16 October 2010

The French connection

The best way to explore any new places is by foot. You will see more and get to feel some sense of intimacy with the surrounding. The smell, the taste and the sight are all there for real. That is also, in my opinion the best way of becoming a traveler and not a tourist. That was what exactly I did in Paris. The only caution here is that you need a good pair of walking shoes and your sense of direction, if not GPS-perfect, well... at least the head is well tuned and not to forget also your common sense (for safety reasons).

In my entire life, I think I've never walked so extensively and enthusiastically as in Paris. I've walked and walked until I didn't realize that it was close to midnight and the temperature started to drop bitterly cold. But it did pay off in the end. Apart from my aching feet, I felt satisfied and almost get charmed by this city.

Another wonderful experience while in Paris was a chance to join free tours around the city and the unique thing about this tour was that you get the local - Parisians as your personal guide. You can find their information here, in their website. This slow paced tour was so enjoyable, informative and extraordinaire. I felt as if the guide was my own friend taking me for a joyride around their own backyard and many hidden jewels of Paris. I highly recommend this tour to everybody visiting Paris.





Not visiting Eiffel tower while in Paris is just like having a plate of roti canai without teh tarik. Incomplete. This iconic architecture is really a beauty. When I arrived at the foot of this gigantic structure, there were already a huge crowd and the queue for ticket to the top floor was already very long. Beware of the many 'mat hitam' from Africa that kept pestering visitors for their counterfeit wares. As stated by 3yearshousewife in the previous entry, one has to be very cautious as pickpocket was also notorious in this area. And the 'mat hitam' were quite photo unfriendly. I saw a tourist who unassumingly took a photo of one of those vermins, who was later asked to delete the photo from his camera by one of the mat hitam.

The magnificent view from the second floor of the Eiffel tower was breathtaking and worth the 40 minutes queue. If you look carefully to the horizon, there was hardly any skyscrapers in the city. The third floor (the top of the tower) was closed at the time of the visit.

I waited 4 hours to get this night shot of Eiffel tower. Taking a night shot without the camera best companion- a tripod (plus a cold drizzle and shivering hands), was quite a challenge. This was a view from Palais de Chaillot near Trocadéro .

Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre with its 21 meters high glass pyramid in the courtyard. You don't need the Da Vinci code to enter this building but a few euros will do. The security was quite an issue here and very obvious with the present of armed personnel in the vicinity.


La Colonne Vendôme at Place Vendôme to commemorate the battle of Austerlitz by Napoleon I. The column was made up of 1000 bronze cannon balls (the oxidation was quite clear), shot by the enemy in the battle.


Opposite La Colonne Vendôme and next to the Ministry of Justice is the famous Hôtel Ritz. With the price of a one night stay reaching to up 10,000 euros, this hotel is considered the most expensive hotel in Paris.


Not far from Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre is Opera Garnier (the right building). It is regarded as one of the architectural masterpieces of its time. I was told the front of building (the road) was originally a big swamp. There is an underground lake in the basement . Le Fantôme de l'Opéra probably lurking somewhere in the basement too .

On my way strolling leisurely on the Avenue des Champs Elysees toward Arc de Triomphe, I came across this interesting sight. People queued to enter one of the many high end boutiques as entry is only limited to a certain number at one time.

Engraved on the interior walls of the two lesser arches, on both sides of the main arch, are the 558 names of Napoleon's generals. The ones that are underlined are those who died in battle. There is an admission fee if you want to get to the top of Arc de Triomphe - for another cool view of Paris.

If you feet is getting tired and started to become wibbly wobbly, then a day pass ticket by Paris Metro and RER is another good alternative to explore Paris. With only 8.70 euros, you can hop on and hop off at any place of your interest, for the entire day.

If you like cycling, then the velo or city bike is a good way to get around Paris. You can find this bike stationed on many streets ready for rent.

...or this freaking colorful taxi...you will get romantic musics on board for free...

This college near La Sorbonne (formerly know as Université de Paris) offers free education. You can register here for free provided your permanent address is in that area and you are taking courses that is not offered in any other universities. I am still wondering what courses are that?

My first 2 hours free-walking tour was with Augustine (pink vest). He covered the left bank area. He didn't give us a history lesson, but introduced us to their home city of Paris. This really made my trip to this place so much interesting because of his knowledge and insider's tips. The walks were informative, relaxed, full of humour. Highly commendable.

