Europe 2016 ~ Day 2: The Louvre & Galeries Lafayette

Amazing day touring Paris, France 😀

Day 2:  Paris, France.

Paris is so beautiful and I got to see it today! 😀

Morning call was at 6:30 a.m. and breakfast in the hotel was at 7 a.m.  It was quite early and I spent a chunk of my night trying to get my laptop to cooperate with me to upload my photos..  Nevertheless, the continental breakfast for our tour group was actually less than spectacular.  In comparison to bigger hotels which have a host of hot foods, there were only baguettes and butter, three types of cereal, milk, coffee, hot water, and pre-arranged plates of a croissant (or chocolate croissant), a slice of ham, and a packet of honey or strawberry jam.  What an interesting breakfast!  It was also a really small dining room.

 bread, ham, croissant, cheese breakfast

A most simple breakfast in the early morn

Despite the look, food was still food.  By 8 a.m., we were off in our small tour group of 11 people in our spacious tour bus (fit for 50+ people) and on our way to the Louvre !!!

On the bus ride there of two hours or so, I was so tired and slept the whole way through.

 hand holding Louvre tickets

Our Louvre tickets!! Excitement building on the way there already

 Place de la Concorde

Wow! What a view from the bus already! We would be seeing this in person on the last two days of the trip

When I woke up, I saw these magnificent historical sculptures and monuments!  It was so gorgeous.  We were just minutes away from the Louvre too.  Ahhh!! ❤

Sunlight shining at the glass pyramid Louvre

My first view of the glass pyramid at the Louvre ❤

We were let off the bus and entered the Louvre from the underground parking lot.  When we emerged and walked towards the entrance, I saw the famed upside down pyramid.  Ahhh!!!!  How beautiful it looked with the morning Paris sun streaming down its crystals too.  Beautiful!

We already bought tickets to enter the Louvre (15€ each) and line up to get inside.  Meanwhile, I took some many pictures with the pyramid first. 🙂

 line-up at the Louvre entrance

Lining up to get into the Louvre. There was a quick security check too

 stenoodie Louvre

Taking photos with the glass pyramid while we waited in line

 Glass pyramid Louvre

What a beauty!

 stenoodie

Selfie with the pyramid

Inside the Louvre, there were a lot of other tourists too.  We were taught to be careful of our personal belongings since there were a lot of pick-pocketers in Paris — especially expert sneaky ones too.

 glass pyramid inside Louvre

Looking up at the glass pyramid inside the Louvre

 Stenoodie selfie

First selfie inside the actual museum! 😀

 Hallway in Louvre

Long hallway with lots of artwork (and lots of people). On our way to find Mona Lisa!

 directions to Mona Lisa

The excitement upon seeing this sign!! This way!

We walked through the large museum of art and history and saw the Winged Angel, Mona Lisa, and Milo of Venus.  So awesome!! 🙂

 room where Mona Lisa painting is kept

Wow! Everyone in here to see the famous Mona Lisa

 Mona Lisa painting behind glass

I had already heard about this famous painting being smaller than expected, so I was well prepared to see it

 Louvre collage

Artwork on the ceiling and artwork throughout the museum

 Louvre collage

So many sculptures and artwork with so much history!

 Hallway in the Louvre

Beautiful hallway with artwork above and all around

 Louvre

Not sure what this was…

Even though we were allowed to take pictures, I didn’t take that many and only took a few with myself in it.

jambon and emmental baguette

Jambon and emmental baguette from Café de la Pyramide

After a while, I grew tired of walking and we went up to the Café de la Pyramide to grab something to eat (felt hungry).  My mom and I shared a jambon and emmental baguette.  It was pretty good especially because I was hungry and the baguette wasn’t as hard as the one we had yesterday at Pomme de Pain.

After that, we met up again with our friends at 12:30 p.m. to go outside together to take pictures.

atrium at the Louvre

A shot of the atrium at the Louvre. (“Man mountain man sea”)

 glass pyramid Louvre

One more shot of the gorgeous glass pyramid which reflected the blue sky and clouds before we went outside

 scene at the Louvre

It was the best day to discover Paris

 Louvre landscape

Bonjour!

