It is so quiet in the office! Almost everyone on my floor has extended their CNY leave. Not that I'm complaining, though! *cheeky grin* I especially appreciate quiet times like these. I can review work documents with few interruptions, and of course, update this blog! So why not spend this time to recap our 10th Anniversary Europe honeymoon?
To kick off my recap, I'll start with our first day in Paris. (I'll save the new handbag for a separate post.) We had just landed the day before via Emirates. I made sure I didn't sleep on both flights coming in, therefore by the time we got to the hotel I was already swaying in extreme fatigue. (I think I even managed a short doze in the RER train.) But by doing so, I got over my jet lag in no time; waking up the next morning as per European time. We didn't have much on our itinerary that day as we were going to board a train to Swiss that night. Hence we took our own sweet time and visited Musee du Lourve, Pon des Arts and last but certainly not least, 31 Rue Cambon! (We saved Eiffel Tower for our trip back home via Paris.)
We kicked off our morning with a 'home' cooked meal of white rice and Adabi chicken curry plus some serunding bilis. Did I tell you that my mini rice cooker has been with me since my Sakhalin days (10 years ago) and has traveled the world? This time around was no different. No need to worry about looking for breakfast in a foreign country. After a very satisfying meal, we repacked our bags, left it at the hotel and took a train to the Lourve. We stayed at Mercure Paris Gare De Lyon, hence transportation was just a stone's throw away at the Gare De Lyon station.
|Musee de Lourve.|
Due to the recent Nov 2015 bombings (just two weeks prior to our arrival!!!), I could see that Paris suffered a considerable tourist slump. Although we didn't have much problems going through immigration (the perks from flying Emirates - plenty of other folks who looked more suspicious than us!), the streets of downtown Paris were significantly empty. There was an obvious genuine concern for public safety; army personnel clad in green uniforms with their finger on the trigger of their machine guns were a common sight at all train stations and tourist sites. I was so used to Paris being loud and chaotic. Hence the quiet streets of Paris felt.... different.
|Love the weather!|
|Gambar wajib! They even erected stands all around the compound for this purpose!|
|Inside the Lourve museum. Even the ceilings are beautiful!|
Musee du Lourve has certainly changed since the last time I was there. Well either that, or I didn't know how to appreciate the place when I was younger. Back then, Mona Lisa was just another smiling portrait. This time around, I took in everything as if it was my first time. It was a shame that the art pieces didn't have English translations, other than a select few. Since we didn't have time to see everything, we prioritized our walk based on the key art pieces. Our first priority was the Mona Lisa. Surprisingly, the queue to view the masterpiece was short. We even managed a few well angled selfies with the famous smiling lady.
|Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. Painted between 1503-1506, it has been on display in the Lourve Museum since 1797!|
|Selfie with the famous lady.|
Next on Hubby's list was Venus de Milo. Discovered in April 1820 on the island of Melos in Greece, this statue is believed to depict Aphrodite, goddess of Love, known to the Romans as Venus. This masterpiece of Greek marble sculpture, whose sculptor is unknown, is dated from about 120 BC.
|We were not allowed to use our selfie stick/tripod in the museum, hence the close up selfies!|
|The statue was created using two blocks of sculpted separately; the legs draped to the hips and the nude bust to the head.|
|Next up, a sculpture by Italian Renaissance artist Michelangelo; Captif or also known as the Dying Slave. Created between 1513-1516, made from marble 2.15 meters in height.|
Musee du Lourve also has a dedicated wing for the Islamic Arts. We made a point to visit that, although in my opinion I thought they didn't have much to show. We also visited the Egyptian Antiquities section - rows and rows of stone coffins (sarcophagus), mummy portraits and even a temple room.
|Eerie but so interesting.|
|Love this shade of blue!|
|This is one hugeeeeee painting.|
|We couldn't even get it to fit the frame of the camera!|
|The courtyard within the museum.|
After that, we took a stroll along the Lourve compound. It was certainly a beautiful afternoon. Blue skies, nice weather. There were a couple of souvenir merchants touting their wares outside, and Hubby made the mistake of receiving a huge replica of the Eiffel Tower from one of them. But at the end of the day it was quite a good deal so no harm done.
From there, we walked to Pon des Arts. When I was smaller, the Lover's Bridge wasn't in our family's list of things to visit (for obvious reasons). So it was quite a memorable experience for both Hubby and I as it was our first time there together, on our 10th anniversary trip too! Unfortunately, they had taken down the bridge with the locks and replaced them with clear glass panels. But at least they moved the 'love locks' by the road side so you could still admire the sheer number of locks that was hanging off the bridge pieces. Some of it were even attached to the lampposts too!
|Clear glass panels gives you a clear and pretty view of the Seine River.|
The tradition is, you buy a padlock, attach it to the bridge and throw the key into the Seine River.
Naaahhh... we didn't get our own love lock. Hubby said it was a waste of a perfectly good luggage lock. *giggles*
After that, we took a long stroll along the park and headed towards Rue Cambon. By then my feet were aching like mad but I still marched on in determination. Since I promised the handbag story for a separate post, I'll skip it for now. But in a nutshell, I went in with a wadful of cash and came out being broke. Together with my precious package, we took the train back to Gare De Lyon, had a scrumptious meal of fish and chips at the station and walked to the hotel to get our bags. Of course, drama surrounds me at all times; there was a long queue of people waiting to check in so we couldn't get the attention of the receptionist to unlock the luggage room. In the end, I had to apologize profusely to the people in the said queue and asked for the receptionist to prioritize us first, as our train was due to leave in 10 minutes!
|The TGV Lyria. Since we had booked our tickets way earlier, we managed to get a good deal for First Class! We even had our own private conductor cum waiter!|
|Fish and chips at the train station, and another meal on the train.|
We arrived just before midnight at Interlaken West, Switzerland. And that brings us to the end of Day 1. Till the next recap, thanks for reading!