Wednesday 6 December 2017

UK-Paris Day 12: Eiffel, Arc de Tromphe, Lourve & Moulin Rouge

As usual, we woke up before sunrise as our bodies were still living on Singapore time, despite being here for more than a week already. We were among the first at breakfast this morning.

Breakfast was simple, with not much variety
Cosy dining at the ground floor
Gotta have my usual croissants, sausages, eggs and orange juice every morning

We left the hotel at around 8am after breakfast. We were going to explore the city of Paris today via the Paris Metro (download the map here).

A Paris Metro ticket

Things to note on Paris Metro Tickets:
  1. Ensure that you have either coins or a credit card with you to purchase the tickets as the machines do not accept notes (more details here). 
  2. Alternatively, you can also purchase your tickets from the customer service counter, however, that may not always be available.  
  3. A single ticket will allow you to travel anywhere within Paris Central for the same price. 
  4. You only need your ticket for entry as the Exit gates open automatically.
  5. You can purchase a single ticket at €1.90 per ticket or bulk purchase 10 tickets for €14.90.
  6. ALWAYS buy the tickets from the machine or the counter. NEVER buy it from random strangers walking around trying to sell you cheaper tickets (it might be a used ticket). 
  7. You can also purchase Zone 1-2 Ticket Mobilis at €7.50 per person for unlimited rides within Paris Central.
  8. If you take less than 4 trips per day, it might be cheaper to bulk purchase 10 tickets instead of the Ticket Mobilis (which was the case for us). The latter is only worth it if you take more than 4 trips a day.

Our first stop was the main reason for our trip to Paris: Tour Eiffel aka Eiffel Tower! To get there, take Line 8 (towards Balard) from Grands Boulevards Station to Ecole Militaire Station.

And this was where we met with the second NIGHTMARE for the trip (our first was yesterday while travelling on the Paris Metro with all our luggage!).

When we boarded Line 8 at Grands Boulevards, a man suddenly grabbed the hubby's ankle and pretended that his ventolin inhaler was stuck to the hubby's socks! The whole cabin gasped in shock as the hubby tried to loosen the man's grip on him.

In the struggle to kick the man off, the hubby realised that the bag he was carrying was unzipped! Thankfully the hubby had the foresight to put our money pouch in a pocket hidden deep in the bag so the thief did not manage to steal our valuables. By right the thief was not even supposed to be able to unzip the bag as it was an anti-theft bag that allowed us to secure the zips, however we had carelessly left the zips unsecured (we made sure it was secured at all times from then onwards!).

The train driver stopped the train for a good 10 minutes while another man ensured that everything was OK before the train left the station. We are really thankful that nothing was lost and no one was hurt!

Moral of the story: ensure that your anti-theft bag is locked and your valuables stored in the deepest part of the bag so that they are not easily accessed. Be vigilant at all times!

After the shock on the train, we were a lot more cautious as we walked from Ecole Militaire Station to the Eiffel Tower. Although there were people who approached us, trying to sell their Eiffel Tower keychains, we didn't meet with any problems. Thankfully there were no crowds and there was a police car patrolling the area.

Eiffel Tower
(Address: Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France)
Beautiful Eiffel Tower at the end of autumn and start of winter
Lovely selfie with the Eiffel Tower

It's the off-peak season hence there are very few people at the Eiffel Tower. I'm told that it is very rare to get a picture of the Eiffel Tower with almost no one in the background, which thankfully we did!

We decided not to visit the top of the Eiffel Tower because it was too expensive and the family wasn't keen on it.

Instead, we headed to our next destination, the very famous Arc de Tromphe. To get there, take Line 8 to Concorde Station and transfer to Line 1 and alight at Charles de Gaulle-Etoile Station. Follow the signs in the station to the correct exit.

Arc de Tromphe
(Address: Place Charles de Gaulle, 75008 Paris, France)
Lots of tourists here trying to get a photo as well

You can also choose to climb to the top of Arc de Tromphe (entry fee required) for a better view but again, the family wasn't keen (even though I was! *sigh*).

Our next stop was another famous landmark in Paris, Musee de Lourve, which has been featured in countless movies and TV shows. To get there, take Line 1 from Charles de Gaulle-Etoile Station and alight at Palais Royal-Musee de Louvre Station.

Here's some options to buy tickets:
  1. Online
  2. At the museum itself, where there's usually a super long queue (though there was no queue when we were there)
  3. At a shop called Tabac. A lot of people highly recommend buying your tickets from this shop as there is usually no queue. You can find out how to get there here.

