TRAVEL WITH KELLY Misa-Fernandez : Paris, City Of Light and Love
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Exploring the City of Lights, beautiful Paris

Kailangan ng mas maraming oras para makita lahat ng sights ng Paris—siguradong babalik ulit kami dito

We arrived in Paris close to 6:30 PM but we were in stop and go traffic for an hour before reaching our hotel in District 7. Many of us were asleep most of the way because of the food and wine at lunch. 

Paris is sooo big and just like London, half of the pedestrians were mixed ethnicities. Near the hotel were many food outlets and small restaurants, but alas, one in a hundred could understand English. Maraming nag papangap na hindi nakakaintindi. Most menus were posted on the entrance, so one gets an idea of how much the food costs. Lahat presyo hotel sa Manila. It was our luck that the Singaporeans found a Chinese restaurant not far off and there we went, looking for a rice meal. Wang ordered for us and plates of food just kept coming and fried rice!  We hadn’t eaten rice in so long that even Chinese food felt like home. May Pinoy waiters din sila, kaya at home na rin kami.

The following morning, we had a city tour with Josef on our bus. Some chose to wander on their own, but we wanted to get a preview of all the possible sites to see, then come back later to explore.  Many of Paris’ icons were in plain sight, the Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees, Notre Dame, Pont Alexander III (a famous bridge you shouldn’t miss), Pantheon, Les Invalides, Place de la Concorde, Place Royal, and we had to chose our target for exploration the next day. The Louvre was our target and if we still had time, the Catacombes.

Our previous experience of taking the trams in Geneva made us braver to tackle the Paris Metro. So, up by seven, breakfast by 7:30, ready to move by 8 AM, on the metro by 8:15, get off the Louve station by 8:45, get in line for the ticket, by 9:15 we were in. Pagnasubukan mo na ang Metro o Underground, madali na mamasyal sa Paris.

Many of the displays, you may have already seen in art books and magazines, but there are so many others that I was seeing for the first time. After just the first wing, I got a sensory overload. Five more corridors in the ground floor, then there are two more floors up and a basement bursting with artworks over the centuries: Egyptian antiquities, Greek, Roman, Islamic and Middle Age, Renaissance, impressionist Painting Collections, sculptures and objet d’arts.   By ten, the number of people increased significantly. We found a café and took a break with tea and croissants. After 3 hours more of exhibits, we took our lunch at another venue. By four O’clock we were tired and we even by-passed many of the display rooms. The Catacombs requires at least two kilometers of walking and the walk through at the Louvre seemed like ten kilometers. We were ready to call it a day. The following day we would visit the Versailles with the bus and Josef as our guide. Grabe. Nakakapagod ang lakaran sa Paris. Bukas lalakad nanaman kami sa Versailles. Tired but happy.

 Versailles Palace. Isa ito sa paborito kong sights na bisitahin  sa Paris.

It was about 45 minutes drive to Versailles. And I have to say, the Versailles Palace was everything as advertized. It was large, majestic, imperial, historic and beautiful! Chateau de Versailles, The hall of Mirrors, The King’s Grand Apartments and the Imperial Gardens were incomparable to any palace we visited in size and richness. They also have a museum of the History of France.

We said our goodbyes that evening to the wonderful friends we made at this tour as we caught the midnight train to Zurich. We thanked Josef and I asked for his address, he said never mind as he gets hundreds of cards during Christmas and cannot answer any of them. Wang and I exchanged addresses and sent and received Christmas greetings for the next five years.

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