Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sightseeing - Paris (Day 1)

After a good nights’ rest, we woke up to a lovely breakfast. I enjoyed the breakfast in this hotel very much. We stayed in the Hauteville Opera, and although it was a bit of a walk in from the main road, it was relatively new as they recently upgraded it, according to their website. This hotel was booked via Dynasty Travel during the NATAS fair as part of a package which included airfare and 2 nights’ stay in Paris city. It was at a pretty convenient location as the L'Open Tour bus, much like our Hippotours in Singapore, had a stop at the main road outside where we stayed. We decided to go with that, as I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to walk distances. That would have given us the chance to hop on n off the bus along the routes and it covered most of the landmarks which we planned to visit.

So right after our breakfast, we left on our outing. What was not to be expected was the sudden downpour when we were waiting for the bus to arrive. It was too heavy to be without an umbrella so just steps away was a shop which sold travel bags etc, and we had to buy them there. Wow, €5/6 for each brolly!

The bus came packed with passengers but we managed to get on. We couldn’t go on our itinerary as planned because time was wasted at each stop, with people getting on and off and buying tickets from the driver and at times, driver disappearing off for a few minutes. When we arrived at the Louvre, I decided that we should get off rather than go to the Eiffel Tower. Princess bought a book a few months’ back and I thought it’d be good to get her prepared for the trip, and the excitement she’d get when she could see in the ‘flesh’, the places mentioned by the two little characters. It might not have been as exciting if I had just taken her around to see these monuments. Well, the plan worked and she enjoyed the anticipation of it. She wanted to do as the characters did, and climb the Eiffel, see the Mona Lisa, and eat crepes. We didn’t make it to a creperie but we got ours from a kiosk just outside our hotel. She loved both the Nutella and banana combi, as well as the jambon fromage one. She learnt words like bonjour, merci (beaucoup) , au revoir, etc. One thing I could tell that she liked Paris very much was that we were walking non-stop for 8hrs in a row and she never once complained.

Back to the Louvre. We didn’t manage to enter the museum as it was very crowded. Being a Saturday, I guess there were lots more people than usual. Entrance into the Louvre was reasonable. It cost €9 per adult and children under 12 free, if not wrong. I didn’t take note of it.

We decided to proceed to Pompidou Centre but made a big detour and couldn’t find it. Instead, we made our way to Notre Dame which was a blessing in disguise. There was a baking exhibition going on and it was all so interesting with all the different types of bakes on display, artisan breads etc. We came across a corner where they made baguettes and saw some little child chefs trying their hand out at shaping the dough. Checked if Princess could have a go and she could. How fun! Except the only problem was that the chef couldn’t speak a word of English and Princess couldn’t speak a word of French. Daddy wasn’t of any help at all as his French was given back to his teachers after he left school. While the chef was teaching the other little ones what to do, ours was left in the corner, lost. Luckily for her, another chef was passing by and came to her help. She made a little heart-shaped pretzel-looking thing and could collect her bread in 20mins after baking. It was the most delicious bread I’ve ever eaten, fresh from the oven, and in their country of origin. Also handmade by little Princess. Yummy!

From Notre Dame, we headed towards Eiffel Tower. Princess wanted to climb it but the snaking queues were crazy. So we abandoned that thought too.

We had dinner in Hard Rock Cafe that evening. Hubby likes his burgers and fries, not so much into French food.

We were greeted with more heavy rain as we left the cafe to go back to the hotel.


Karen said...

I'm glad you're all having a great time! Didn't read any complaints abt leg pains yet :P

Did you get your present yet???

singairishgirl said...

karen - Hello my dear. Yes, feet n knees hurt sometime by the 3rd day but had to push myself cos had to do as much as we could, as only limited time there. Now in Irelabd, the finger joints are hurting cos of the cold. Generally very sunny but still cold. Poor babe has a bad cold sore. :( Yes, got my pressie in Paris but it's terrible trying to load photos onto blog. I've almost given up. We can't do it from home, is much too slow. Only when out in the car going out then can get 3G network. Haha, so ulu!

karlsfoodie said...

I miss Paris!!
looks like u guys are enjoying!
Hope I get to go again in autumn

Jo said...

Hi D!

Sounds like y'all had a great time in Paris. Don't know when we'll get a chance to visit Europe. But I sure do remember our elevator episode in Switzerland...hahaha! Enjoy the rest of your trip and I look forward to reading more about it. Oh don't forget the pics too! I'm melting here in the TX heat.
Safe & happy travels! :)

Sue Sue said...

Ooohhh Paris. This brings back my memory when I was there 10 years back. Wat a nice country and the crepe selling by the road side is simply delish. I wish I can be there one more time.

paw paw said...

Have a splendid time...!!!!
I will slow down the clock for U...*haha*

singairishgirl said...

Jo - Haha, yes the lifts in Switzerland, that's it! ;) Being in Europe reminds me of the times we used to travel together. And thank God for those free tickets or I doubt I'd ever have had the chance to go to all those places with you. :)

karlsfoodie - Ooo, that's lovely. Ya hope you get to come in Autumn.

sue sue - The last time I visited Paris was 15yrs ago at least, right about the time when Eurodisney first opened, that was what it was known as at the time. We didn't have to queue for rides and did practically every ride, not now though. Queues are mad. I'm sure you can come visit Paris again.

paw paw - Ah, thanks, but no need to slow down time. We're now in Dublin, not Paris. Hehe.