Thursday, April 05, 2012

Bonjour Paris & Hello Oxford - Day 1

Courtesy of Pfizer, I managed to take a trip to Paris en route to picking Leto from Oxford to Singapore for Chinese New Year :p (I know it's been 3 months since my trip & so this is yet another outdated post but what's new? *shrugs*)

We took the metro from CDG airport to Gare du Nord to deposit our luggages as it wasn't till much later that we were able to check into our apartment. The luggage deposit lockers was pretty secure with security checks and all, but 1 important tip - GO EQUIPPED WITH LOOSE CHANGE! The coin-changing machine was unfortunately spoiled when we were there & the staffs were no help. We ran around the entire station trying to break our notes but everyone just shooed us away! Luckily we met a young couple next to our locker who helped us. You can guess that our impression of Paris was at rock bottom.

Another tip - It isn't fun lugging heavy luggages up & down the many many stairs of Paris metro stations. I'd read that it was possible to bring your luggages around in the metro & I got ambitious. I haven't quite realised there were so many stairs! So if you're alone, with a luggage & a cabin bag, take a cab. It's well worth the money.

Since it was a Sunday, we decided to pay tribute to the largest flea market in the world - Les Puces de Saint-Ouen in Porte de Clignancourt. The market was huge! I went with my brand new Canon 7D hoping to take some really nice pictures but I took naught :( I couldn't hold the camera as I was freezing & I needed to wrap my arms around myself to keep myself warm. I'd never been frozen so bad!

I had only myself to blame. I decided not to waste time piling on clothes as we had already taken so much time navigating & looking for loose change, so I went out in whatever I wore on the plane. The cold settled into my knees & sadly I was limping badly after that for the entire trip. I admit I'm old!

At the biggest flea market but all I did was to look for a place to sit down for a hot drink. Arghhh …… I could have strangled myself! 

Here it is! Our apartment in 52 Rue des Abbesses.

Finally something turned out right! I couldn't thank my stars enough. The apartment was awesome!

Not much of a view but the apartment itself was modern & new. There's washing machine, kitchenette, & even an extra  (hidden) bed behind the dining table.

I can be a total bitch when I travel. I am HUGE on accommodation. It was agonizing trying to find lodging in Paris because most affordable hotels were old & cramp. I was so lucky that there was a special price for this particular apartment at that moment. I paid lesser than what I would have paid for a 3 stars hotel. The apartment was 5 minutes away from the metro & 8 minutes away from Moulin Rouge. You might think it's sleazy being so close to Moulin Rouge but I can assure you that it's not. So if you're travelling to Paris, especially in a group, do consider an apartment instead of hotel. I'd done my research. Loads of good ones around.

Although knowing my luck, something was bound to be wrong with the apartment. Sure enough, the lift was spoiled! Actually a really minor issue since we're only on the 2nd storey. But problem was that my knees couldn't take any stairs during the trip.
Decked out in my favourite pink

Met the sweetest girl, Grace, on the metro. She was so intrigued by my pink attire & my gel nails that she started fingering my nails & clothes. I don't think Parisians dress in pink very much :p

Not wasting any time & we're at the Eiffel Tower on our 1st night

As it was a last minute trip, I didn't manage to book my tix online. The queue was insane & not to mention the wind! 

I thought I was bundled up warm enough but apparently not. In the end, we gave up waiting as it was just too cold. So sadly, that's all I can say about Eiffel Tower :(

We gave up the Eiffel Tower for food & warmth! Popped into a random cafe nearby to escape from the cold. This was fast becoming the story of our lives.


  1. Lovely pics! Yesss the stairs in the metros can be a real pain. There are also Les Cars Air France (or something like that) buses from the airport that go into the city. If you're able to get a booking at Les Jules Verne you can have a fabulous lunch/dinner AND they have a private lift to the halfway point on the Eiffel tower.

    1. Thanks for dropping by my blog & the tips too :) Props to your blog!


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