Regardless of the weather, the free-walking tour local guide will be there for you. That was what happened on this second tour with the charming Pauline (red vest sitting in the middle) on the right bank for a 'landmarks tour'. Even though it was drizzling intermittently that afternoon, I found her waiting on the stair of Opera Garnier patiently for us. I am not sure what got into us with those interesting pose to end the tour, but the acid rain probably has some effect on those peculiar behavior. Great tour. Merci for both of you, Augustine and Pauline.

35 comments:

Sir Pök Déng said...

I wrote a comment at someone's blog regarding relationship issue - where a man fails to win a lady because she has just fell in love with another man.

I said, "a man does not want to fight for a long lost battle".

Somebody named anonymous replied, that I "should fight in other battles".

That made me remind of France. According to history, France has never won any war.

Ironically nowadays, many people think French men are romantic.

mizzyN said...

dr sam, nak alamat. email ti naderiey@gmail.com. tq.

ps:hadiah for the mizzyn melancong quiz.

annfrendly said...

wowww...sekali lagi terpana...
cantik.......cantik sangat.
lawa sungguh gambar yang dr sam ambil.

Dr. Sam...
Mat itam suke sangat buat kacau yer... kat mana2 pun dorang suke buat kacau.. jadi mane2 pun kena hati2 dengan dorang ni..

boleh berbasikal di kota paris.. unik basikalnya.. dan juga taxinya.. sangat menarik..

ramainya kawan2 dr sam kat sana..
besttt la...

zino said...

seronok nya dapat jalan di negara orang.. bila lah nak sampai agaknya hehe

hazeleyed lady said...

DrSam
...as always...Superb!
looking forward for more....hahaha!

see yer later.

Abd Razak said...

Salam Dr Sam..

Suka saya tengok Velotaxi tu..

Take care ye!

DrSam said...

Sir Pok Deng,
you win some, you lose some. That is the rule of the game. Just like one of the renowned Tok Guru once said..."kito lawe tetap lawe..." I am a hudrek perseng agreed :)

mizzyN,
I've just realized I sent the address to the other email address (yahoo) :)

DrSam said...

annfrendly,
nanti boleh plan berhoneymoon dengan Erieq kat sana ann.

Eifell Tower tu dah cantik...tapi kehadiran mat hitam/gagak hitam ni yang buat cacat dan sakit mata memandang. merata dan melata...

saya tak cuba basikal tu takut tercungap-cungap. Depa cakap Paris topography landai...tapi bila saya teropong dari Eifell tu ada juga yang berbukit...semput nanti :)

zino,
kira urusan resmi lah juga tu. Boleh cari alasan kena kuarantin lagi :)

DrSam said...

hazeleyed lady,
Thank you. Got photos and stories will share...

Abd Razak,
Salam sdr. saya tak cuba naik taxi tu, tapi kawan saya naik dan dia seronok benor ronda-ronda Paris.

Faisal Admar said...

i'm not sure whether i could manage to walk all day long purely by my feet.

1. i don't like walking.

2. i don't like running.

3. i don't like wondering.

haha. are they enough excuse for me to avoid walking in people's country?

i was in france but not paris. i went to colmar. i think the people there was pretty crude and rude. i don't know. maybe i met with bad people when i was there.

maybe someday, i will be there =) who knows?

Eddy-Ina said...

Dear Dr Sam, I would like to invite you to my wedding's reception on the 28 November
2010. I'm so sorry for this so called not proper invitation but this is the way I can you. My wedding will be held at Gerik, Perak. - Eddy @ Mohd Zuraidi Ahmad Daud, Alumni WAWASAN.

Eddy-Ina said...

It's me skullsplitter. this is my new company's blog. :)

yohteh said...

...an evening in Paris...

yohteh said...

...in your second last picture, why didn't you do the same (like a couple right infront of you) with the right-most mem in blue... you'd miss that lovely moment, Doc... and that's why I think, the statue keeps smiling to you... hahaha...

sahromnasrudin said...

salam..trima kasih Dr sam sudi berkongsi semua pic yang menarik itu..sekurang2nya, tahulah kami rupa kota paris tue kan heheheh

adiwarnatasya said...

Salam DrSam:)
Cik Adi suka semua pic tu...
Sangat cantik Kota Paris:)
Alangkah bestnya Cik Adi dpt ke sana suatu hari nnt kan...:)

nottingham said...

dr sam,

thank you so much for such informative and superb visual. we will be in paris early next year after turkey. will follow your route for the tour. thanks again.

