Places

Rue Montorgueil

Ever since I read “Almost French” by Sarah Turnbull, I have dreamt of walking down Rue Montorgueil and experiencing the hustle and bustle of a very Parisian street full of restaurants, cafés, bakeries, produce stands and fromageries. A few weeks ago, I managed to make my way there.

Rue Montorgueil is located near metro Les Halles or Étienne Marcel but I walked all the way from Louvre-Rivoli as it was a nice day for a walk.

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Here is a photo of the famous restaurant L’Escargot Montorgueil which has a giant gold snail at the entrance.
IMG_4103I ended up having lunch at an Italian restaurant called Little Italy which was very cute.

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I really enjoyed my experience here and can’t wait to come back and explore the shops. It feels like another world here! No wonder Monet painted a painting depicting this street.

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Places

Pyramide du Louvre & Jardin des Tuileries

Last week when the weather was pleasant (unlike the current heatwave), I was waiting to check-in to another hostel so I decided to pick up my camera and take a walk through the Jardin des Tuileries. The name comes from the French word “tuile” which means “tile” as the garden was built on an old tile factory. And “jardin” ofcourse just means “garden”.

This public garden is a great free thing to do plus it is very relaxing to just sit by the fountains. French gardens are always exquisite. As mentioned previously, you cannot sit on the grass but there are green chairs scattered all around the gardens. Every bush is neatly trimmed into shapes and everything is perfectly symmetrical. There are gorgeous statues scattered all around the gardens.

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There are several cafes in the middle of the gardens for a little pause. There is even a little pond with many shaded areas to relax.

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As you walk further down you see a ferris wheel and other rides. When I walked past, they were still installing them but I’ve heard it’s fun to go on the rides at night in Summer. Behind the Ferris wheel, you can see beautiful Parisian buildings.

If you go towards the direction of the Louvre, you notice it gets more and more crowded. You walk through the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel which was placed there as a sign of Napoleon’s victories. Then you will see one of the most recognisable Parisian landmarks, the Louvre & it’s “Pyramides”.

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During the afternoon, it was very hard to get a decent photo as there were so many people like me trying to take photos especially the really cliché photo with the tip of your finger touching the top of the pyramid (Guilty :P)

The pyramids are relatively new but have become an icon of Paris (well atleast for tourists). The Louvre museum which used to be a palace is so old in comparision to the pyramids but somehow it all belongs.

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Places

Arc de Triomphe

Last week, my friend Maurita and her boyfriend Bruno visited Paris. It was their first time in Paris and we decided to start the day by making our way to the Arc de Triomphe.

We made our way via the underpass, bought tickets & went to the top of the building. Although, it was my second time up here, it was still as stunning as I remembered. The monument stands in the centre of Place Charles de Gaulle. From the top, you can see 12 avenues radiating from the centre, one of which is the famous shopping precinct of Avenue des Champs-Élysées.The views of the Eiffel Tower, La Defense & Sacré Coeur in the distance from here are amazing & I think it’s one of my favourite monuments in Paris.

IMG_4022 IMG_4027 IMG_4031 IMG_4032On the way back down, I stopped and read all about the history of the building & it’s significance.

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It is a hommage to all those who fought for France in different wars. On the way down, there is a room with photographs of all the different uniforms worn by the French & it’s allies in the war. We found Australian & New Zealand uniforms too!

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We then went down to look at all the markings and inscriptions on the buildings.The supporting columns, ceilings, face – all have inscriptions & it is such detailed work. The outside is also decorated with statues of mythological figures.

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After this, I went for a stroll down Avenue des Champs-Élysées had a fresh juice and bought a few necessary items like thongs from the Quiksilver store.

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Places

La Tour Eiffel from Trocadéro

La Tour Eiffel or Eiffel Tower is one of the most recognisable landmarks in the world. It has been reproduced in many forms – mini replicas, postcards, stamps, greeting cards, wallpapers, key-rings – you name it, it’s been done!

This post is a pure dedication (borderline obsessive) to this beautiful structure – an icon of France!

The first time, I ever walked towards it, I thought to myself, “Hmm, it’s not that big!”. But as you start to get really close to The Iron Lady you realise just how huge it actually is. Standing under it, you feel so small. It is an amazing structure especially for it’s time.

Last year, I went to the top of the tower so I didn’t want to do that again until my friends come to visit. Instead, I went to Trocadéro which is a great place to view the Eiffel Tower. I wanted to take photos of it while it was light up & sparkling but unfortunately my amateur camera skills & lack of tripod meant the photos weren’t the best. However, I will share the best of what I captured.

