I just feel so damn busy recently :(. Work has been a massive time sink. My busy period will not end until after August. And it starts in June, every year! Period. Now, I am trying to get better control of my crazy work life, because, well, at some point, I don’t want to be working 12+ hours everyday. Hari ni sepatutnya kena datang office, tapi pergi melencong tempat lain. I just need my body and mind to be restored kot.
Ok now let’s go to Paree! Jom!
With our bags safely in our hotel room and no longer on our backs, we decided to head to the city. And it was around 12.00pm kot masa tu. Dalam itinerary, things to do today is to join 3.5 hours free walking tour and it starts at 1.00pm. So kat dalam metro (subway), my friends tanya kita nak stop kat metro station mana. And I was like OMG, kat metro station mana ya nak stop. I have everything listed down actually. Contohnya macam kalau nak pergi Eiffel Tower, apa closest metro station yang kena stop. Sebab semua benda tu memang boleh tanya uncle Google from internet kan. Hehe. Tapi, untuk yang nak join free walking tour ni, I totally forgot where the meeting point is! Boleh tak camtu. Itulah dia. Nak dijadikan cerita kan. Tapi I tak bagitahu my friends yang I lupa meeting point. Hehehe.
So I told them, jom pergi Notre Dame. Situ meeting point. Hahaha. Yakin sangat kau kan. Sebabnya I ingat first tempat yang dia akan cover dalam walking tour tu adalah Notre Dame! So might probably situ la meeting point dia kot.
NOTRE DAME : The closest metro station is St. Michel Notre Dame
So from St. Michel Metro Station tadi tu, mula la balik ringankan mulut and tanya direction, bonjour, excuse moi excuse moi. Serious itu je la yang tahu, lepas excuse moi, terus cakap English katanya! Hahaha. Most of the locals, they all layankan je walaupun cakap English. Ada yang cakap macam ayam dengan itik, ada yang macam ayam dengan ayam. Tak kesahla, janji tak sesat. Sebab we must be there before 1.00pm.
But then, Paris is full of art galleries and museum. To some, the thought of spending days exploring the masterpieces and history of these places is very appealing, but to others, the whole concept is overrated and downright boring. So should we join the crowd and queue? Haha no, thank you. Kejar masa ni. Tapi sempat jugak bergambar kat sini, walaupun kau tak tahu ni building apa kan. Lupa pulak nak tengok apa nama building ni.
So on the way to Notre Dame, again there are so many things to see. Ada Seine River. But then ni nanti cerita sebab Seine River ni the guide explain everything masa walking tour.
Plan B, tukar itinerary the next day bawak pergi hari ni and we will be joining the walking tour, tomorrow. I have to check again where the meeting point is balik hotel nanti. Free wifi katanya.
So sebab dah jadi macam ni, we decided to just wander around, soaking in some sun and hoping to get ourselves on Paris time. Cantik kan Notre Dame Cathedral ni. It is so freaking famous and historic and most important, it is already been written about a zillion times.
“Notre Dame de Paris (French for Our Lady of Paris), is a Gothic, Roman Catholic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France." Haha, I totally just stole that from Wikipedia.
Orang ramai tengah beratur nak masuk. Kalau ada paris museum pass tu, you can bypass the line. Tapi since we all tak ada, tengok je la kan. Hehe. Nak masuk cathedral main hall, free. Nak naik tower dia, kena bayar rasanya. Masuk tempat-tempat macam ni, I can just go in kalau free je kot. Hehe.
The place is really stunning, and while you're taking in the sort of big-picture, overall ambience of the place, there are a few neat details that are worth checking out. One of my very favorite details of Notre Dame is out on the front facade of the building. Cantik.
When you're in the place out front of Notre Dame ataupun mana-manalah kat semua tourist spot in Paris, beware of this common but relatively harmless scam. Someone, often behind you, will ask you if you speak English. You'll helpfully say, "Why yes!" eager to be of help to someone who's speaking the language that you understand. You'll turn and see a young woman with a sign in English recounting a (fake) sob story and asking for money. These women usually aren't very aggressive (and they usually can't really speak English), but it can be annoying to be put on the spot like that repeatedly and have to say no a few times to get them to go away, repeat every twenty feet or so. I've gotten myself into the habit of just saying "No" whenever I'm in a touristy area and someone asks me if I speak English (this happens a lot at the Eiffel Tower too).
