Thursday, May 12, 2016

Day 7 - Paris trip (Notre-Dame Cathedral, Pont Des Arts & Galleries Lafayette)

On our 2nd day in Paris, we took Metro train again to visit Notre Dame and the attractions along side. Spotted this catchy ad on a cute pink “Empress” cat@Metro station ... Unique jewellery ad!


We grabbed a quick breakfast in a retro old café with authentic Parisian treats. There seems to be an air of novelty in this quaint little cafe. We enjoyed clicking away with the nostalgic decor and the service here was friendly as well. Our affordable breakfast menu with variety of offers. 


                                                        

I’ve decided to tantalise my tastebud early in the morning by trying out Foie Gras (Liver of a duck). It was not too bad for my liking – just that it somewhat left a bad taste in your mouth.


A table full with homely creations ^^



After our hearty breakfast, we continued our journey with another flagship icon which is none other than Notre Dame Cathedral, a gothic façade with 850-years of history. First thing first, an obligatory touristy posing __


We strolled passed some of the historic cathedrals – a façade decked with intricate craftsmanship.


Spotted a Daimler’s smart car. 


The place was swamped with crowd.


Along Notre Dame cathedral lies along the banks of the river and a Seine Cruise. By walking along Seine - there’s alot to see from the Louvre to Notre Dame and Saint Michel. Besides dubbed as City of Lights, Paris is also famed for its myriad of bridges. We took on a leisurely pace to take a stroll along the beautiful bridge. Walking along the bridge (Without any hurry) while enjoying the Parisian breeze, enjoying every one of these places, you will start to fall in love with Paris. #^_^#

We walked past many souvenirs shops. Kitschy paintings on display ^^
Posing in front of the beautiful bridge with my SIL photobombing-phase  ^^lll


The amazing Notre-Dame Cathedral. Can’t resist to do a ballerina pose #^_^#


The word “Notre-Dame” sorts of reminds me of the cartoon “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (THND)” … Yea, it sorts of related but apparently, the church serves as scene for many wonderful Disney cartoons such as the Beauty and the Beast. The church oozes mysterious allure and it’s brilliant for the writer to imagine a beast living in this Gothic church full of interesting and magical details.*^^*)  



Ohwell, what we love the most is to sit down in a beautiful and lush garden behind the church to enjoy the tranquility ^^


And, the best part is to chill while eating ice-cream! Can’t resist the popular Berthillon ice-cream (^_~) v Berthillon is considered the best ice-cream parlor in Paris (Trust me, it was worth the queue)! I had soft serve cone – half mango & half strawberry sorbet *super-duper yummy*


After a short break, we moved along to Pont Des Arts – “Love Lock” bridge in Paris; Lovers leave a padlock to symbolise their love and throw away keys to symbolise their love.




We ended the day with our long-awaited activity: shopping! We reached Gallery Lafayette and were greeted with impeccable service by the shop assistants. 


Awe-inspiring; beauty of stained glass. Wow!

I was walking around Galleries Lafayette and was looking for Pierre Hermé counter (The Pierre Hermé counter is in front of Prada). As usual I’m a sucker for fruity flavours, so, naturally, I went for Passion Fruit and Red Berries macaron. However, I did buy some interesting flavours such as Rose, Caramel, Pistachio, Cinnamon and etc. Crisp shell yet soft and melt-in-your-mouth inside with generous filling ^^

After some shopping, we decided to have dinner at the Chinese restaurant; the bbq pork ribs were juicy and tender. The price was abit on the steep side though but we did not mind to pay abit more for a different meal that night. ;-) Back to hotel, we tucked in early to prepare for our final day in Paris.


XOXO
sassycat


Sunday, December 20, 2015

Day 6 - Paris trip (Le Tour Eiffel & Montmarte)

Paris is truly a beautiful city – full with passion, arts, architecture, culture and romanticism. It was sad to learn about the Paris massacre attack and initially, I planned to blog about my trip (last month) but thought it would be more appropriate to postpone at a later stage. At this point of time (While I’m still writing on this blog), I felt sorry for the victims of the terrorist attack. May the departed souls rest in peace.

