17 July 2012

CutiCuti: Paris Day 1 - Palace of Versailles / Notre Dame / Seine River Cruise

Yeah akhirnya dapat idea supaya dapat upload gambar super banyak using the broadband. No more super lembab uploading process. Tapi kualiti gambar lari ke laut lah kan...sebab aku resized 2x smaller than the original file. 

So, on my eighth day in Europe...I departed for Paris. Naik Eurostar train, tiket aku beli online a month before the trip. Memang sudah plan macam tu, yang mana boleh beli via online better beli awal. Supaya ndak kelam kelibut allocate duit time di sana. Sudah aku ni selalu bingung mau differentiate duit dorang. Macam orang baru belajar baca Braille ah. Ok sila stop melalut. Isi penting adalah journey kau ke Kota Cinta ya Bie. 

I woke up very early that morning (19/06/12). Sunrise at 3am so ndak lah aku sangsi berjalan to the train station di pagi buta. Syukur, the night before sempat packing ala kadar. Only brought one backpack with me. Left my luggage & other stuffs in a locker at the hostel. It cost me £3/day for a large locker. 

The station is merely 10minutes walking from the hostel I stayed at. Haruslah aku arrived super awal. 
Waited near this gate. Senang kerja bila sudah beli tiket awal. At the gate, scan barcode dekat turnstile.
then to bag scanning for inspection at the Immigration Counter...just like what we have to go through at the airport. 
Every information about the journey is printed on the ticket. Kena make sure time of departure & which coach. Once at the platform, look for ur coach # ON THE FLOOR.  
Jangan sibuk melilau cari signboards ya, memang ndak jumpa. Lucky for me I watched the Running Man (ndak habis lagi sama RM kan); pasal tu aku poyo tahu yang nombor coach di atas lantai BUKAN di signboard macam selalu.

Harus aku hentam tidur the whole journey. Booked seat tepi aisle, no chance aku mau gambar kehijauan pemandangan through the window. Tapi memang view adalah super lawa! Saujana mata memandang. Damai tenangnya hati.
Arrived Gare du Nord half past 9a. Lebih kurang two hours journey from London juga. Read the French handsomely. 
Joined the Hop On Hop Off (HoHo) tour. Yup, tiket ni pun aku beli awal. There are 2 Paris' reliable HoHo that I came to know from the internet & I decided to choose this sebab tour ni include 4 different routes. Kiranya more places I could see & visit.

I also bought a day tour ticket to Versailles through this web. The tour starts at 11a & I should gather with the rest of the tour group by the fountain at Place St. Michel. Alas, due to some miscommunication between me & the staff at the metro counter...I couldn't make it on time. Yeah, tiket aku burn macam tu jak. Thanks to my carelessness I accidentally left the map in my luggage in London. I tried my best to hold myself back together & search for the metro station through the app I downloaded in my phone prior the trip. Yet it's just one of my bad day perhaps. I don't remember the exact name of the meeting place; instead I only remember it's a fountain situated near the Notre Dame Cathedral. So I search for the station near Notre Dame & of course directed to the wrong station. Keyword Notre Dame wasn't helping at all!

10 minutes more before the group boarded the train...and I was still searching for the bloody fountain! I swore I have made a clear live view where the fountain is; as well as how it looks like through google map. But when I arrived the metro station, the fountain is far from being seen. Asking the French wasn't helping either. They refused to speak English although they understand the language. I was in panic state...and tears started to fall when suddenly out of no where I firmly said to myself 

"This is it. The most anticipated part for ur first solo trip. Embrace the moment, calm urself. Getting lost in ur trip is the best thing ever happened to every solo traveller. That's what makes this whole trip unforgettable." 

And so I cleared all the negative thoughts in my mind. Baru tu aku realized I haven't eaten anything since I left London that morning. Halal foods are easy to find in Paris, alhamdulillah. I bought myself a pizza kebab which was too big a portion it's enough for 2 people to eat. There were fries & veggies as side dishes as well. I sat at a bench & indulged in my brunch. And only then my brain started to function back to normal. No more panic, no more tears. Most importantly, no more resentment against those uncooperative Fpeople. Sudah went through benda macam ni haruslah first impression towards their people adalah sedikit ke laut ya. Lain orang lain tanggapan so sila JANGAN judge my point of view.
Everything is well informed on the signboards but once u missed even a word...all will be in total chaos. I forgot the keywords "Fountain St Michel" I ended up wandering around Paris with this words on my forehead. "I am lost". Or this thing happened only to me?? Sedih. 
Just because Notre Dame is situated near the fountain it doesn't mean the station near it; is called Notre Dame. In Paris, it is so easy to get confused with the names. I later found out that the station I should get off from to reach the fountain & Notre Dame is Cite'. Gila jauh kot nama tu kan, langsung tiada connection whatsoever!! 
Bukan rezeki aku untuk join that tour; so I said to myself. Automatik positive vibe injected into the system. I can STILL go to Versailles by my own. Mesti pergi sebab itu tujuan utama turun France ok! And to do that, I first have to go to the only place that I'm sure of in Paris. None other than the hostel I've booked. I remember the station near the hostel...also the direction. It's all stored in my mind. Nasiblah that part belum ter-erase dari sistem. Republique is the only nearest station. Arah to the hostel pun sangatlah di hujung jari...less than 5mins walking aku sudah sampai depan pintu hostel. Ahaks. Mula kan perangai riak muncul!!
I googled the direction to Versailles through the desktop at the hostel. Free internet! Aku suka! The lady at the reception counter pun sangat2 membantu! Paling penting, she speaks English! Although with strong French accent at least we could communicate!! Ndak lah double K.O aku on the same day kan.
She gave me a new map & guide. In which later telah menjadi jeruk pekasam. Well, bagi nampaklah sikit kan aku guna map tu. Koyak tepi, crumpled lagi. Memang enhanced gila skill aku baca map sekarang ni.
From Republique to Invalides. I have to take the RER C service to reach Versailles. 
Kena beli new ticket as the carnet tickets I bought earlier is only usable for the Metropolitan Train. Versailles is situated in Île-de-France; 20km southwest from Paris. That's why kena beli tiket lain. As advised in the internet, I bought a return ticket. Memang bijak sebab dari Versailles tu amatlah menguji kesabaran barisan untuk beli tiket ya. Panjang yang bikin headache!
Awal2 sudah jot down notes takut sesat lagi. Boleh board the train to Versailles from both platform at Invalides. Just make sure the last station is Versailles RG Chateau. Yang Vick tu boleh tukar2 so jangan ambil pusing sangat pasal tu. Yang perlu diambil kisah is the last station. Sebab ada 2 stations Versailles...the other is Versailles Chantiers.

