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  1. It's been a very very long time since we updated this space... Kerwyn & I both agreed that its really hard to keep on writing here because both of us are really busy with school work ): Although I've finally graduated, this also means that I'm gonna start work soon... And Kerwyn has just started his internship, which will last till the start of his final year. Please bear with us! We'll really try to update more because I've gotten a new camera, which is a motivation for us to blog more often too.

    For all those who have been staying with us, a word of thanks! Meanwhile we'll bring you the rest of Europe as well as some more exciting activities we have been going through all these while! So now... PARIS!

    Here's our itinerary of our day 2 in Paris:
    Our day started early in order to catch the first bus.
    As mentioned in the earlier post, we purchased our Paris Pass in advance and it allows us to visit most attractions for free. The tour bus is really good because it drops us at the attractions we wanna visit and they come at very regular timings!

    The Paris Pass is available online and they do ship to your home. Collection is possible although you would have to make your way to their office in Paris which isn't all that convenient. Some perks in the Paris Pass would be priority entry at attractions as we shall see later on when we come to the attractions. As for transport, as Sheena has mentioned, there is also the Les Cars Rouge City Bus Tour (Hop on Hop off) as well as the Bateaux Parisiens River Cruise which makes the Pass really value for money!
    Our nearest stop was at Eiffel Tower since our hotel is near it!  

    The left picture show the Hop on Hop off City Bus. The map of the route can be found here. Be sure to start early in the day to cover more attractions!
     Really thankful for the sunny weather!
    Our first stop is... Louvre Museum! And... It's famous for the Mona Lisa painting! We went there on a Saturday and the crowd is... OMGGG~!!! They also placed a wooden barricade to prevent tourists from getting to close to the painting. My friends, however, who went on a weekday could go very close to it as there was very lil people in the museum. 

    This is one of the attractions where the Paris Pass REALLY comes in handy. To beat the long queues, we just showed our Paris Pass and the security ushered us to an empty line where we strutted in like a boss! Travel tip:  When you enter the Louvre there will be people pushing roses to you, selling trinkets or asking for your signatures, just avoid them at all costs. In fact these people appear throughout France, so just be wary wherever you go!

    The next stop is the Notre Dame Cathedral. Famous... because of the cartoon I suppose? Haha. I don't know, I'm someone really poor with history. The structures were very nice though! There was a very very long queue to enter the higher floors of the cathedral and our Paris Pass did not allow us to gain priority access, so we didn't go for it. 

    Whilst the upper floors didn't have priority access through the Pass, the Paris Pass still includes Notre Dame as one of the attractions which you can enter. (I might sound like a salesman, but hey, good stuff are worth sharing). As we aren't well versed in history or the arts, we can't tell you anything about the history. But something definitely resonates with the visitor when visiting such wonderful monuments. Oh, and the gargoyles aren't that scary at all, for me that is.
    Settled for lunch near the cathedral. It was nice sitting by the window as we could people watch while we waited for our food. It's a great feeling when you can slow down your pace, and just enjoy a cup of coffee. Kerwyn & I never ever did so in Singapore, did you?
    It's definitely a change of pace in another country. Keep your phones, save for taking pictures. Don't check for wifi, don't check your emails, relax, enjoy. Bask in the atmosphere of watching crowds passing by. You'll  have a great time!

    After lunch, we set off for The Orsay - originally a train station in 1900s, it became an art museum as the name suggests, Musee D'Orsay, due to the fact its short platforms couldn't accommodate the newer, longer trains.
    We didn't know what to look out for, and Kerwyn managed to spot something I wouldn't have realized. That there was a mini exhibit for Van Gogh's pieces and he excitedly went to check it out.

    Right - Starry Night Over the Rhone

    I am no art student and all I can remember about Van Gogh was he died from a gun shot wound to his head and 2 of his pieces - Starry Night and Sunflowers. Unfortunately there was only the other Starry Night, painted in 1888, that is Starry Night Over the Rhone. Nevertheless, it was an interesting experience, stepping into an art exhibit which I would probably never do back in Singapore.  

    The 4th stop is the Palais Garnier, also known as the Opera de Paris. It's an Opera House which has a tour included from the Paris Pass. Be sure to check your guide book and arrange a suitable timing as they would not allow an Paris Pass entries once the tour is over! As for us, we paid student rates to get in since we were already there, even though we missed the tour.

    Outside the Palais Garnier!
    Since its winter, night time sets in earlier. Enjoyed the lightings as we chose to set on the upper deck of the tour bus. It would get pretty cold in winter, so if you're up for it, go ahead, but do make sure your ears and face is covered from the biting winds!
    We have finally come to the last stop of our tour - Arc De Triomphe! This is another iconic spot in Paris which is near a very busy street where you can do lots of high-end shopping.
    Once again, because it's a weekend, the queue to enter the building was really really long. However, our paris pass allows us to gain priority access. It feels SUPER GOOD when you just show a card and off you go. Something which caught us by surprise was... the entrance to the building where we showed the card, was the starting point of the LONG AND SPIRAL STAIRS!!! 
    There's no resting point, so its non-stop climbing of 284 steps!!!
    It was definitely worth climbing though, the view was spectacular but it was freezing~!! 

    Arc De Triomphe, commissioned by Napoleon, stands at the center of twelve radiating avenues which is lighted brilliantly at night. Going up to the top is a definite must as the view it commands is unparalleled even though it is not the tallest structure in Paris. As Sheena mentioned, do remember to use your Paris Pass to skip the long queues! The bus stop from Les Cars Rouge stops opposite the Arc, so you would have to go into an underpass in order to reach the Arc. It was at this underpass though, that I saw someone bend suspiciously near Kerwyn's backpack. When I turned to look, he stiffened back into a normal walking posture. Close shave! Even though there was nothing valuable in Kerwyn's backpack..

    The final stop was the Trocadero. Unfortunately it was raining by the time we reached this attraction so we didn't spend much time. Besides, as night has fallen it wasn't really easy to appreciate the architecture there. However, the view from Trocadero of the Eiffel tower and Champ De Mars is absolutely amazing. Which of course, calls for a self shot like above!

    After a hasty picture taking session, we hurried back to some place near our hotel where we had dinner at Pizza Iolanda. Unfortunately we were famished and really freezing so we didn't manage to take pictures! Nevertheless, the link brings you to some reviews about the place, which offered decent Italian fare. We also had a nice bit of chatter with an Indian man who was on vacation. Through the conversation it suddenly occurred to me that not many people know about Singapore, but I was still proud of our tiny red dot =D

     So with that, we finished our short but fruitful tour of Paris. We wished it could have been longer as many of the attractions had much to offer. We also told ourselves that we would do much more research about the attractions in order to appreciate them better! 

    While some visitors have complained about acts of racism, we were very lucky to have not encountered such episodes. For us, we greeted the locals with French and in return they treated us quite nicely. So when in Rome, or Paris, do as the Romans or Parisians do and you'll be fine, just bask in the sights and sounds of the City of Light.

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