 Pyramid of the Louvre

Pyramid of the Louvre

 Stenoodie Louvre

Posing

Oh my, Paris is beautiful!  The surrounding buildings and monuments near the Louvre were breathtaking.  We took many pictures here and had a lot of fun balancing on the provided blocks to try to take creative pictures with the tip of the Louvre too. 🙂

 Louvre outside

It was picture perfect!

 Stenoodie Louvre

Touching the tip!

a small-scale Arc de Tromphie, it looks like

We went back on the bus at 1:30 p.m. and we went to Galeries Lafayette for an afternoon of shopping and sightseeing.  We had until 6:45pm of freestyle time.

First, we had lunch with the others at Délice House, a pho restaurant.  I laughed to myself that we ate at a pho place in Paris, France, but when you travel with those who prefer rice and noodles over sandwiches and cold cuts, it’s hard to have others deviate from their comfort zone even though we were travelling.  (I was fine with this and it was cool to try pho in Paris regardless.)

The rare beef pho at Délice House was decent.  The pho rice noodles were firm and wide and the beef balls were good.  The raw beef was a little overcooked though.  For 1.50€ more, we added a dessert, tri-coloured jelly to our pho.  I actually really enjoyed this!!  It was refreshing and tasty. 🙂  (You can read the review of Délice House here.)

 Inside Galeries Lafayette

Inside Galeries Lafayette

After the quick lunch (I didn’t eat that much since I had had the baguette sandwich earlier), we browsed around the Galeries Lafayette.  Lafayette is a brand well known for their ladies and men fashion and sells household brands too like Chanel, LV, and more.

I am not a big shopper and could care less about brand names.  Instead, I wanted to scope out the food!

 gigantic bouquet of flowers in a glass vase

Gigantic and gorgeous plant in a glass vase

Café Pouchkine pastry collage

Drooling over the pastries and macarons at Café Pouchkine

 Primtemps rabbit and mannequin

Primtemps

It turned out that the maracon shop that I wanted to go to had a pop-up shop right inside of Lafayette.  Thus, I had to try it out!  The little pop-up shop was rather disappointing to be honest but still a Ladurée shop no less.

We ended up getting four macarons: Salted Caramel, Raspberry, Pistachio, and Rose Petal (what the girl at the counter recommended me to get since their Chocolate had sold out already).

We bought these and took them outside to some benches to enjoy.  I wish the shop had some tables for us to enjoy indoors…  I would have taken a lot more macaron photos too.

The maracons were delicious!!  So crunchy in the shell but soft where the middle was. The Salted Caramel was delicious and the pistachio tasted like the real thing.  In fact, all of them did.  The raspberry had small raspberry seeds in its centre too.  The Rose Petal tasted fragrant and delicate.  (You can read a more thorough review of Ladurée here.)

After this, we browsed the local grocery mart (always a pleasure to visit) and then hopped into Le Mondial for some escargots and pâté.

These were just appetizers we shared so it wasn’t too pricey.  However, the water I asked for turned out to cost 4.10€!!!  Big mistake.  If you ever dine out in European restaurants, it’s best to ask only for tap water.  Sigh.

Our entrées didn’t take too long to arrive.  The escargots came in six (or twelve) and resembled so much like the frozen ones we used to buy from Loblaws.  However, these tasted much fresher and were fairly cheap for 7€ for the plate.

The country pâté was impressive and even my mom loved it haha.  A basket of baguette came with it too!  The baguette tasted characteristically hard but the delicious pâté still brought so much flavour with it and was so delicious.

I’m so glad that we stopped by this restaurant to get a taste of what Paris had to offer (no matter how touristy the place was since their menu was available in multiple languages).  (You can read my review of Le Mondial here.)

 Summer Break event at Galeries Lafayette collage

All the freebies and food at the Summer Break event! There was so much food and drinks!!

 Server holding plate of burgers

Burgers being snatched by hungry shoppers just as they came out. There was nothing left on that plate after 10 seconds!

 Stenoodie indulging

Macarons, sweets, cocktails, champagne in Paris, France!

