I woke up at about 7:45am and bought myself a Pain Au Chocolat at my local bakery Eric Kayser and started walking to the Rue Cler Neighbourhood. In my opinion, one of the best part of travelling is being taken outside of your comfort zone and trying to learn and speak a foreign language, just to achieve basic day to day activities like buying food.
Although I studied French for 1 year in college, I had forgotten most of what I studied by the time I arrived in Paris. Nevertheless, as the class focused too much on vocabulary I don't think it would have been as much use as if the class focused on learning basic phrases instead.
Reu Cler and Marais Neighbourhood
I have set out the morning to be a chill out day exploring the Reu Cler and Marais Neighbourhood. As I walked around the neighbourhood, I couldn't help but notice that outside cafes, chairs for tables are all organised to be facing the road to allow visitors to people watch while drinking coffee.
Another thing I notice is that supermarkets that sell everything is not common in Paris like it is in my home town Auckland. Instead each street is lined with specialty stores featuring bakeries, butcheries, fruit and vegetable stores etc.
|Reu Cler - people watching seems to be popular in Paris|
|The Army Museum in the Reu Cler Neighbourhood|
|Taking a detour checking out the Army Museum|
|Starting my Marais walk at Place de la Bastille|
|Beautiful square of Place des Vosges|
|Courtyard of Hotel de Sully|
|Lunch at the famous L'As du Fallafel in Marais|
|L'As du Fallafel - Lamb and Turkey Falafel. This is one of the best tasting foods I had in my europe trip|
After finishing off the Falafel, I can honestly say this is one of the best tasting foods I've eaten, and their reputation is certainly well deserved and recommend anyone in the neighbour to try it. Before heading to my next destination, I stopped by Pierre Herme who apparently makes the best macaroons, and got myself dark chocolate and passion fruit flavours to try out (they're very nice but not cheap, so I'm not sure it is something I would have often).
|Dark Chocolate Macaroon and Passion Fruit Macaroon. Yummy!!|
I took the metro from Marais to the Orsay Museum. On arrival I was able to use my museum pass to skip the line. If you bring a bag, you will need to leave it in the bag check area. Personally I found listening to the Rick Steve's mobile app
made the visit to the Orsay Museum very enjoyable as it helped me to understand what I was looking at.
The thing I love about the Orsay Museum is that as you move through each room/exhibit you can clearly see the change in style across different parts of the art history.
|Orsay Museum - I can't believe this used to be a train station|
|Conservative Art - vision of idealized beauty|
|Realism - art depicting the real world as opposed to fantasy world|
|Impressionism - Manet's Luncheon on the Grass|
|Post Impressionism - Vincent Van Gough. Though not a follower of art, this piece of art is probably the only art I was familiar with before entering the museum|
|Clock inside the Orsay Museum|
Having finished the orsay museum earlier than planned and with many museums being closed on Tuesday, I decided to chill out at the Tuileries Garden, draft my trip journal and picnic on hot chocolate and chocolate crepe.
Arc De Triomphe
Close to sunset, I made my way towards the Arc De Triomphe. It is worth noting that the only way to get to the Arc De Triomphe is via the underground tunnel (the road is too busy to cross). Once inside having a museum pass will allow you to skip the ticket line and go straight through to the stairs for the top of the Arc De Triomphe.
|Arc De Triomphe from Champs-Elysees. From this distance you can see the people at the top of the building.|
Once inside I took the stairs to the top of the Arc De Triomphe. The climb itself, I felt was more intimidating than Eiffel Tower as the stairway is very tight and you cannot see your progress. However once you reach the top, you will get amazing 360 views of paris and rivals the views you see from the Eiffel Tower. Watching the skylight change from sunset to night time with the city coming to life is just a brilliant once in a lifetime experience (But the side facing the eiffel tower is the busiest, so get there quickly if you spot some space).
Once I had enough at the Arc De Triomphe, I took the metro back to my hostel.
Check out the rest of my Eurotrip 2015 trip journals below: