November 8, 2012

A day in Paris

We are not planning a honeymoon. Every day is a honeymoon - I've married the best man in the world  - Amy Winehouse -

We arrived in Paris early in the morning and paid an exorbitant price for a taxi not knowing that it was rush hour. We both sat in the taxi and watch the meter climb higher and higher. When we arrived, we painfully paid 76 euros. Lesson learned, don't take taxi during rush hour :p

Since we arrived too early and the room wasn't ready, we dropped our bags and walked down to Madeleine for some breakfast. Cafe Madeleine was recommended by the hotel staff for having the best croissant. Croissant was light and fluffy but we tasted better the days after. 

After breakfast, we headed towards Rue Royale passing by Eglise de la Madeleine, modelled after the Parthenon as a monument to Napoleon's army. 

Some interesting window display along Place de la Madeleine. 

Rue Royale, looking all royal-ly and grand. It was home to a number of expensive watch brands and quiet buildings. 

Arrived at Place de la Concorde a place where many people died during the revolution. More pictures and stories the next day :)

Following the map, we headed up the famous Champs-Elysees, passing by gorgeous trees and a flower garden. 

The history behind Champs-Elysees is that it was a popular rallying point at times of national crisis and where members of 'haute bourgeoisie' built mansions for themselves. Now, its home to fast food outlets and chain stores. We did enjoy walking down the broad, tree-lined avenue and just strolling passed the stores and restaurants. 

We took a detour along Avenue des Champs-Elysees and stopped to gaze at the Grand Palais and Petit Palais. 

Grand Palais, a beautiful Neoclassical building is a huge exhibition space.

The eastern wing houses the Palais la Decouverte - Paris's original science museum. 

Petit Palais, hardly small or petit, houses the Musee des Beaux Arts. Very grand and the entrance is really beautiful with gold wrought-iron. We didn't go in for either one as we wanted to just get a feel of Paris. 

Walking up Champs-Elysees, we spotted tiny fashionable restaurants and huge modern mega stores. 

At the end of Avenue des Champs-Elysees, sits the imposing Arc de Triomphe. When I saw it, my thoughts were, its just like the movies :p 

We decided to head back to the hotel via the Boulevard Haussmann, which gave us a feel of Paris - with its buildings and dressed up people rushing passed, cold wine blowing and quiet walkways. 

After checking in and resting, we headed out again. This time, up north east towards the Opera Garnier. 

We sat on the steps and people watch. The guy playing the piano reminded me of Bruno Mars, not for his looks (he has brown hair) but for his effort in carrying the piano out into the square and playing music. 

Some weird looking lamp posts of scantily dressed woman, tied to a pole, holding the lamp; just outside Opera Garnier. 

Walked into Apple Store, a must in almost every country we visit :)

Finally, the well-known Galeries Lafayette. Impressive display and products but since most were to highly priced, we just wander around, window shopping. 

But I did love the gorgeous 1900 dome. So absolutely beautiful. 

Later after catching a quick dinner, we walked towards the Lourve, just to catch a view of the glass pyramid at night. It was cold and windy. As we stolled along the riverbanks of the River Seine, back towards the hotel, we did what every people in love would do, hold hands and huddle together. So mushy right?!!

I love Paris already.

What an end to a great day!

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