|La Tour Eiffel!|
Pre Departure : I live with THE most organized person in the history of mankind. No jokes. Our itinerary was so brilliantly drawn up.. all thanks to him. And the best part was it all went to plan. We researched the net fully.. blogs, tripadvisor ratings, wiki links, iPhone apps which were super useful etc. As expected, K was fully packed 3 weeks in advance while I was still packing 3 minutes before we had to leave to the airport. It helped that K had packed a bag full of general medicines.... thank God for BP tablets ;-)
Sept. 29th : We left to Paris via Frankfurt and the flight was pretty boring. Not a single good movie. Frankfurt airport was the usual - thousands of people running around to catch their transit flights, grumpy immigration officers and sleepy us. The excitement really kicked in when I heard a flight announcement to Charles de Gaulle in French. That's when it hit me that I'm really headed to a place where I've been wanting to go since I was a teen. I stepped foot on CDG and I started clicking random pics, went to get our museum and metro passes at the airport counter and started rattling away in French. Not bad. We took at taxi to our Hotel which was in the Marais area, very neat coz it had 2 metro stations close by. You don't need a cab or bus in Paris, the metro goes just about everywhere! And we got a hang of it in no time. First day we did the Bateaux Mouches ride on the Seine. I was told it's called so because the people and the boats(Bateaux) look like ants(Mouches) from the top of the Eiffel Tower. The ride was nice, it was a cloudy, windy evening... we took nice pictures around the place.
|An evening view of the Seine - Bateau Mouches|
Day 2 : We stepped out around 8ish. We discovered a lovely Croissanterie next to our hotel. We grabbed some freshly baked croissants, chocolate eclairs(which then became a routine each morning!) and set out to see the Notre Dame Cathedral.
|Bright and early next morning|
It was breathtakingly beautiful.
|Inside view of the Notre Dame when the Mass is in progress|
|The cute gargoyles that were all around Notre Dame|
|Napoleon Bonaparte's tomb at "Les Invalides" museum|
|The beautiful view from Montparnasse|
Day 3: Our destination was the Louvre museum. I can see why it's so highly rated.... Fantastic place to spend an entire day. You leave your bags, coat etc at the front desk, grab an audio guide and you embark on a beautiful journey of paintings from different parts of the world.
|The sign says it all!|
|The Mona Lisa|
I particularly loved the one of Napoleon's coronation, the audio guide told me a funny story about how his mother was annoyed that she wasn't invited to be a part of it more so because his wife, Josephine was present!! So finally she was invited and she is depicted with a sullen face in the paining. Cute na? These saas-bahu sagas are world over I suppose! :P Unfortunately, the painting was too huge to be captured on camera. We headed outside, the weather was just perfect. We lazed around a bit by the lovely fountains.
|Outside the Louvre|
We then headed to the Eiffel.This time we were taking the elevator up the Tower. The Eiffel experience is a must do, but just once in your lifetime is alright. Windy and cold, we got up there and felt on top of the world. Had a nice rose wine while I was up there ;-)
Like 2 kids on a picnic, we scampered around the entire park, quickly finished all the rides, there was zilch queuing up since it was a working day and then felt as if the park was too small :-( I especially enjoyed riding the roller coasters(fully American style with hands up in the air only to get yelled at by K) sitting in close proximity to my hubby with the cool wind blowing on my face :-) My most favorite ride was the Space Mountain: Mission 2.. We didn't know where it was headed and totally unexpected thrills!
Day 5: We woke up late and it was a lazy day where we were just going to be strolling to a couple of gardens. The Luxembourg gardens are a MUST SEE!
|Fall colors at the garden|
|Amazing colors captured beautifully by K's new lens|
|I don't get tired of posing :)|
Day 6: Another early start as we had to take the first train out of Paris to Normandy. Took about 2 hours, I just gazed at the beautiful countryside on our way while K snored. We had booked a full day guided tour at Normandy to take us around the D Day landings, explaining the history of it and so forth. Roelle(pronounced "Rule") was fabulous. I must rate him on Trip advisor, haven't got around to doing that. He chatted non stop, K felt he was putting too much mokkai. But in his defense, he was so passionate about the D day history, in fact he left Netherlands and moved to a place like Normandy just to be close to it and started a business out of it.. this was the first one hour of his mokkai talks! We also had a bunch of others in our van, all of them Americans. No offense, but as expected they asked a zillion questions, 50% of which were so lame! :P Until Roelle finally made up rules and said "Wait to ask your questions coz I will be covering them a little later"! The D day history is not something I was too familiar with nor passionate about. But just standing on that Omaha Beach sort of gave me a weird eerie feeling....
|The historic Omaha Beach in Normandy|
|The US Veterans Memorial at Normandy|
Post our picnic lunch, we also visited the "Pointe Du Hoc" which was the second series of attacks by the Allies against the Germans during World War II.
|Pointe du Hoc|
The beach was lovely. The waves were fierce and it felt so poignant knowing that I was standing on historic soil.
I took a shell from there as a souvenir, will definitely share this with my kids and grand kids. Before we knew it the day had come to an end and K and we had a late night train into Paris. So we walked around town, ate yummy apple tart with ice cream in honor of Sneha and Mosh's birthdays!! :D
|Normandy's famous apple tart with cream|
Day 7 : My most anticipated day ever.. We were visiting the Chateau de Versailles!! I've learnt and read and watched and heard so much about the place that I've been dying to visit. And let me tell you, it's worth every single minute we spent there. It's massive, it's beautiful, it's fabulous and it's got so much history!
|Front view of the Versailles Palace|
|Another view of the sprawling lawn|
|Inside the palace|
|A view of the garden on the way to the private estate|
And it's no wonder Mr. Mittal chose this palace for his baby girl's marriage.. Lucky Vanisha!! Very reluctantly, I left the palace. I vowed to go back someday :) We ate at Hard Rock Cafe, Paris that night! Wohoo!!
|The most famous avenue in the world!|
- I've always had an affinity toward this country... more so when I learnt the language really well.
- I love shopping. It seemed like the people(note : both men & women) there are always shopping!!
- I've always had a thing for perfumes and makeup... and needless to say half the good perfumes come from France.
- Cheese..... their French Onion soup had so much cheese, it's not even funny!
- They seem to have a thing for history and in case you didn't know.. I love it too.
Oh so you get the drift right? And I tell you K was German. For sure... Like he loves his automobiles, he can guzzle beers nonstop and he fights with me all the time... German Vs French.. u get it? Iyyo. Ok I'll stop this nonsense. Had a fabulous trip!! This country brings out the romantic in you... whether you are romantic or not! I'm definitely going back there again! Au Revoir Paris.. A bientot! =)
PS Thanks a ton, K for doing everything possible to make this a super comfy trip for us! Muah! =)
|The world's best hubby!! Thanks a ton!|