It’s been quite some times this one is saved on the draft. It is not a typical clean, straight, and easy to read itinerary. Too wordy. This one is for me to remember.
Why do I put the words on the bracket? Because, the places we chose to visit, when and where also halfly decided according to the baby. We decided to visit some places in the last minutes.
We started wandering from the very first day we set the foot in Paris. We went out twice a day daily. The morning trip was for main attractions while the afternoon one for the ones within walking distance from our appartment, or just short trip by bus.
We had a break during morning and afternoon, resting and lazing around while doing photos posting and also prayed once our jama qashar time had expired on the third day.
We went out around 8.30-9.00 until 13.00 – 14.00, had a break until ashar around 16.00-16.30, then continued wandering until maghrib, around 18.00-18.30. During our stay, daylight saving time, the changing time from autumn to winter happened, so the pray time also became an hour earlier, so was our afternoon trip.
(Half) Day 1 – afternoon trip only
11.30 : arrived at Charles de Gaulle. 14.00 : check-in, cleaning,resting. 15.30 : first wander around neighbourhood and happened to arrive at Sorbonne University. Then, we stopped by at Franprix for small groceries.
9.15 : Monge Mutualité bus stop to Eiffel Tower.
We spent time around park Champ de Mars, the yard in front of Eiffel Tower taking pictures, then crossing the street and found a carousel near Pont d’Iena. Played with Langit for one round, then climbed up to Trocadero.
We proceeded to the unfamous Rue Clér where le husband wanted to see a pop up market and ended up resting in one of the cafe enjoying baguette and hot tea.
14.00 : Back to appartment
16.30 : heading to Pantheon by walk. It was close to closing time and our intention was to buy Museum Pass for visiting Louvre and Versailles on the next following days.
Museum Pass is available in almost all museums and main attractions. It is available based on the days validity, either 2 days, 4 days, or 6 days. We only bought for two days. Honestly, I halfly regreted it. 96 euros for two persons couldn’t be used effectively. I prefered use the rest of it for more food or anything else. Never mind, anyway.
From Pantheon, we were heading home and accidentally found a small book store in a smal alley where we stopped for a while. I found some interesting children pop up books. I adore pop up books and ended up went home with three of them.
We then wandered along Boulevard Saint Germain. Watching people, taking pictures, enjoying the lively Latin Quarter. I am not into crowd, but really, I love Latin Quarter. It was crowdy in a pleasant way, for me. Listening the noise of people talking French, I love that sound!
8.45 : Heading to Jardin Tuilleries and Musée du Louvre
We took a breath and wandered aroun Jardin Tuilleries for a while. Rows of autumn trees with morning sunlight were so amazing. It was quite cold and we had a smokey breath.
We arrived at Louvre and luckily skipped the long line. Not because of we had Museum Pass with us but the baby. We went straight to the middle door while having the people stared at us.
Enjoying Louvre for only two sections. Middle age and Islamic Art. I have never been into any art or museums actually. But, Louvre has quite stunning collections. We also saw the reverse triangle before heading to Printemps.
Done with Louvre, we went out and had a lunch nearby. Then, we crossed the street and waited for the bus to Notre Dame. It took quite a while until the bus came, so Langit and I enjoyed playing on the bridge while watching ferries passed by The Seine. I don’t know why, I love watching Seine. Just stood up and watched felt pretty soothing.
13.00 : Notre Dame
We lined up for this one, but of course the line wasn’t as long as Louvre. Surprisingly, there was no entrance ticket checking although we had the Museum Pass with us.
In Notre Dame, we were just having a round tour. Since I am not going to church, so I didn’t find any particular interest for it. Beside, it was pretty dark inside, so we hadn’t be able to see and actually understand well what had been shown there.
After Notre Dame, we went home by walk.
16.30 : Jardin du Luxembourg
The second Jardin for today. Jardin du Luxembourg is a large and beautiful one. Langit enjoyed playing, running, chasing bird, and she was so eager to jump to the pond where some ducks were enjoying their afternoon. We stayed there until the gate almost closed at 18.00.
8.10 : heading to Chateau de Versailles.
It was Saturday morning and we had planned in advance to go north west to Versailles. Versailles is located outside Paris and we needed to take RER C train to get there. We catched the 8.30 bus from Clunny La Sorbonne metro station.
RER train is above my expectation. I thought it is just like KLIA express. But, it turned out bigger and more spacious. It is a double decker train. For departing trip, we chose the below seats while chosed the upper ones for return. The train was quite empty. The fare is slightly higher than metro. For return tickets, we paid 14 euros for 2 persons.
