bonjour paris!

We safely landed in Paris at 6:10 am local time. It was pitch dark outside. At 10 degrees Celsius it was cold but not so bad. Immigration clearance was easy it was almost surprising. Like what the American lady (well I guessed she was indeed an American from her accent) who stood behind me at the passport control line said, "No paperwork, just show your passport and you are done!" When the immigration officer took my passport, she gave it an approval stamp almost immediately, no question asked. A lovely breeze-through considering that in almost all countries I had been to, immigration officers always have something to ask i.e. how long are you staying, where's your next destination. We picked up our luggage and took the CDGVAL shuttle train to Terminal 3 to catch the next RER train to Paris.

Funny thing about RER stations at Charles de Gaulle Airport is that the station at Terminal 3 is called Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 1, while the one at Terminal 2 is called Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 2. Confusing, I know. There's no station at Terminal 1. I had a big mission at the station, which was to validate my Eurail pass for my subsequent journey from Paris to other cities. The pass also entitled me for a free ride from the airport to Gare du Nord (one of the major stations in Paris), else it would cost about EUR 8 or so.

My first pic of the trip. At Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 1 RER station. Which is at Terminal 3.

As we arrived at Gare du Nord, we had to walk for a bit within the huge terminal building to Magenta station to take another RER to Hausmann - Saint Lazare (the closest station to our hotel). It was a nice surprise to see that the two stations (Gare du Nord and Magenta) are in the same building so we were able walk indoors. It wasn't mentioned anywhere in the internet, so I was all prepared to brace the cold morning, luckily I didn't have to.

From Hausmann - Saint Lazare station I had some trouble getting my bearings right so it took a while before I found the hotel. It was also a bit inconvenient to stop and look at the map as the walkways were pretty narrow and we didn't want to annoy hundreds of Parisians who were rushing to work by blocking their path with our suitcases.

We finally found our hotel after about 30 minutes. As it was still early (around 9 am), we couldn't check-in yet, so we left our luggage there to begin our adventure in Paris.

First stop was Arc de Triomphe @ Place de l'Étoile. I decided that we should walk there (albeit for 2.5 km!) so that we could watch the sceneries along the way. The ticket to climb up the monument was EUR 9 for me and EUR 5.50 for Hz (coz he's under 25 y.o. - the benefit of being young, huh!). And when I said climb, I meant it literally. 258 steps to the top.

The pretty big arch.

A long way up!

It was worth every step (again, literally!). The scenery was breathtaking.

From the arch, we walked back to our hotel through Parc Monceau. Saw many African French ladies watching over Caucasian French kids at the park, they must be nannies.

We got back to the hotel, checked in and proceed to our next stop – Tour Eiffel @ Eiffel Tower.

As we walked towards the big brown metal sculpture (3.4 km walk) we passed by several key places like L'église Sainte-Marie-Madeleine @ Madeleine Church, Concorde, Pont Neuf etc.

We finally reached the tower. The queue was so long! Nope, not gonna wait that long to go up. After all we already saw the bird-eye view of Paris from Arc de Triomphe.

Three guards armed with huge guns watching over the tower.

What's that big metal thing again? :-p

From the tower we walked by the other side of Seine River towards Théâtre Mogador (another 3.3 km walk). The theatre was founded in 1913, almost a century old now.

In front of Théâtre Mogador.

We watched The Lion King - in French! It was spectacular! I had always wanted to watch it since Mano Maniam (of Kopitiam fame, one of the lecturers of the theatre class that I took back in uni) told the class about how he watched it at Broadway and what jaw-dropping performance it was. He was so right!

The final bow by the king and his servants.

Thumbs up to Le Roi Lion!

As we returned to the hotel that night, our feet hurt like mad. Pity Hz coz he wasn't used to walking that much so it was worse for him that it was for me. We would do better tomorrow!

P.S. Owh by the way I sat beside a charming French guy on the plane. He gave me his Ferarro Rocher during dinner :-D


Erin said...

seronoknye! more pls.. :)

dieya said...

coming soon! tungguuuuuuuu :-D

dyanna said...

ferero rocher je? contact number dia tak kasi ;P ?

dieya said...

alaa tak laa. he looked a bit pemalu and i was a bit terkejut with the sweet gesture. the only words i managed to say was thank you.. hahaha.. what a waste of opportunity kan!