Travel Note – 6 August 2012 (Paris Day 1)

I am writing this entry on Wednesday, 8 August.

Today, Monday, the 6th August was one of the highlights in my life. I ticked one of my bucket list items – climbed up the Eiffel tower.

It’s actually hard to choose a highlight because all day from morning to night had been awesome.

Also, I must applaud the husband for choosing the good hotel in a perfect location for us. We are staying at the Warwick hotel Champs Élysées at 5, Rue de Berri, Paris 75008. It is just a 1 minute walk to the Marks&Spencer shop in Champs Élysées and near Lido, Saphora, H&M, Zara, Louis Vuitton and many other lovely shops.

This is what we did on day 1 of 3 days in Paris:

– Pastry for breakfast from Paul in Champs Élysées. They are so yummy!

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It was a nice feeling to eat pastry & sipping coffee on the bench at Champs Élysées while watching people rushing for work.

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– Yesterday, I saw a crazy line up at the Louis Vuitton flag store in Champs Élysées. So today I went early at around 10 am. I was among their first customers so the shop manager quickly assigned me with a lovely & very helpful sales assistant.

Just in case any of you are wondering, she confirmed that Louis Vuitton never has a Sale and there is no factory outlets anywhere in the world. The price of Louis Vuitton products are the same in every store in France.

The LV flag store has 3 levels! I suggest to avoid Sundays because this is the only shop that is open all over Paris so it can get crazy. They have 200 sales assistants sometime when it’s busy. This is amazing because I think they are very expensive.

I bought a mustard wallet & it was beautiful!! The one that I bought was similar with the one in the photo below, it’s just has a zipper instead the button. The price on it was €475 but after paying tax (19.60 %), it became €535 (about A$ 628). I’ll get the tax back in about 6 weeks.

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– This is our second day on hop on hop off open top bus. This bus is much better than the one that we boarded in the USA. There always busses every 5 min or so & we never had to wait for a long time.

– We went to the Eiffel tower. We were confused of the long queues & my smart husband (thank God for him coz there is no way I can work this thing out my self!) saw there was a shortest queue near the Jules Verve restaurant entrance. So it took us around 10 min to queue to walk up the stairs.

The crazy long queue was for the lift access. There was also a medium queue for the stair access. When I say “medium” it may take about 1 hour if not more.

Walking up was not as bad as I thought. On the second floor I queued again for about 1 hour to buy lift access to the top. The view was breathtaking!!

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The photo below shows the ticket queue from the stairs. The short one was the one on the right near the yellow top entrance.

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– Coming down from Eiffel tower was easy & we laid down on the grass under the tower.

There was a group of people protesting about nuclear weapons.

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This is the view of the tower from the grass area:

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– We went to Notre Dame cathedral. There was a queue but moved really quick. Maybe because there were no ticket needed to get in. The cathedral was beautiful !

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Inside the Cathedral:

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– We had dinner in a French restaurant called La Traverne near Notre Dame. There was a street long with all restaurants in rue de la huchette.

The pricing along the restaurants at de la Huchette were really reasonable. For a three course meal costs from €12.50. We had the one that cost € 18.50 pp.

The husband got lucky with his choices but I didn’t.

I had the escargot for entree. It tasted a bit muddy and I can taste the texture of it, which was an experience indeed.

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I had coq-au-vin (chicken marinated with red wine sauce) for main and could n’t even finish it. Too bland for my taste. I asked for chili and they didn’t understand. Luckily someone translated for me & they brought tobasco. Still I couldn’t eat it.

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The husband’s meal were excellent though! He had the most gorgeous fish soup & really nice fish mains.

– We then went to Arc de Triomph. It was just amazing & the view were breathtaking.

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We waited for the Eiffel tower sparky light show at 10 pm. It only lasted for 5 minutes.

But the lights were on all night from twilight ( 9 pm when we were there) onwards.

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My legs were wobbly by then because I had been walking for about 12 hours. I had a great time though🙂

I always feel daggy on vacation. Anyway I was wearing:

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– Sunnies from Charles & Keith
– Necklace from Six in Row (Sydney based jewellery designer )
– Top from Juicy Bear (Melbourne based designer). The best T-shirt ever! Egyptian cotton so comfy!
– Jacket from Zara.
– Tights from Marks & Spencer (got it for € 12). Very comfortable & fit short people well ! It was summer in Paris but winter by Sydney standards & autumn weather like by Canberra standards.
– Flats from Tod’s, Florence, Italy.

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