Mia's Mom said...

Bang! :-D

Taulah tempat buang kuman lagikan dikenang,.... tapi takkan le cerita Paris je Bang! Cerita + gambar2 menarik di Rio De Janeiro tak de ke? Thought jez read 1 entry on Rio. :-(

Afzainizam said...

♥(¯`'•.¸(¯`'•.¸*♥♥*¸.•'´¯)¸.•' ´¯)♥
♥♥(¯`'•.¸(¯`'•.¸**¸.•'´¯)¸.•'´ ¯)♥♥
Salam ramadan Al Mubarak..
buat pembaca blog kami
http://firestartingautomobil.blogspot.com/
http://bukandoktorveterinar.blogspot.com/
(_¸.•'´(_¸.•'´*♥♥♥♥*`'•.¸_)`'• .¸_)
♥(_¸.•'´(_¸.•'´*♥♥*`'•.¸_)`'•. ¸_)♥

Kesempatan ini memohon maaf atas lama tak ziarah blog anda..

wooo tak pernah sampai kat sana dahhhh... tapi pernah mimpi dok francis tu.... ohhh bila lah dapat kesana tuuuuu...

Small Hiker said...

I like. And interesting observations and tips too!

LiNda said...

Salam Dr Sam ..

Interesting !

Mak Su said...

sy agree, kalau nak explore sesuatu tempat, on foot adalah the bestest way of all

DrSam said...

Faisal Admar,
I don't think I could walk all day long too...in our Bolehland. In Paris...yes. The weather was so accommodating.

Eddy-Ina,
Congratulation Eddy! I've just come back from K. Kangsar to see my son. It may be a good excuse to go there again and then proceed to Grik. Thank you very much for your thought.

DrSam said...

yohteh #1,
an evening in Paris :) The blend of Bollywood song and the really bring out the mood (at least for the choreographer) - telleng palle dengor lagu tu...

yohteh #2,
ha...ha...spot on yohteh...if you notice carefully that particular mem had a cello on her back. If I made a move on her, I am afraid that cello will be no longer on her shoulder but on my head...and the statue will laugh even harder at me :)

sahromnasrudin,
salam. pengalaman dikongsi bersama di harap ada munafaat dan faedah diperolehi.

DrSam said...

adiwarnatasya,
cik adi kena rancang berhoneymoon kat sana ni.

nottingham,
Big winter is sale normally held during that time too...boleh shopping sakan gitu. The tour is really worth your time and also tip (app 10 euro). Wish you all the best.

DrSam said...

Mia's mom,
Aiseh sis...tempat buang kuman tu yang banyak kenangan dan banyak berjalan. sebab tu banyak boleh stori mori. Di Rio banyak masa terpengap dalam dewan kongres sampai hampir naik juling mata tengok skrin. Gambar di Rio pun sikit-sikit kat pantai, sikit kat pantai - nanti termuntah pula kih...kih...

Afzainizam,
Kalau storyline dalam mimpi tu agak-agak sipi seperti cerita saya ni kira boleh lah...

Small hiker,
No problem bro.

DrSam said...

Linda,
Salam Linda. Thanks for dropping by.

Mak su,
nasib baik tempat tu dikira landai lah juga. kalau berbukit bukau memang semput kita dibuatnya...

Afida Anuar said...

Ni yg jeles dekat Dr nih....

tp kepingin nk tngok lagi gambar2..kalau ada..ahaa!!

Ida Athanazir said...

so lucky you get to travel.

paris would be nice :) And walking? I love walking, no problem. Though the feet would be killing me seeing the beautiful foreign surroundings are enough to forget my nagging feet.

DrSam said...

Afida Anuar,
Redha je le...kalau dah kepingin memang kena pergi melawat sendiri tempat tu.

Ida Athanazir,
I am sure if you stroll along Champ de elysees the feet wouldn't complain that much...so many high end boutiques and shopping opportunity :)

3yearshousewife said...

Once again beautiful and meaningful pictures.
The walking tour sounds very very interesting. Will try one too next time to Paris. Bilalah gamaknya???

adiwarnatasya said...

Owahhh;
Alangkah bertuahnya dpt honeymoon kat sini:)
*P/S :
Cik Adi nak email DrSam bleh?
Email Cik Adi : art_jue@yahoo.com
Nnt senang nak jemput kenduri kahwin:)
Tq:)

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