45 mins of train journey to the last station. Semua akan turun, jadi silalah kau pun turun. Out from the station, ada map direction to the palace. But since I already know how to get there; kali ni memang yakin gila...I just walked passed the board. Lagipun memang most of the people menuju istana tu...aku ikut jak lah jejak diorang. 10mins walking...kalau sesat ndak lah jauh aku kena buat u-turn kan.
The palace's map. Gila grand, sikit tercabut kaki berjalan dari main gate to the entrance. Ya, baru mau masuk palace's gate pun memang jiwa. Please remember that I've been using my superwalkertapaki service since early in the morning. Tu belum campur penat kesesatan lagi kan.
At last!!! Palace of Versailles Château de Versailles standing magnificently right before my eyes. Truly a dream came true!!! Syukran Ya Rabb.
As I said...rocky & sloppy path in order to reach the entrance. Tabah kan hati saya untuk berjalan. Alang2 sudah sampai, redah jak lah. Versailles is not famous only as a building, but it is also a symbol of absolute monarchy of the Ancient Regime. 
Miniature of the palace displayed in a glass box. Super besar! Super luas! Can't help but to imagine. How things will be if I were to live there with only Bunda & the brothers? Punyalah banyak kos itu ini mau consider kan. Fuh! Ntah berapa billion million habis sebulan. 
Echo of my voice could be heard if I shouted at the end of this pathway. 
Totally mesmerized by all the drawings on the ceilings. And I began to develop a new interest after my trip to Europe. That is to decipher the story behind the paintings. The story they tried to convey.
Handle at the window, too; symbolized something. View outside the window is the lovely garden. 
Hall of Mirrors / Galerie des Glaces. This hall is the central gallery of the palace; also one of the most famous rooms in the world. The main feature of this famous hall is the 17 mirror-clad arches that reflect the 17 arcaded windows that overlook the gardens. Each arch contains 21 mirrors with the total compliment to the 357 used in the hall's decoration. 

Ernie went here early this year & she tagged me in of her pictures there. That's when I fell in love with this chateau. 
At the end of the hall stood proudly these pair of giant stainless steel stilettos. 
Garden of Versailles / Jardins du Chateau de Versailles. The gardens cover approximately 800 hectares of land. As I was getting too exhausted, I decided to not enter the garden. One will need to purchase a new entrance ticket as the ticket for the palace does not cover the garden.

If I'm not mistaken it is 8,00 Euro per entry. I have to settle with this view only. *the pic of course* I sat at one of the bench; admiring this. The beautiful green garden, blooming colourful flowers & breezy air...perfect combination to soothe the soul. But surely can't cure the blisters around my foot
Out from The Apartment, gift shop is the last stop. Bought the macaroons on the second left just to get a taste of it. Memang ndak pernah makan before ni, sungguh kasihan. And of course the colours of the box attracted me. 

After 5 hours time spent in the palace...it's time to get back to the city. Thank God it's summer, it will only get dark around 10p. I still have time to wander around. I was confident I will not get lost this time because I already have the map with me. 
Ehem, selingan. Ini lah train station (apart from Cite') & fountain yang patut aku jejak di awal pagi itu. Huhu hanya sampai lepas balik dari istana. Hampas kelapa kan kau Bie.
River near the Notre Dame
As planned, batobus ride from Notre Dame will take place after Versailles. 
From Invalids, I alighted the train at Cite'. And walked few minutes to Notre Dame. I got to ride the batobus for free because it's included in the HoHo ticket. Dapat menikmati pemandangan Paris from Seine River. Bot tu pun stop di tempat2 tourist attractions. That evening, Eiffel Tower destinasi harus. 
Yours Truly cruising the Seine River. 
Three stops more to reach the infamous Eiffel! Memang excited mau berdiri bawah tower tu...ntah pasal apa, maybe sebab tu mercu tanda France so aku rasa logik ada feeling poyo gitu. But honestly speaking, I was more 'nervous' to enter Versailles than standing before Eiffel. History has got something to do with that I guess. 

Anyways, since it's already too long an entry I might just stop here for now. Will continue about the Paghee trip in my next entry.  

I'll leave u with this picture...taken at a park on my way to Trocadero. A perfect place to have a clear view of Eiffel Tower. 


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2 hollered!:

Ernie Khairina said...

Saya tidak jumpa pun tu kasut, lucky you!

BibiErr Karim said...

Recently jak tu kena taruk sna. Bukan part of the palace's last collection lah. Xsilap sy dorg mcm kasi hadiah sma tu Queen & the people yg tggl sna dlu. Ada lg 3 gifts tu tp sy xjmpa.

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