On our Day-1 in the City of Lights, the first thing we do is check-in our Air BnB. As we booked rather last minute, we were lucky enough to find a guesthouse which can fit us and for an affordable Eur134/night. In Paris, you would need to walk up using the stairs (No elevators available) with your heavy luggage. Ohwell, walking up to a Paris apartment (With spiral-like design stairs) can be a beautiful experience. At least, it’s a warm-up exercise to taking 600+ stairs to top of Eiffel (If you are planning to do so) ;)


Upon reaching to our modest set-up room, we truly live like a Parisian (with a fat cat as companion). We sort of get different kinda vibe as a change from our London hotel experience and given the quite-affordable-lodging, we have no complaints but to adapt to our new living culture. We stayed at the area where the metro station is just a hop and skip away and is approx. 10 -15 min by foot.


We were elated to start our Paris journey by visiting the iconic, Eiffel tower. We bought a Metro pass which costs Euro14/pax and took the old Metro trains. One thing about the old Paris Metro subway trains is that it’s still blessed with preservation - feels like taking a time capsule machine. Just a note : Beware of the old Metro trains as you need to open the door yourself by twisting the knob. Otherwise, you’ll need to take the next stop once you’ve missed it !~



Nearing to the landmark, we stopped by for an overpriced cup of coffee while enjoying people-watching and the scenic view. It’s a lovely thing to relax and enjoy the view while salivating on some French delights - Patisseries, croissant, quiche, baguettes… The escargot are worth every calories!*^^*


Upon reaching Le Tour Eiffel, we were elated to see the breathtakingly magnificent statute tower comes alive. Naturally, we took Mandatory Eiffel Tower picture- from different angles. Things to do around Eiffel Tower:- You can climb to first floor to enjoy lunch@the sky, second floor (704 steps) for a panoramic view of the City of Light or climb up to 1,700 steps (Third floor) to enjoy the panoramic views of the City of Light. Or simply come prepared with a beach mat and enjoy picnicking@Eiffel. For a romantic nightout, wine-and-dine at the top floor right up until 11 at night and admire Paris by night! Well, as for us, we took infinite pictures with the iron lady of France __y





Acting like local - sitting on the grass near the Eiffel tower and reading a book #^_^# We strolled around the area in the afternoon, gazing from far at the famous landmark. Too bad, we did not wait till night to watch the sunset view or night view of the sparkling tower. As we were all prepped up for the Moulin Rouge musical (´`)*




After a heartening dinner, we moved forward to Montmarte (Not-so-safe) to catch the much-anticipated show and wonderful view of French capital, of course. There was a lot of quaint shops along the way and you could easily soak up in the old school literacy culture or simply sit there and listen to buskers play music. After all, it was a place filled with old artists : painters, writers, musicians etc. A reminiscent of “Midnight in Paris.” #^_^# Imagine Picasso, F. Scott Fitzgerald from The Great Gatsby, Hemingway and other renowned artists lurking around the corner #justsaying



We were waiting in a long queue to the infamous Moulin Rouge show. For ladies – it is wise to wear a comfortable pair of heels. It is a requirement that you look presentable when attending the Moulin Rouge show: shorts, slippers, flipflop, sportswear and sports shoes were not allowed. Ohwell, we are talking about an internationally-acclaimed musical show with ticket that costs a whopping Eur114/pax O.o


The Moulin Rouge lies so close to a hill and the famous windwill which associated with it. The city’s red light district comes to live when the gorgeous dancers with their flamboyant costumes perform at their best. The Moulin Rouge proves to be an instant hit with the magical can-can dancing, dramatic and jaws-dropping performances. Best ever musical show I’ve watched!   


Points to note: For ladies when looking for a cab to return to the hotel at night, be warned that there’s no queue system for the taxis. I almost had a feisty fight with the passengers whom cut queue and shocked the rest with swift act of opening the cab’s door. It is advisable to get in the official taxi queue (If any). And most importantly, do not accept rides from anyone asking you if you need a taxi. Have a fun and safe trip! That’s all for a tiring Day-1 in Paris.

XOXO
sassycat

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Day 4 & 5 - London trip (Buckingham Palace, Westminster Cathedral, Big Ben, Greenwich & British museum)

On the next day, we travelled by tube to catch up the Changing of Guards ceremony. On our way, I can’t resist to snap with the illustrated wall with mini tales at the underground station.


