaha. Luckily she had some hundreds euros and dollars tucked inside her purse, so we survived somewhat. My sister cried, because she thought she'd have to use her pocket money dad gave her to pay for food and stuff. hahahaha.

So, after the incident, we merrily (tah apa apa merrily) set out for our second day of hop-on hop-off bus tour. Remember the bear statues I said we saw the previous day? We decided to go check out the whole thing. It was really something you guys. Every art drawn on the bear really shows the country it represents.

Can you guess where they're from? (Padahal I lupa where some of them are from, so I'll let u guess.:p)

Malasie you guys!!

The usual theme of 1 Malaysia!

Japon! LOVE how minimalist it is.

My favorite, Indonesia. Siap pakai seluar batik

After we took (A LOT, like seriously a lot, it's not even funny) of pictures with the adorable bears, we headed to the the red bus bus stop. These are all the stops of Les Cars Rouges by the way, so that you can plan your trip before hand. I really recommend that you buy this trip. I think it's worth it.

My scribbled map of paris. The blue numbers are the stops of Les Cars de Rouges,
the pink circles are places I think are worth visiting.

The first place that we (read: mom wanted to) visit was the Louvre. We've been there the previous year, but mom haven't seen, and by "seen" I mean "took pictures with" the glass pyramid, you know, the one by I.M Pei. So we stopped there.

I saw a bridge with railings full of safety locks, I was intrigued, so I went up the bridge to check it out. It was so pretty! So many different kinds of locks, I managed to take some pictures of some of the locks that I think are the prettiest of the bunch! (I checked and apparently it's called the love lock)

The thing with this place is, it's swarming with youngsters pretending to be from the associations of the deaf asking for money. Their modus is to approach you (their preys consist of tourists), clipboard in hand, and asking you to sign a petition or something first. They wont be asking for money. Then, once they've gotten your full attention, and once you've signed that piece of paper, they'd start pressing you for money. Kalau sikir sikit takpe, but they frown and start being rude if you gave them less than 10 euros. Well, I know that because I kena already last year, so I randomly signed a chorus of this song that I memorized, they gave me a blank look, and left me alone. ha!

So, after that incident at the bridge, we proceeded to the louvre, and took some pictures. Btw, there aren't 666 triangle planes in the louvre, (as per written in Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code) I think it had around 700+ triangular planes. So yeah. myth busted!


The hop-on hop-off bus.
Next, we headed for Notre Damme Cathedral. Did I tell you how much I LOVE the design of gothic cathedrals? No, cross that. I love any old building with dramatic masonry. LOVE THEMMMM!!! The interiors of the church was very hushed, and it was pretty dim, mainly lit by candle lights. So the rose windows seemed even more dramatic. It was really beautiful.

After I'm done marveling at the arches of Notre-Dame, I decided that since it was quite near (and hello! it was a famous building in architectural society. I HAD to check it out), to head out to Pompidou by foot (the bus doesn't stop there). Dad was pretty exhausted, so he passed. That leaves me, mom and Alya. It was pretty close, and easy to get to. You just have to walk straight for about 15 - 20 minutes from Notre Dame and you're there. They had signboard and everything. 

A is Notre Dame, B is Pompidou. See? straight line!

Other than the obviously amazing facade, I was really amazed at all the art that goes on around it. From street art, graffiti, to sculptures, I love every single thing! You can get in for free up until the ground floor (where there's pretty much nothing except for souvenir shops), but you need tickets to join in the events. Being a cheapskate that I am (plus I only had a short time there), I didn't buy any tickets, instead, I walked around the building enjoying the interior.

There was some pretty interesting stuff in there. If you had time (and money) to spare, I suggest that you check out everything the center has to offer.

After I got back to Notre Dame to meet up with my dad, the rest of the family decided to go shop for souvenirs, I'm not a very big shopper, so I decided to stay in the cathedral area, and have lunch. Lunch consisted of a left-over shrimp sandwich (that we bought yesterday in Marks and Spencer), and a bottle of mineral water. I wasn't that hungry so, I shared my lunch with the pigeons (padahal sebab taknak makan the crusts)

Oh, while I was feeding the pigeons (and simultaneously avoiding their poop), 2 french girls approached me and asked me about my boots. They told me they liked my boots, that what I had on was a rare pair, and asked me whether I bought them in Paris, because, if I did, they wanted to know the shop so that they can buy a pair for themselves. I glanced down to their shoes, and true enough, they both had Doc. Marten on. So, dalam hati I yelled "WE'RE SISTERSS OMG!". I told them that unfortunately, I bought the pair in the US, but they can simply order them online. They thanked me, and they left.

That was so random and pretty much made my day. hahaha.

The said shoes. They were both mine. I was the one with the thunder thigh and floral Doc Marten
After my family was done with shopping, we decided to go to Trocadero. I'm telling you if nothing in the trip does it for you, this stop will definitely stun you. There are 2 buildings there, and the gap between the building creates an axis that overlooks the Eiffel Tower. It was truly breath taking.

I was too busy oggling the scenery that I forgot to take pictures, these were the only one I had (pls dont hate me you guys)

about half of the axis

The view from the axis

After we enjoyed the scenery, my dad wanted to check out the Navy museum, which was one of the building that creates the axis. But I was already exhausted, so I decided to skip the trip, and headed back to the Eiffel Tower stop to go back to my hotel.

When I was wating for the bus to come, some french men who I think was waiting for the bus as well, came and started talking to me. So we talked for a bit, and before he got into the bus he told me that I was very very beautiful. I was like "OMGGG. DON'T GOOOO!" inside, but was just ":")" outside. THAT made my day. hahahahaha. The following day, I told the mister about it in a text just because we were BFF and we tell each other everything, and he responded with a text that I think is worth mentioning here. It was so sweet it gave me diabetes.

I boarded the bus alone, Eiffel was the next stop right after Trocadero, plus the whole ride felt very safe, so I enjoyed my ride home a lot. I waited for them to come back from the Navy museum, and again, exhausted, we had a quiet dinner in our rooms.

That was pretty much the end of sight seeing in Day 2.

**Tips: Plan your trip wisely. Find out where you want to go before you actually get to Paris, and if you decide to join the Les Cars de Rouges trip (which I strongly recommend because of its convenience), plan your trip around the stops, like I did with Pompeidu. :)


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