So, nak lunch kat mana? We decided to go to the Grande Mosquée de Paree (Grand Mosque of Paris) untuk lunch and solat.
GRAND MOSQUE OF PARIS : The closest metro station is Censier Daubenton
If I still remember correctly, nak pergi Grand Mosque ni tak susah, keluar je metro station, cross the road, then jalan sikit dalam 5 minutes, sampai la akhirnya. Cuma dia agak tersorok sikit. So, just ask around la kot. Along the way, we all nampak flower shop. Cantik. Wangi. I love the flowery smell. Rasa nak beli bawak balik letak dalam pasu kat bilik. And now suddenly I teringat Cameron Highland! Haha. Hmmm. Well, it was spring season when we were there. Memang banyak sangat fresh flowers ada jual. Geram nengoknya!
So after dah tunggu dalam 30 minutes and tak nampak pun tanda-tanda solat jumaat tu nak habis. Tak tahu la time tu tengah solat or tengah dengar khutbah. Perut pun dah lapar ni. So apa kata kalau pergi makan dulu. Hehehe. Ada lelaki Indonesia tanya;
“Ibu mahu cari makan ya.” And saya bilang, “Iya, di mana ya?” Dia jawab lagi, “Di belakang masjid sana ada, tapi cuma dihidang tea”. Dan saya balas kembali, “ Saya mahu Turkish kebab atau apa-apa sahaja yang kenyang dan halal” Hehehehe. Dan akhirnya terjadi la sesat barat cari restaurant! Lelaki Indonesia itu bilang jalan dikit aja nanti jumpa! Dikit la sangat kan. Macam nak pengsan! Hahaha. Ataupun mungkin sebenarnya dikit aja jalannya tapi saya yang ga jumpa? Hahahah. Ok ni dah kenapa cakap Indonesia pulak? Tsk tsk tsk.
After dah kenyang, we went back to the mosque. Time to solat la pulak sekarang ni kan. And memang dah tak ada orang time tu. I soon feel at ease and safe. The interiors of the mosque are warm and welcoming. There is a central courtyard done in the Arab style and that is just marvelous.
treats or indulge in the steam bath. Massage treatment is offered as well.
Hmmm, I can still remember the sound of the water droplets. Entahlah tak tahu nak cakap macam mana. For me ketenangan tu memang ada kat sini. Hilang kejap rasa paranoid, rasa takut, rasa uncertain, macam-macam rasa la. The tiled pathways are reminiscent of far-away lands, and everywhere seems to glitter in the sunlight. The architecture is stunning, and intricate detail abounds.
Then lepas dah settle everything, our next stop adalah LA FAYETTE! Hahahaaha. Shopping! Window shopping actually. Gila hari pertama terus nak shopping kan. I need to check something, the price of the handbags. And lepastu baru fikir either nak beli or tak. Haha. Check rega dulu ok. Mahal kalau, memang tak beli la. Sob sob.
LA FAYETTE : The closest metro station is La Fayette
Galeries La Fayette is a very large department store. Tak sempat pun nak round semua. Too big! But it does not look like any department store you have ever seen. It looks more like a magic palace. It is, in fact, a palace of fashion.
Here is the ceiling of the main area and the central atrium, showing all the floors rising up around it. Can you imagine shopping there? Hmmm. Syok kan. Its jeweled dome and dazzling arches are so pretty. To wander amongst such lavish surroundings, I feel so happy. Walaupun tak de la shopping pun. Hehe.
Then, after dah puas cuci mata kat La Fayette, we all ingat nak pergi satu lagi Parisian department store, Printemps.