NOTE: None of my photos are edited in any way. I prefer to capture things as they are instead of enhancing them.

The first photos were taken around 9.30 pm. As you can see it was still nice and bright outside. I tried to get a good spot but kept getting pushed by others trying to do the same. Then the lights turned out as it hit 10 pm.

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Then it got dark and you could really see the Eiffel Tower dominate the city lights.

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And finally when it sparkles! It’s a magical moment followed by ooh, aaaahs & lots of ooh la lalas (and clapping) It only sparkles once every hour for 5 minutes (apparently, but it was more like 3 minutes)

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After this, I got a Nutella crepe & caught the metro back to the hostel.

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Places

Sacré-Cœur & La Maison Rose

Last week, I moved to a new hostel in the Montmartre area of Paris. It is in the 18th Arrondissement of Paris famous for the Moulin Rouge & La Basilique du Sacré-Cœur. At night, this area can get a little creepy with all the sex shops & strange men but during the day it is full of tourists walking up towards the Sacré-Cœur (or Sacred Heart in English).

Last time I was in Paris, I loved this area. It has my favourite coffee shop KB Cafe which is right near the hostel. They actually make proper coffee including Flat Whites. And it also has one of my favourite accidental discoveries, La Maison Rose.

A few days ago, I decided to take a walk up to the basilica. Unfortunately, it was a bit of a cloudy Paris day but I still managed to take some photographs from the outside.

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When you look down from the Sacré-Cœur you feel like you are on top of the world probably because it the highest point in Paris (Yes, apparently, even higher than the Eiffel Tower).

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Inside, it is extraordinary. There is a beautiful ceiling and as usual the many candles. What makes this place special is that it can be seen from far away as it sits so high above Paris.

IMG_3941 IMG_3939 IMG_3943After this visit, I walked out towards Place du Tertre which is a little square full of restaurants & a row of artists live sketching portraits of tourists. This place is a little bit of a tourist trap with a billion souvenir shops filled with trinkets made in China. Side note, this is where I tried Escargot last time. But I like to wander into the side streets. You see amazing old houses with vines covering the outer walls and the museum of Montmartre. There is also random graffiti & a ceramics shop there.

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But my favourite (and probably the most Instagrammed place) is La Maison Rose. It is just so cute! I always like having a Croque Monsieur and a drink here.

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La Maison Rose means Pink House & literally everything is pink from the walls, to the tables, to the menus with hints of sea green. No wonder the artist Maurice Utrillo painted this picturesque little house.

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Places

Tours de la Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris

It’s been a while since I’ve had time to write as I’ve been apartment hunting. Last week, I went to the towers of Notre Dame. Last time I was in Paris, this was on my to-do list but I ran out of time. So this time, I told myself that I must do it before I get busy with a job.

The cathedral is amazing on the outside. The façade is absolutely stunning and it is a great example of French gothic architecture. It is one of my favourite places in Paris as it is hauntingly beautiful.

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It was a long wait to get to the towers of Notre-Dame but it was worth it! You walk up these narrow stairs and then keep walking up hundreds of steps to the top. The top of the tower has the most amazing view of Paris. You can see the Eiffel Tower at one end and the Sacré-Cœur on the other side.

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There is even a little attic where the bells are located.

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After that, I went downstairs, into the Cathedral. It has beautiful ceilings and stained glass windows. It is so eerie yet beautiful inside. The glimmering candles bring so much light to the darkness.

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Finished off the day with a stroll to Île Saint-Louis and a café au lait at the trendy Café Saint-Régis.

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Places

Panthéon & Jardin du Luxembourg

After the Galeries Lafayette, we visited the Panthéon which is located in the Quartier Latin or Latin Quarter of Paris in the 5th Arrondissement. I learnt that it used to be church but now is the resting place of famous historical figures such as Victor Hugo, Louis Braille, Voltaire & Alexandre Dumas in the crypt below.

It is a beautiful building from the outside and it has beautiful ceilings & floors inside. It was a very peaceful place to visit.

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And the crypt below was cold and even more calming. I saw the tomb of Victor Hugo & Louis Braille.

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After the Panthéon we had lunch & then took a stroll to the nearby Jardin du Luxembourg. It was a beautiful day to sit in the sun & enjoy the gardens. In Paris, there are several famous gardens but you are not allowed to sit on the grass. Instead there are countless chairs to sit and relax by the fountain. The kids were playing with remote controlled boats & it was just a very relaxing afternoon. After all this, I was too tired so after about 2 hours of soaking the late afternoon sun, I headed back to the hostel.

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