After that, we met up with our friends again at 5:30 p.m. for our actual dinner.  However, they informed us that there was some sort of summer party going on where they were giving out free snacks and drinks.  They had filled up on the food that they didn’t even need to eat dinner anymore either!  Wow.

They brought us over to the hommes part of Lafayette and indeed the party was jumping.  There was loud party music, girls on rollerskates handing out cookies and chips, counters for champagne or custom cocktails, and various booths for sneaker cleaning, ice cream rolls, burgers, and more!  It was crazy!!

 Fried ice cream stand

These gentlemen were responsible for making rolled up ice cream!

I lined up for the roll-up ice cream and got my share with 5 minutes to spare.  It took up to 30 minutes to wait in line for it since each cup took around a minute to make.  It turned out to be ice cream that they were manipulating on a cold surface made with strawberry, chocolate, vanilla, pear, mango sauce.  It was garnished with your choice of raspberries, nuts, or almonds.  So cool!!

 How to stir fry ice cream

Lining up for these amazing ice cream desserts!

 ice cream rolls

Ta-da! Mango and strawberry and also chocolate infused stir-fried ice cream or ice cream rolls with fruit and nuts

We dashed back to our meetup point with our tour group (had to wait for a lost tour mate) and headed back ‘home’ towards Comfort Hotel.  What a great day it was to see the Louvre and explore Paris more!!  I actually can’t believe it’s only the second day.  I feel like we did and saw so much already!

 Galeries Lafayette street scene

It was starting to rain just as we were leaving Galeries Lafayette to return to the hotel

Tomorrow, we leave Paris and head towards Luxembourg.  *Feeling grateful*.  Thank you!

Click here to view Day 1 of the Europe 2016 trip!

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About stenoodie

I'm a stenographer, foodie, avid traveller, and a really silly person if you get to know me well enough. =)
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12 Responses to Europe 2016 ~ Day 2: The Louvre & Galeries Lafayette

  1. quarksire says:

    such awesomenessssssss!!!!!! 🙂

    • stenoodie says:

      Thank you! 🙂 Have you been to Paris before?

      • quarksire says:

        no , an prolly will nevr get the opportunity, so seeing pics like urs etc etc, is closest i will prolly get, will prolly end up staying in colorado for the rest of my life now unless another miracle happens, ya never know, u are so blessed to travel , is very cool 🙂 “2 kewl fer Skewl” in mikeys bewk of life 🙂 although i have traveled most of the usa an mexico, an been to peru , but paris nope, not unless a miracle, have a splendid’ adventure 🙂 an keep on keepin on 🙂 Namaste’ 2 u frum Q

      • stenoodie says:

        Aw, thanks for the nice words, Q. You never know what could happen in life! I hope you get the opportunity to travel lots and to the places that you want to. Having travelled to most of USA, Mexico, and Peru are already really nice travel destinations too! 🙂 I’ve never been to Colorado before!

      • quarksire says:

        picked me up a motorhome so i can travel round this state a bit because it is incredibly beautiful in the mountains, thanks fer chattin back an be safe,,,Enjoy ur selves 🙂 Q

      • stenoodie says:

        Thank you, Q! Wow, a motorhome must be nice and so convenient to travel with! 🙂 That’s amazing to live in the mountains!!

      • quarksire says:

        yeah an gas is only 2 bucks a gallon now so i shall try to get a trip in this summer an fall i do so believe, take my ultralight an go fly at some state park somewhere not sure where but will see as time progresses fer dis disabled guy lol 58 is great though an will live it up while i can take care an enjoy the heck outa paris 🙂 have some rattatoulie lol an enjoy da louvre er howeva ya spell it..so far, closest i’ve ever got is watching the da vinci code lol…. peace out 🙂

  2. gchan7127 says:

    Paris looks so beautiful!

  3. Pingback: Europe 2016 ~ Day 9: Flying home | stenoodie

  4. Jena says:

    Oh my, now I’m missing Paris! Been there twice, 7 days last year and I still can’t get enough of it, both times I went to The Louvre and Galleries Lafayette, too. There’s just so much to see!

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