What to do in Paris

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Vous etes belle, mon amie

Where did I leave off? Hmm, Paris. Sarah and I had 3 days to embrace the French air. Let me just put this out in the open: We are terrible tourists. We didn't get to see the Eiffel Tower and we got lost trying to find Champ Elysees. I told you our horror story of a 15km walk on the second day. Thankfully, as Tolkien says, "Not all those who wander are lost"- we found little gems amongst the overly-visited Parisian attractions. So, if you're planning to pay Paris a visit, some places and things to do I'd recommend are: 

1. Jardin Tuileries

(See carousel photo above)

2. Sit outside the Luovre on a sunny day

look @ that awkward smile. hurhurhur.
Everybody was going on their tippy toes and taking this shot (above).
So, being the tourist I was, I felt obliged.

We bought Laduree macarons and watch visitors of the Louvre hustle and bustle their way around the piazza. I've never gotten Laduree in Singapore so I don't have much to compare to. They were most definitely worth every penny though. Flavours to try: Rose, Vanilla, Salted Caramel. Stay away from: Pistachio

 My flower-power ice cream, you shall be jelly.

This is by Amorino Ice Cream. They sell it in London too. Basically, you get to choose any amount of flavours on display and they'll make it into a flower cone. I got the Tiramisu, Chocolate, Caramel. I got the person to recommend which a blend but it seems like my blind faith was wrongly placed XD.  I'm sure you can do better.

3. Food & Bakeries

Caramel tart for lunch.
Pastries for every meal.

Paris, food wise, is a recipe for diabetes. Sarah and I are both sweet tooths (mainly me, but Sarah's fine with sugar). We literally had tarts and pastries every meal because every few steps of our way, we saw a bakery. Weak in my knees, salivating. Goes in, sees cute French boy asking me what he can do to help me. Sold. (sorry D, just this once). We never really got down to eating legit normal food like foie gras but Collette recommended a place called La Petite Rose Des Stables (or something something). She said it's fantastic so you can check it out here. We wanted to try it but it was out of the way..

4. Montematre

The view from here is breathtaking, especially during twilight. It's highly populated though, so careful, bags.

5. Visiting Bastille Market for a meal

 Nutella banana crepe

When I asked our apartment owner how to get to "Bastille Market" he was puzzled. The French don't speak anything other than French. Marche Bastillepronounced as "Marsh Bestie" is an extensive food market just outside Bastille metro station. Ahh, I love food markets. They're always lively and authentic. When Sarah and I went up to the vendors to speak to them, half the time, we get a puzzled looks. When you get one of those, you know they're trying to figure out where you're from. And most of the time, you'll receive a mispronounced konichiwa! 2 seconds later. Given. Even on the trains, they have Japanese announcements. Maybe that's why.
If you happen to chance upon a market, try their Homemade Yogurt (Vanilla & Coconut. Usually I'd stay away from coconut, but this one's really good.), Crepes (ham & cheese, sedap). Sarah said their seafood is really good too, but we didn't get to try because yogurt and crepes lasted us the entire afternoon already.

6. Catacombs of Paris

Sarah judged me a little when I told her i wanted to see skeletons of dead Parisians. A friend I met here on exchange, Laurie (who lives in the the French-speaking part of Canada) suggested we pay it a visit. It's out of the ordinary, but I'd really rather see this eccentric side of Paris than what it makes itself to be. Spooky, weird, creepy, yes. There are some underground roads that give you chills. Other than those, if you keep up with the general crowd, there should be nothing to fear. I just pity the security guards down there who have to carry flash lights. They're not even allowed to shine them at the bones. I wonder why..

Entry fee: 
8pound for students (show student card)
10pounds for adult

 I'm no architect, but damn. Paris buildings are quite pretty, eh?

Love the balconies!

This is a hospital. It's so beautiful. Still can't wrap my head around it.
This was our apartment we rented for 2 nights from AirBnB. Quaint, in the heart of Gare Du Nord. Out of the 3 days of travelling in and out of the vacinty, however, Sarah and I, till this day, have not figured out how to get back home being lost for at least 20 minutes. We had a paper map, alright, it just wasn't working. 

Tip for working the Metro

A metro ticket within Paris will only cost you 1.90Euros. Anywhere else outside the city (using the RER) lines will cost a hell lot more. Don't get scammed by random strangers who come up to you and show you an officer badge. We got cheated off our money because this man who claimed to be one approached us and charged us for the wrong ticket. Ah, long story, lazy to type. -but yea, just go to the ticketing office. Trust no one. Keep your bags close to you, especially when leaving train stations like Gare Du Nord. It's where the Euro rail from London stops off at so pick pockets are everywhere.
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