France (Part 2 – Paris, Romance is in the air) – Dec ’16

Day 2 – Eiffel tower, Notre Dame and museums

After a great long day in Disneyland, we planned to visit Eiffel tower and the likes for our 2nd day. I researched beforehand and noticed that the best place to have an undisrupted view of Eiffel tower (no money spent) is from Pont de Bir Hakeim (bridge) which connects the 15th and 16th arrondissements.

We took train to Bir Hakeim station and started walking a detour from there (15-20 minute walk). The last bit of fall and breathtaking Siene river made the walk so remarkable.

The iconic Eiffel tower was constructed from 1887-89 as the entrance to World’s fair. It was initially criticised by some French leading artists and intellectuals for its design. Now it stands tall at 324m and has become the global cultural landmark. As much love and romance are being associated with this iconic landmark, the reality was not quite that peaceful. Around the diameter of 1km or so, we were approached by countless number of vendors trying to sell Eiffel tower miniature, selfie stick, etc.

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*Tips:

  • Come early before 9am to catch the tower with just a handful of humans
  • Come again at night to catch the tower with beautiful light display
  • Beware of pickpocketing
  • There is a tight security check when going up to the tower just as airport security, so do not bring sharp items and the likes (my husband was unaware of his Swiss knife in the bag and it was confiscated)

We bought ticket to the Top and wow, the view of Paris opened before our eyes was just amazingly stunning. Eiffel tower is just my bucket list destination as any other girls!

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Started off from Eiffel tower, we took a stroll along Siene river to visit different landmarks: Museum D’orsay, National Musuem, Army musuem, Notre Dame…

The Notre Dame Cathedral is not only a Gothic architecture masterpiece but a site which was also the focus of Catholic Paris for 700 years. At some point, the cathedral was already scheduled for deconstruction, however it regained its popularity thanks to the book Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo.


Day 3 – Lourve Museum, Champs Elysees, Arc de Triumphe 

Every 1st Sunday of the month, entrance to Lourve Museum is free. And it was just nice that I planned our itinerary to match this awesome opportunity to save EUR30. We woke up early and reached by 9am (opening time) and the queue was already crazily long.

It was first opened to the public in 1793 with a collection of 537 paintings and 184 other art works. Since that time it has grown into one of the largest museums and finest art collections in the world. It was a dream come true for me to visit the Lourve.

The amount of artwork that can be seen at Lourve is daunting and it can even mesmerise my husband (totally not into arts). I pre-planned what I want to see and once we got in with the map, we headed to these places first.

  • Victory of Samothrace: The famous goddess with swirling robes and feathered wings is thought to mark a naval victory by the Island of Rhodes around 190BC
  • Mona Lisa painting is indeed an attention seeker. Though it is merely bigger than A4 size
  • Venus de Milo: One of the most famous of all classical sculptures

*Tip:

  • Come early to have a photo with the Grand Lourve pyramid without other humans
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes (trust me, the place is HUGE)
  • Bring light bag (just for water bottle, some snacks, etc.)
  • Note the segments you have visited (prevent yourself from circling around)

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From Lourve museum, we took a stroll along the Tuileries garden which leads us all the way through Champs Elysees to Arc de Triumphe. The garden is a place for locals and tourists to relax, sunbath and feed pigeons.

Along with the stunning illuminations on the world’s most beautiful avenue, no less than 160 authentic (made in the Vosges) chalets line the Champs-Elysées between the Rond-point and Place de la Concorde. It is definitely an ideal place to stop off at to do some shopping or enjoy some mulled wine and taste regional products: foie gras, ham, champagne, etc.

One of the most popular attractions in Paris, Inspired by Rome’s Arch of Titus, the Arc de Triomphe is located in Paris in the world’s largest traffic roundabout and is the biggest and tallest triumphal arch in the world – about 49 meters (161 ft.) high and 44 meters (144 ft.) wide. The greatest state funeral, for one, was of Victor Hugo. His coffin was placed in 1885 here while many Parisians came to place their last respect.

 

 

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