Friday, June 10, 2011

10 Jun 11 – Day 8 (Paris)

Today we departed at 8am for a four hour journey into Paris. Cecilia told us that we could place orders of Eiffel Tower key chains with her at 10 for 1 Euro coz she knows of a Chinese guy who sells them cheaply outside Galleria La Fayette. Besides key chains, he also sells mirrors, magnets, clocks, Eiffel Tower display of different sizes. So placed a 1 Euro order for myself while Kim and Mag placed a 2 Euro order each. Oldies were played on the coach and I love oldies, some of them I have never heard before and so took down the lyrics intending to find the title of the songs when I get back home. We had a toilet break at 9:50am for 20 minutes before continuing our journey.

Got to Paris in the afternoon and we entered the same way I did during the previous Europe trip. Kim found some buildings familiar and asked me if one of them was the hotel that we stayed in. Told her yes, it was Pullman Hotel. Headed to a Chinese restaurant for lunch and right after the coach stopped at a no-parking zone to let us alight, traffic police came and a summon was issued. Walked to the Chinese restaurant and both Kim and I realized that it was the same one we been to during the previous Europe trip.

After eating and boarded the coach, some members expressed sympathy to the driver for getting fined and suggested chipping in to pay for it. By the time the envelope reached my hand, I saw some 10 Euro, some 5 Euro and so I put in 5 Euro. Passed the envelope to Kim and heard her digging out her coins. Kind of regretted not putting in less but it was already too late. The envelope was then passed back to the front and Cecilia counted that there was an extra 15 Euro. She then handed the money to the driver and told him that we wanted to help pay for the fine.

Headed to the Galleria La Fayette and we were given time to shop. Kim and Mag wanted to check out the bags from Longchamp but there was a very long queue. So they abandoned the idea and headed to look for Miu Miu instead coz Kim needed to help her sis get a bag from there. After she was done, we headed to the Louis Vuitton (LV) boutique where Kim needed to help her friend get a bag from LV and so had to queue to get in and therefore Mag and I walked other parts of the departmental store instead. Went to the shoes department but nothing caught my eyes and then we proceeded to the bags department. We saw a couple of bags but we found them too expensive and also the designs were not quite to my liking.

Waited at the entrance and Cecilia was there with the Chinese guy who sells Eiffel Tower merchandise. Kim and I shared to buy six mirrors for 10 Euro while Kim and Mag shared to buy magnets and other members bought clocks and some other stuff. It was very crowded at the entrance of the Galleria La Fayette and the Chinese guy was kind enough to remind us to watch out for pickpockets. Boarded the coach and went to pick up the local guide for a city tour where I saw the Lancel and LV flagship stores, some monuments that I have seen before and a few that I have not. The sky darkened and it started drizzling heavily. Reached L’Arc de Triomph, took some quick shots and hurried back to the bus. Just after everyone got in, it started to pour.

The Lancel Flagship Store

Gilded Sculptures of Pont Alexandre III

The LV Flagship Store

Opéra National de Paris

L’Arc de Triomph

We then headed to the Trocadero where we got very good view of the Eiffel Tower. It was raining and Kim didn’t want to get down the coach so Mag borrowed the umbrella from Kim and both of us went down to take some quick shots. Got up the bus again and by the time we reached Les Invalides, the rain stopped and we took some photos.

Eiffel Tower taken from Trocadero

Canons near Les Invalides

Louvre Pyramid (Pyramide du Louvre)

Returned to the bus and Cecilia informed us that we had to do the river cruise next instead of at night coz they couldn’t find a local replacement driver and the current driver has to complete his service by 8pm. So next was to river cruise and it was drizzling again. We didn’t sit on the open top and neither did we sit indoor. We ended up sitting at the end of the boat outdoor. It was windy and wet so much so that Mag started to have a headache.

Some photos of the Eiffel Tower taken during the river cruise :

After the cruise, we headed back to Galleria La Fayette where Kim went to do the tax refund while Mag and I walked around. Tried taking a photo of the dome ceiling but the photo didn’t turn out well. Either because the light wasn’t on or the sun wasn’t shining brightly enough or it could due to my camera problem. Took the lift to the top floor and climbed the stairs to reach the open area on top of Galleria La Fayette to see Paris. Took more photos and then headed to the Chinese restaurant for dinner. Kim didn’t come for dinner till we were almost done coz it took her ages to get the tax refund done due to the china group in front of her.

Couple of photos taken from top of the Galleria La Fayette :

View from top of Galleries Lafyette Paris -

After that, we went to the Eiffel Tower. It was very crowded and we were subjected to bag checks. I almost panicked coz I forgot that I had my Swiss Army card in the bag. Fortunately it was manual checking and I was let into the Tower and took the lift to level two. Stayed for a while and had to queue up to take the lift down, by the time we reached ground floor, most of the members were already there. Then Cecilia told the three of us that the elder son of the family of four walked down the stairs to reach ground floor and got a good scolding from the mother. The mother and younger daughter of the family of three came down and said they couldn’t find the elder daughter. After sometime, she appeared from another direction. Apparently, she had also climbed the stairs down.

Some photos of the Eiffel Tower and the view it offers :

Headed to the hotel and we were told that the hotel doesn’t provide triple sharing and so the arrangement was that those in threes would get two rooms, one single and one twin. Kim was again very quick to take the single and I was left with Mag again.

We went up the rooms and Mag collapsed onto her bed. I got worried and told Kim to bring some flu medications over and Mag took it. Went for my shower while Mag rested and after I came out, Mag took her shower. She took an awfully long time and it turned out that she was letting the steam to unblock her nose which was clogged up with blood. Kim came over to discuss the plan for the next day and we decided to do Louvre Museum.

Thoughts: Well… The day was similar to the one I had during my previous Europe trip minus the more in depth explanations. Paris in summer was different from Paris in winter and I much prefer winter coz at least it didn’t rain so much. Before the trip, I read a lot about the pickpockets in Paris and the constant reminder from Cecilia made me even more paranoid that I was practically holding my backpack like a shoulder bag pulled to the front. Wanted to find out and get advance tickets to Louvre Museum but didn’t have the chance.


GeekyMom said...

I love your pics, you captured the city beautifully. Thank you for sharing!

I'm heading to Paris next month!

GeekyMom said...

Great pics!
Thanks 4 posting.

Lolandra.S said...

Hi, thanks for your comments. Have a great time in Paris!