Tabac Museum Tickets

We decided to heed the advice of others and bought our tickets from Tabac, even though it didn't make any difference to us as there was no queue either way. It cost us €15 per adult (child is FREE).

Musee de Lourve
(Address: Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France;
Opening Hours is 9am-6pm but opened till 9.45pm on Wed and closed on Tue)
Another item checked off my bucket list! 😁
Pyramide du Lourve

My girl really enjoyed the museum and the architecture!
You can find an upside-down pyramid when you go underground into the shopping mall Carrousel du Lourve
View of Pyramide du Lourve from below

There are many entrances into the museum as the museum is really huge!! Be prepared to walk a lot if you want to cover the whole museum. We tried to cover as much as possible without killing ourselves but even then, we were so exhausted by the time we left!

One of the many galleries
Don't forget to look up and enjoy the beautiful murals on the ceilings
Left: A painting of David and Goliath;
Right: Found a statue 'taking a selfie'! *laughs*

Of course the biggest highlight of Musee de Lourve is the Mona Lisa!

Walking into the gallery that houses the Mona Lisa
And there is the Mona Lisa, surrounded by hundreds of tourists trying to get a picture with her
Us and the Mona Lisa!

The Mona Lisa is really this super tiny painting that is so valuable that it has the highest level of security possible. Not only is she protected by a super thick layer of glass and two security guards (one on each side), the Mona Lisa also has two barriers in front of her such that the nearest that people could get to her is 2 metres! Perhaps they watched those magician shows and thought that people could actually put their hands through glass and take the painting (like portrayed in the movies) so just to be safe, they are going to make sure no one gets even remotely close! *laughs*

We explored more of the museum but I'm not going to post all of the pictures I took because you really need to come and see it for yourself. We soon got too tired/hungry and decided to have lunch at Cafeteria Du Musee

Lunch at Cafeteria Du Musee

The food was pretty good even though it wasn't exactly cheap (food in Paris is expensive in general anyway). The hubby was delighted that there was rice and I enjoyed the tiramisu. You can trust the French to do a good dessert!

After lunch, the family decided that they only had enough energy for one more attraction. I had to make the tough decision on whether to visit Sacre-CoeurCathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris or Moulin Rouge.

I ended up choosing Moulin Rouge, only because a very famous French bakery with some of the best croissants in Paris is located nearby! You know how much I LOVE croissants!

We took Line 1 (towards La Defense) from Palais Royal-Musee de Louvre Station to Charles de Gaulle-Etoile Station and transferred to Line 2 (towards Nation) to Blanche Station.

Moulin Rouge
(Address: 82 Boulevard de Clichy, 75018 Paris, France)
Playing at a nearby air-vent

We followed Google Maps in search of the bakery with the awesome croissants.

Checking out all the different shops along the streets
Found a macaron shop with a very friendly seller so we decided to buy macarons from him, even though his shop wasn't a famous brand. 
We ended up really loving the macarons!!!!
I've tried macarons everywhere in the world (cos the girl and I are fans) and by far, the best macarons are found in Paris!! So yum!! 😋

When we finally arrived at the bakery, Le Grenier à Pain, I was horrified to find that it was closed!! 😭

Le Grenier à Pain
(Address: 38 Rue des Abbesses, 75018 Paris, France)

Thankfully the hubby spotted Boulangerie Alexine down the road, which looked just as promising.

Boulangerie Alexine
(Address: 40 Rue Lepic, 75018 Paris, France)

We bought my favourite quiche and chocolate croissant and man, they were good! I am a huge fan of French pastries!

The hubby, on the hand, was a typical Chinese male who must have his rice and noodles. Hence, we also bought 菜饭 (vegetables and rice) to go from Da May Fa.

Da May Fa
 (Address: 12 Rue Lepic, 75018 Paris, France)
Rice is so precious here, it is sold in grams!
Part of our dinner to satisfy the hubby's craving!

We ended a super long day feasting in our cosy hotel room. Although it was a day that we nearly got robbed, it was also a day I got to tick off a lot of items on my Things-to-See-Before-I-Die list! Overall still a good day 😄

Continue to >> UK-Paris Day 13: La Vallée Village & Explorers Hotel
<< Back to UK-Paris Day 11: Eurostar to Paris, Hotel 34B Estotel & Le Mesturet


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