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.
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.
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!! ❤
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. 🙂
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.
We walked through the large museum of art and history and saw the Winged Angel, Mona Lisa, and Milo of Venus. So awesome!! 🙂
Even though we were allowed to take pictures, I didn’t take that many and only took a few with myself in it.
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.
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. 🙂
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.)
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!
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.)
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!!
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!!
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!
Tomorrow, we leave Paris and head towards Luxembourg. *Feeling grateful*. Thank you!
Click here to view Day 1 of the Europe 2016 trip!