Versailles is one that I was really eager to visit. I read a lot about it, had it pictured in my head about how beautiful it is. Many forums said although the line would be quite long, it would be worth the time doing it. So, I was so full of hope.
Sadly, it was only one third came true. On that Saturday, it was pretty full. The line was quite tolerable, but not the tourists. Specifically, those pretty loud, annoying large group of tourists from China. There were a lot of them, liked taking selfies in almost every pictures, and really, so unpleasant. I skipped rooms where I saw a bunch of them inside. We went around to the King’s room and the main palace. It was surely beautiful. We skipped the park since the museum pass didn’t include the park. Another 9 euro per person is needed to enter the park. Thank you, 18 euros can be saved for a good lunch.
It was colder in Versailles than Paris. So, we finished the main palace, rested for a moment in one of the benches while sipping hot chocolate and sandwich we brought, then went back to metro station for another RER train riding to Paris.
10.30 : back from Versailles and heading to Centre Pompidou
This one was my husband’s idea knowing our museum pass would be expired this day. I was quite against it since I knew that none of us were really into art, let alone modern art. When we saw the queue, I was getting more uninterested. So, we canceled and just wandered around the area while searching places for lunch. We ended up having an outdoor lunch on.
13.00 : Back to the apartment
16.30 : Shakespeare Company and street musician watching around Notre Dame.
Shakespeare Company had been one of a must visit for me and le husband for a different reason. I am Before trilogy shipper and this book store is the place where Jesse and Celine meet again in Before Sunset. While le husband’s reason is the book store is where Hemingway published his first book.
The book store is very small. There was a short queue in front of its door because the number people inside is being limited. We didn’t line up. Next to the book store, it has the cafe. We planned to sit and enjoy some coffee, but it was full.
So, we walked nearby and decided to enjoy the almost evening in one of the bridge with Notre Dame view, watching street musician, sitting on the bench,eating chocolate, and enjoying the sunny autumn breeze.
Doing merely those simple things, in a place I have been longing for long time, made my heart so full.
18.00 : stopped by at Mason George Larnicol Macarons.
On the way home, we stopped by to buy our first macarons in Paris. We once wanted to buy Ladurée in Versailles. But, it was too expensive and we couldn’t buy it for one or two pieces. We had to buy a pack of eight for 16 euros. Olala, c’etait trop chér pour nous. Two euros for a small macaron, I’d rather go for two pieces of small croissants.
When we passed George Larnicol, it was quite full and the writing on the glass wal said we could buy one or two and it costed only 0,7 euro per piece. Ouiiii, trés bon!! I ended up buying eight and paid 5,6 euros for them. One third from Ladurèe’s. The best part was, they were all good. All flavors were really good. Coffee, chocolate, lemon, and strawberry.
The baby was sleeping when we bought it, then woke up found her parents were munching something and left her behind. We planned to divide the macarons four for each of us. In fact, I ate two, while le husband and the daughter ate three.
08.30 : Heading to Pére Lachaise Cemetry then proceed to Bastille.
Here is where some famous ones like Chopin, Jim Morisson were buried. It is a very large area of cemetry. The ambience was far from creepy and somehow, peaceful. The sound of bird chirping, the sunny autumn breeze were perfect. We took turn to go to certain tomb we would like to visit since the road was not suitable for stroller. The baby was sleeping. I paid my respect to Chopin while le husband paid to both Chopin and Jim Morisson.
Done with the deads, we had a very looonggggg walk to Bastille. It was Sunday, the bus was quite rare. So, le husband suggested that we better took a walk instead of waiting for the bus. What he didn’t tell me it would be a very long and far. I had my face changed from smiley to wrinkled and grumpy. I love walking in Paris. It has no sweat, make us warm, and enjoying the scenery by our own pace. No rush.
BUT, not that far. More, le husband just wanted to see a market. A Sunday market. While I was so impatient to go to… Champ Éllysées.
We didn’t stay for long in Bastille. Bought a croissant and macarons there and the baby rode on a carousel which a failed one. She cried hard once it was running. Surprised because she was there alone, without me or her dad.
11.30 : Heading to Champ Éllysées
It was one of the rare chance if metro riding. It took no line changing from Bastille to Champ Éllysées and quite a lot stops. So, it was worth the hassle climbing up and down the stairs carrying a stroller and a baby.
We arrived at the world most famous shopping avenue and got into a Disney Store to meet my sister’s request. Champ Éllyesées is such an eye candy. Famous brands are on the left and right side. The scent is surely different. But, guess it wasn’t my happy place. Too crowd and stuffy.
