Sunday, April 17, 2016

Europe Trip - The Last Day Exploring Paris

The last day of our trip in Paris!

It was a Sunday and we finished our breakfast early for checking out and storing our luggage. At around 8:00am, we left the hotel for Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris.

Walking from the metro station

When we reached there, there was a group of high school students (from America, I guess) and the teacher told them to be aware of their belongings due to many pickpockets lingering around in the vicinity. And that's a church, for God's sake.

Seine River from Pont Saint Michel
People going for the mass
I love this angle!

It was a Sunday and there was a mass going on but we were allowed to go into the church. And of course, for free.

The Pastor at the High Altar, Choir at the back
The miniature of the cathedral
The evolution of the cathedral

Notre Dame de Paris, which means Our Lady of Paris, is considered one of the best gothic architectures in the country and one of the most well-known church in the world. The cathedral has gone through quite a significant revolution from 1160 onwards. In 1160, the Bishop of Paris during that time, ordered the former cathedral to be demolished. The construction of Notre Dame begun 3 years after upon demolition of the surrounding buildings and construction of roads for transportation of materials. The cathedral was fully completed in 1345.

However, major alterations and renovations were carried out throughout major events in Paris such as Huguenots Riot, French Revolution, World War II, and recent restoration projects. The cathedral is what can be seen as of today.

After we finished admiring the interior, the high altar, and the choir, we walked out and found many tourists crowding around the area. So again, come early to avoid disappointment!

Side view of the cathedral 
Au revoir. Notre Dame de Paris! Vouz allez me manquer!

We continued our journey to the highly talked Castle of Versailles. It was quite far off the city centre. We took RER train from Saint-Michel Notre Dame Station. We bought a carnet and 2 single tickets for two-way journey and it cost us EUR 33.5 (~SGD 52) or about EUR 5.6 (~SGD 9) per person.

We stopped at Gare de Versailles RER station and took a 10-minute stroll towards the palace. I had a high expectation for this place as a few people specifically asked me whether I had this palace in my itinerary and it really looked beautiful in the internet.

When we reached there, there was a long queue towards the entrance but it kept moving. After we asked a few Chinese tourists, we decided to buy the tickets and join the queue. The ticket cost EUR 15 (~SGD 23) per person. Not much time was needed to queue for the ticket and for the entrance.

I expected to see the REAL castle, as in the real bedroom of Marie Antoinette, the real dining room of the king, the real bathroom, the real of everything. But instead, I felt like we were inside Ikea. We were directed to walk along the lines passing through paintings and paintings and paintings and videos and videos telling about the castles, the kings, the history. I still had hope but it disappeared fully when we were directed to SHOWROOM of King's chamber, dining room, etc etc. This place is so overrated.

The front view of the castle, it's really better to be looked by the real eyes

Moving into the front yard of the castle
The chapel than can be viewed only from afar
The corridor
The painted ceiling
The show room of King's Bedroom
The Hall of Mirrors, the best thing in this castle

Luckily, we found this honey ginger bread sold in one of the cafes in this castle. At least, it helped to cure the heart ache. We came here not for nothing.

Angelina's Honey Ginger Bread

We completed our visit in about 1.5 hours and we walked back to the station. Before we departed back to Paris, we had our lunch in one of the restaurants here that served buffet. The buffet was priced at EUR 16 (~SGD  25) per person and the spreads were quite decent. There were soups, salads, breads, pastas, paellas, chickens, beefs, desserts, ice creams, and fruits.

We then rushed to be back to the hotel, get our luggages out of the storage and bid good bye to Paris. The hotel's front desk helped us to book a 7-seater taxi to bring us to Gare du Lyon Train Station. The taxi fare was counted by meter and it cost us about EUR 40 (~SGD 62) for the short distance.

Gare du Lyon
Cute Starbuck's truck

We packed our dinner for our long train journey bound to Venice!

Au revoir, Paris. Till next time.

Next - Stopover in Venice

Love is in the air,
Little Feet

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