PRINTEMPS : The closest metro station is Havre Caumartin
Keluar je from Havre Caumartin Metro Station, I cakap kat my friend, “Babe, bukan tu tadi La Fayette ke?” And dia pandang building yang I tunjuk tu and replied “ A’ah la, tu bukan la Fayette ke?” Hahahahahhahaha. Tergelak-gelak dah kat situ sebab rasa macam tak tahu nak cakap apa. Sengal ke? Ataupun bengong ke? Hahaha. Sebenarnya, Printemps ni just next to La Fayette! Lagi cepat kalau jalan kaki from La Fayette daripada kau pergi turun naik metro tu. Kekeke. Takpe, first time katanya. Dimaafkan! Hehe.
Lepas dah rasa tak tahu nak end our day macam mana untuk first day kat Paree ni, I rasa macam tak Paris la kalau tak pergi Eiffel Tower? Hahaha. Gitu. Time tu around 7.30pm dah. Rasa macam nak pergi sangat-sangat tengok Eiffel dan-dan tu jugak. So kat dalam metro station Havre Caumartin ni tadi, masa tengah tunggu train sampai, then suddenly ada orang kena pickpocket! I perasan lelaki yang kena tu, a Chinese guy, bawak berbondong-bondong paper bags LV and Gucci, and tiba-tiba dia menjerit and lari-lari kejar 2 orang teenage girls. Gila tak? Takut. Terus rasa tak selamat dah. Kesian that guy. Sebab duit dia mesti banyak sangat dalam tu by looking at the paper bags kan. One thing I hate about Paris metro, sebab gelap. Tak best. Semua orang pandang macam they want something from us.
EIFFEL TOWER : The closest metro station is Champ de Mars Tour Eiffel
From the metro station, you have to walk a few minutes untuk sampai Eiffel Tower ni. And sebelum sampai tu, we all singgah dekat satu kedai yang jual souvenirs. And that guy yang kerja situ tanya whether ni first time ke datang sini sebab dia kata I nampak excited. Well of course I am! And lepastu dia tanya lagi whether I have a place to stay ke. And I said, yes. And he said, If you don’t have, I can give you key to stay at my place. Time tu memang tak terfikir apa sangat sebab nak pergi tengok Eiffel Tower tu punya pasal kan.
Dah sampai kat Eiffel Tower tu, I memang menjerit! No matter what you read, what you see, there are truly are some places that just have to be experienced :).
Even if you only walk by and don't have time to go to the top, it is worth the trip, to simply experience the sheer magnitude of the tower and many tourists and locals hanging out in the area. I tak naik Eiffel tu sebab I’m afraid of height. Gayat! Even roller coaster pun tak pernah naik ekeke. If you decide to go to the top, plan la dalam 1 to 2 hours. You will probably need it so you don't have to rush and can enjoy the view, plus if it is crowded it takes time to wait for the elevators, especially on the trip down. Truly an extraordinary experience.
Ada yang cakap Paris overrated. But usually an attraction is overrated for a reason. For every person who finds them unsatisfactory, its quite likely there will be another ten who were completely spellbound. There are overrated tourist attractions in every country, but not taking the time to see them leaves your journey to these cities incomplete.
So do the tourist thing, kiss under the Eiffel Tower, if you have your husband / wife with you! Hahahaha Opps. Merepek dah ni. But still, it is ok to enjoy them, even if they are overrated.
Then after dah puas bergambar dengan Eiffel Tower, we all pun dah super penat dah ni. Tak rehat lagi after touch down kan. So we decided to just go back to our hotel. Sebelum balik tu, singgah lagi sekali kat kedai souvenirs tadi, sebab I need to buy fridge magnets (FM) and also the plate. Masa I nak bayar FM tu, that guy tadi boleh cakap, “I know you like it” sambil tersengih macam kerang busuk. Apa yang dia maksudkan pasal like it tu I tak tahu.
Masa dia nak bagi duit balance, I got molested! He touched me on my butt! PERVERT! Boleh carut tak? Arghh geram sangat! Memang tak jadi beli plate dah lepas tu. Tak tahu nak buat apa, I was just looking at him and dia tersengih. So rude. Jerit pun tak apa pun tak. Run out of words. So I terus teringat tadi dia offer bilik dia tu. Sepatutnya jangan datang kedai tu lagi dah. Hmm.