We had a lunch at Brioche Dorée after couldn’t stand the queue at McDonald. Honestly, I wasn’t good to have my precious euros spent on McD. Glad we found Brioche Dorée and very very satisfied with everything that we eat. Tuna sandwich, Pizza Poulet Curry, a croissant, and hot chocolate.
We walked along Champ Éllysées until we saw the grandeuse Arc de Triomph, another Paris iconic monument. It was a clear blue sky when we took some pictures of it while waiting for the bus to back home.
That day also daylight saving time happened. The hour becomes an hour late as the result of season transition from autumn to winter. It changes the prayer time too. We rushed to go home thinking zuhur time was almost up. It turned out my watch still showed the old one.
16.15 : Monoprix second visit and shoes searching.
We spent the afternoon trip by walking along Boulevard Saint Germain looking for shoes, for me and some affordable things for the family. We stopped by at Monoprix to buy some food. Entered few shoes store but ended up with nothing. I always buy when it only suits me in everything. Other than that, I skip it.
08.30 : Grande Mosquée de Paris and Jardin des Plantes
The mosque is one of our must visit. It is located in a quiet neighbourhood in 6th arrondisement. When we visited there, we were the only visitor. We did two rakaat prayer there.
Done with the mosque, Jardin des Plantes is only in another turn. I really envy these Parisiens for having lots of beautiful Jardin around their city. Jardin des Plantes, though is not as beautiful as Luxembourg and Tuileries, still, enjoyable. A group of oldies was doing a light exercise there. We strolled around slowly and stopped by the bench, sipping our hot chocolate.
10.00 : Heading to Rue de Commerce
We decided to visit Rue de Commerce in an instant, knowing the nearest metro stasion is the line that took us directly to Rue de Commerce. Such a good coincidence.
Rue de Commerce is located in 15th arrondissement where many small shops are available, which these were more suitable for us than Champ Éllysées. We strolled from one corner to the other, entered almost every shoes stores in the right and left side. Finally, le husband went home with a pair of black suede ankle boots and I brought a man’s leather sling bag for my father with a very decent price with such good quality. My shoes were still not available there.
We didn’t go to any particular places this afternoon. We decided to sit and relax enjoying a crepe in one of an outdoor cafe nearby. Living as Parisiens felt so good.
08.30 : Heading to Galeries Lafayette and Opera
We previously wanted to see Montparnasse Tower. But, after some discussions, we decided to visit Galeries Lafayette and Opera. Galeries Lafayette is a large Department Store located in 9 arrondissement. It wasn’t opened when we arrive there and it was quite unbelievable that people were queuing in EACH of its entrance waiting for the door to be opened. Most of them were Chinese mainland tourists. It was so packed.
I decided to cross the street and looked for the shoes in a less crowded store. Then, after days of searching, it was over. I found mine on the strees across Galeries Lafayette. Done with my shoes, we still went inside the department store to look what it is like.
The famous expensive brands were all there. Another queue happened in the famous Louis Vitton store. It was enjoyable sight seeing, watching people patiently lined up just to buy things with the famous brand. No, it’s not cynical at all. For me, it was something pleasant to see since I guess I would never do such thing even if I had the ability to buy it one day. But then, who knows?;)
We decided to have lunch at the restaurant next to our apartment for our last lunch in Paris. This restaurant was almost always full whenever we passed by. We had a very delicious Chicken Basque with a very big portion there.
I had a solo walk for the afternoon trip to the souvenirs shops near Notre Dame while the baby and le husband were spending time in the park nearby. I followed them to the park when I was done.
Walking alone on the last evening in this beautiful city felt quite sentimental. It had been a very great pleasure to be there. Staying in one of the most lively yet less touristy boulevard, in a nice small apartment that we loved so much, were beyond what we expected to have.
When others say Parisiens are not friendly, we had been met with those friendly ones. Wherever we went, whatever we asked, we had met the nice ones. Really.
I wonder if my mum could see how happy I had been for those past 7 days from up there. My heart felt like bursting out of happiness.
Those twenty something years of waiting to set my foot in this city was truly paid off beyond my best expectation.
After all, dreams are meant to be executed. The feeling of having all three big dreams executed very well is incredible.
I think I can live and survive any hardships in the future by remembering these great journeys for the rest of my life.
Master degree abroad 2012 : checked.
Hajj 2012 : checked.
Paris 2016 : checked.
Paulo Coelheo, The Alchemist.
Thank you for your great conspirations, Universe.