We were enthralled to watch the Changing of Guards ceremony at Buckingham Palace. It’s worth the wait despite just afew glances from far (Due to our lateness!) and limited view. You will need to be at Buckingham Palace at least an hour before the ceremony starts (Starts approximately 11am), as Changing the Guard, does attract a large numbers of visitors, if you want to grab one of the best spots namely next to railings, stairs at Victoria monuments and the road opposite the palace.


The beauty of the ceremony is to showcase the old guards handover to the new guards and the process of old and new guards ‘present arms’ (A symbolic gesture that that transfer the responsibility for the Palace’s security from the Old to New Guard) and handover the palace keys. Really salute the guards who can’t eat, stand easy or sit during their tour of duty.


Well, it’s another group posey photo again! #^_^# 


One of the most vivid images of our London trip is none other than the iconic - Big Ben. Despite the gloomy weather, we were elated upon reaching the famous London landmark. It’s a lovely thing to see how people going about their daily routines here while enjoying the view of landmark which is rich heritage. Big Ben is indeed a legend in its own time. ∩__∩y


Don’t be deceived by the four clock faces of Big Ben as there are actually 5 bells in the clock. Every hour the hammer will strike the time on. Say if it’s five o’clock, the hammer strikes it five times. As for the other 4 bells, they will chime every fifteen minutes. Citizens going about their business like it’s no big deal that they live among such historical beauty. O.o






Pretty awesome view.


Transforming aesthetic into something #realcool (2nd pic is the elaborate carved church frontage of Westminster Cathedral). 

During our fifth day in London, we went to visit Greenwich – one of my favourite touristy destination. Located in the South-East of London (Not too far from central London), this lovely place is rich with history and combined with modern attractions - translating the heritage and craftmanship into a modern language. The town gave us a sense of close community with rich naval history! 


We went inside Old Royal Naval College and were mind-boggling with Renaissance arts and its intricacy.



It was absolutely stunning – all four of us just stood in awe…
Reignite that feeling for the luxury nobility experienced in years past.


The Neo-Gothic element.


We passed by the National Maritime Museum for another nice photo! ;)

Not-to-be-missed the Royal Museum Greenwich with the striking Nelson's Ship in a Bottle. Amazed by the designer’s laborious effort into crafting this complex replica O.o


We had our leisurely stroll on our way to Greenwich Royal Observatory Deck.

                                         

We climbed up the hill from the museum to have our first view of Prime Meridian captured here ∩__∩y


If you’re wondering why it is my favourite place of all in London, it’s because I’m intrigued with astrology’s history which can only be found in London’s only planetarium (Just saying!). Plus, Greenwich is home to the Prime Meridian of the world, at 0° Longitude, meaning the rest of the world is measured here or so to speak. Well, at least we tried to stand astride, with one foot in each hemisphere : northern and southern hemisphere.




With our £9.50 ticket, we explored several galleries full of telescopes, clocks, and historical gadgets designed to measure longitude at sea. We ended our Greenwich trip with a panoramic scene of the beautiful park and museums.


                                     

After studying the origin of time and literally star-gazing, we continued our journey with British museum.  There were so many museums here in UK and we were overwhelmed with the choices for which type of museums to go to as each offered different interest altogether. We finally decided to go for British museum as it is highly recommended due to its top collections, award-winning architecture, amazing arts and artifacts to marvel as well as great restaurants in the museum (Yes, we were hungry!).


Having a penchant for antiques and interest in Egypt (Since we will not have a chance to go there…), we were awestruck with the Rosetta stone (An ancient stone which is the key to deciphering hieroglyphs on the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs). The ironic thing is it is housed at British museum instead of Egypt) (-.-III Well, on a side note, perhaps it had made easier for tourists to travel to London compared to travelling to Egypt for a look. 



This one looked particularly awesome so I snapped it!



After a heartening meal, we moved back to the city for shopping. I was drooling over the hippy items and quirky souveniers. I was thrilled to discover a handmade soaps shop which offers variety of different soaps ranging from fruity flavours to sweet ones (Mind you, the soaps are not edible!) (*^@^*) And I can’t resist but to buy them as souveniers! That’s all for a tiring but informative yet fun Day 4 & 5 (´`)**


XOXO
sassycat