Monday, May 31, 2010

Au Revoir Paris!

On a cool clear afternoon we left Denfert-Rochereau in a taxi for Gare du Nord terminal. We are leaving Paris on the Eurostar.

Eurostar is a high-speed passenger rail service connecting London with Paris and Brussels. All its trains cross under the English Channel via the Channel Tunnel between Britain and France, owned and operated separately by Eurotunnel. - Wikipedia

The taxis in France obviously are allowed to use bus lanes, our cab whizz in and out of bus lanes; bypassing the traffic jams and got us to the Paris North terminal in less than 30 minutes! Merveilleux!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

I ♥ Paris (7)...

One day left for us in Paris! We only have time to see one last attraction; it will be Notre Dame!

Actually using the name Notre Dame for where we are going is not all correct, according to Wikipedia; Notre Dame (Our Lady) is a term referring to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It might also refer to other churches of the same name in other countries!

Where we are heading is correctly known as Notre Dam de Paris which Wikipedia gave a really detail account of this famous church:

"Notre Dame de Paris (French for Our Lady of Paris), also known as Notre Dame Cathedral, is a Gothic, Roman Catholic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France. It is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Paris: that is, it is the church that contains the cathedra (official chair), of the Archbishop of Paris, currently André Vingt-Trois. Notre Dame de Paris is widely considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture in France and in Europe. It was restored and saved from destruction by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, one of France's most famous architects. The name Notre Dame means "Our Lady" in French, and is frequently used in the names of Catholic church buildings in Francophone countries. Notre Dame de Paris was one of the first Gothic cathedrals, and its construction spanned the Gothic period. Its sculptures and stained glass show the heavy influence of naturalism, unlike that of earlier Romanesque architecture."

Friday, May 28, 2010

I ♥ Paris (6)...

Travelling to different tourist's attractions in Paris, our transport of choice is the Metro. In this instance, Metro is a rapid transit rail system, also known as a subway or underground.

The Paris Metro are very efficient, you get a train every 5 to 10 minutes. During peak hour the train can be really packed though! I mean REALLY, really packed; like sardines in a can ;)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I ♥ Paris (5)...

No, the photo below is NOT a French palace but a departmental store

Galeries Lafayette in Paris is a 10-storey department store, there are two buildings connected by a sky bridge. If you look at the building exteriors, you will never realise what's inside!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I ♥ Paris (4)...

Weather forecast predicted a fine day! May-N suggested that we go to another gallery, me? Had just about enough of galleries and art, but follow the leader we did and just as well because where we went is really breath taking beautiful!

According to Wikipedia, Jardin des Tuileries is:

"The Tuileries Garden (Fr. Jardin des Tuileries) is a public garden located between the Louvre Museum and the Place de la Concorde in Paris. Created by Marie de Medicis as the garden of the Tuileries Palace in 1564, it was first opened to the public in 1667, and became a public park after the French Revolution. In the 19th and 20th century, it was the place where Parisians celebrated, met, promenaded, and relaxed."

Monday, May 24, 2010

I ♥ Paris (3)...

The next day we went to the Louvre, according to Wikipedia:

"The Musée du Louvre (French pronunciation: [myze dy luvʁ]), or officially the Grand Louvre — in English, the Louvre Museum or Great Louvre, or simply the Louvre — is one of the world's largest museums, the most visited museum in the world, and a historic monument. It is a central landmark of Paris, France and is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement (district). Nearly 35,000 objects from prehistory to the 19th century are exhibited over an area of 60,600 square metres (652,300 square feet)."

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I ♥ Paris (2)...

Champs-Élysées, a name that few of us pronounced correctly, unless of course if you speak French :) It is pronounce as "shahn-zay-lee-ZAY".

Wikipedia has this to say about this famous 2 Km avenue in Paris:

"The Avenue des Champs-Élysées (French pronunciation: [avəny de ʃɑ̃zelize] ( listen)) is a prestigious avenue in Paris, France. With its cinemas, cafés, luxury specialty shops and clipped horse-chestnut trees, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets in the world, and with rents as high as €1.1 million (USD1.5 million) annually per 1,100 square feet (92.9 square metres) of space, it remains the most expensive strip of real estate in Europe.[1][2] The name is French for Elysian Fields, the place of the blessed dead in Greek mythology. The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is known in France as La plus belle avenue du monde ("The most beautiful avenue in the world").[3] The arrival of global chain stores in recent years has slightly changed its character, and in a first effort to stem these changes, the City of Paris (which has called this trend "banalisation") decided in 2007 to ban the Swedish clothing chain H&M from opening a store on the avenue.[2] In 2008, however, American clothing chain Abercrombie & Fitch was given permission to open a store."

Friday, May 21, 2010

I ♥ Paris...

We took a cab from our apartment in Rome to Airport Ciampino in the afternoon and we arrived in France a few hours later. Now there are four of us, Lamont has to go back to London to work.

We took the airport bus which took us to Denfert Rochereau, a very nice residential suburb.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

When In Rome (5)...

After five exciting days, it is time to say goodbye to Rome! I will miss her classical old buildings...

When In Rome (4)...

After our tough workout at the St Peter Basilica, May-N decided we should go somewhere special for dinner. We, the oldies has no clue where we are heading; we just follow the leader ;)

A short bus ride, more probing with the handheld GPS; more walking on the dreaded cobblestones; this charming square suddenly appeared in front of us!

Click on the picture to see the charming square!

A sign board told me that the church at the square is the Basilica of St. Mary and the square in front constitute the heart of the district of Trastevere.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

When In Rome (3)...

The Papal Basillica of Saint Peter, commonly known as St. Peter's Basilica is next door to the Vatican Museums.

According to Wikipedia:

"St. Peter's Basilica has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world, holding 60,000 people.[1] It is regarded as one of the holiest Christian sites. It has been described as "holding a unique position in the Christian world"[2] and as "the greatest of all churches of Christendom".

Religion aside, I was impressed. This I gotta see!

Waiting for the Pope! He is going to talk to this massive crowd in front of the Basilica.

Monday, May 17, 2010

When In Rome (2)...

The Collosseum took away a day of our Rome stay, the next day we got up at 7 am to visit the Vatican Museums
The weather was not as kind as yesterday, it was spitting down very lightly;
at 7.30 am scores of tourists are already lining up outside the gate!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

When In Rome...

We (I, Le General, Ming-N, May-N and Lamont) woke up at 3 am to catch a "taxi van" at 4 to London Gatwick airport. Gatwick has the world's busiest single-use runway and this is where no frills EasyJet will take us to Rome.

Our plane landed at Rome Fiumicino at 9 am, according to Wikipedia; "Fiumicino is a town and comune in the province of Rome, Lazio, central Italy. It is famous for the presence of the Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport, the busiest airport in Italy and the fifth busiest in Europe." But where are the crowd? ;)