About Me

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I am married to my loving husband for more than 37 years now. I am a mother to 3 beautiful children, until 10 years ago when I lost my youngest son. Since then my life is forever altered but yet unbroken....

My Travel Journal

"There isn't much I haven't shared with you along the road and through it all there'd always be tomorrow's episode" - Elton John

I started traveling around the world since early 80s when I had the opportunity to combine business trips with vacations. Then later when my rezeki is in abundance, there were numerous other trips along the way for vacations, most of the time with hubby and the kids when the timing is right. I have also started to compile the journal and photo-pages covering almost more than 25 years of world wide travel. Some destinations I visited just once, others many times. Many of those places are the obvious famous places people would like to visit but some, the casual traveler doesn't even think to try. I have placed links to my travel at the side bar of my personal page, My Life Reflections, and will be updating them from time to time.

My wish is to continue my travel and complete circumnavigate the globe, insyaAllah…

Thursday, 25 May 2017

2017 Paris, France - The City of Lights...


"People too weak to follow their own dreams will always find a way to discourage yours..."

(A nice sunny day to explore Paris)

Date: 20 – 22 May 2017
Route: Paris City Tour
Hotel: St Christopher’s Hotel, Paris

After our UK road trip visiting towns and attractions in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, we boarded the Eurostar train from London St Pancras Train Station to Gare De Norde Station in Paris. It cost us £273/pax. As it was a last minute booking we only got discounts on our return tickets.

(Boarding the Eurostar from London to Paris)
(Arriving in Gare du Nord Station, Paris)
(On the Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off city tour)

In Paris we stayed two nights in St Christopher’s Budget Hotel for £55/night. We bought a 2-day hop-on hop-off bus tickets for €39/pax and explored Paris top landmarks and attractions.

I have been to France many times but Paris never fail to amuse me...

(The Gare Du Nord Train Station, Paris)
(Angel bear statue outside Gare du Nord)

Gare du Nord is one of the six large terminus stations of the SNCF mainline network for Paris. The Gare du Nord offers connections with several urban transport lines, including Paris Métro, RER and buses. By the number of travellers, at around 214 million per year, it is the busiest railway station in Europe, the 24th busiest in the world and the busiest outside Japan. The Gare du Nord is the station for trains to Northern France and to international destinations in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

(The Melting House at Gare Du Nord main entrance)
(Ready to explore Paris attractions)

The Melting House structure is right outside the entrance to Paris Gare du Nord. It is an intriguing new sculpture by the Argentinian sculptor Leandro Erlich, who, making a pun on the similar sounding "Maison Fond", House Melts and "Mes enfants", my children, reminds us of the impermanence of the heritage which we leave to our children.This attraction could serve a similar function to the Meeting Place Statue at St Pancras station, at the other end of London-Paris rail link.

(The world's largest museum)
(House of Mona Lisa painting)

The Louvre is the world's largest museum and a historic monument in Paris. A central landmark of the city, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine. Approximately 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 72,735 square metres. The Louvre is the world's third most visited museum.

(The main entrance of the Louvre)
(The glass pyramid in Da Vinci Code)

The Louvre Pyramid is a large glass and metal pyramid designed by Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei, surrounded by three smaller pyramids, in the main courtyard of the Louvre Palace. The large pyramid serves as the main entrance to the Louvre Museum. La Pyramide Inversée, The Inverted Pyramid is directly below the tip of the downwards-pointing glass pyramid, a small stone pyramid is also constructed just below the inverted pyramid. The Inverted Pyramid figures prominently on the concluding pages of Dan Brown's international bestseller, The Da Vinci Code.

(Institut de France from the Pont des Arts)
(Cupola of the Institut de France)

The Institut de France is a French learned society, grouping five académies, the most famous of which is the Académie française. The Institute, located in Paris, manages approximately 1,000 foundations, as well as museums and châteaux open for visit. It also awards prizes and subsidies. Most of these prizes are awarded by the Institute on the recommendation of the académies.

(A Beaux-Arts architecture)
(Current exhibitions in the museum)

The Musée d'Orsay is a museum on the left bank of the Seine. It is housed in the former Gare d'Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900. The museum holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1914, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography. It houses the largest collection of impressionist and post-Impressionist masterpieces in the world, by painters including Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin, and Van Gogh. Many of these works were held at the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume prior to the museum's opening in 1986. It is one of the largest art museums in Europe.

(A beautiful  view of Eiffel  Tower)
(Wrought iron architecture)

The Eiffel Tower is a wrought iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars. It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel. It has become a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognisable structures in the world. The Eiffel Tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world. The tower is 324 metres tall, and the tallest structure in Paris And is the second-tallest structure in France after the Millau Viaduct. The tower has three levels for visitors, with restaurants on the first and second levels and an observation deck on the top deck accessible only by lift.

(A parish of the Archdiocese of Paris)
(A Neo-classical style of architecture)

L'église de la Madeleine or Madeleine Church is a Roman Catholic church occupying a commanding position in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. The Madeleine Church was designed in its present form as a temple to the glory of Napoleon's army. To its south lies the Place de la Concorde, to the east is the Place Vendôme, and to the west Saint-Augustin,

(The Hunchback of Notre-Dame)
(The western facade of Notre-Dame)

Notre-Dame de Paris meaning 'Our Lady of Paris', also known as Notre-Dame Cathedral or simply Notre-Dame, is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité. The cathedral is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture, and it is among the largest and most well-known church buildings in the world. The naturalism of its sculptures and stained glass serve to contrast it with earlier Romanesque architecture.

(The most monumental of Triumphal Arches)
(A panoramic terrace at the top)

The Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile or Triumphal Arch of the Star is one of the most famous monuments in Paris, standing at the western end of the Champs-Élysées at the center of Place Charles de Gaulle, formerly named Place de l'Étoile. The étoile or "star" of the juncture formed by its twelve radiating avenues. The Arc de Triomphe honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces. Beneath its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.

(A perfect straight line from the Lourve to Arc de Triomphe)
(Paris Pedicabs and Rickshaws tours)

The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is an avenue 1.9 kilometres long and 70 metres wide, running between the Place de la Concorde and the Place Charles de Gaulle, where the Arc de Triomphe is located. It is known for its theatres, cafés, and luxury shops, for the annual Bastille Day military parade, and as the finish of the Tour de France cycle race. The name is French for the Elysian Fields, the paradise for dead heroes in Greek mythology. It is one of the most famous streets in the world.

(One of the monumental fountains)
(The 3,300 year old obelisk)

The Place de la Concorde is one of the major public squares in Paris. Measuring 8.64 hectares in area, it is the largest square in the French capital. It is located at the eastern end of the Champs-Élysées. It is famous for the Luxor Obelisk, a 3,300 year old Egyptian obelisk erected on the square in May 1998, the surrounding prestigious hotels, and the two monumental fountains, Fontaine des Mers and Fontaine des Fleuves. Place de la Concorde was originally known for having been an execution site during the French Revolution.

(The seat for the French National Assembly)
(Undergoing massive renovation)

The Palais Bourbon is a government building located on the left bank of the Seine, across from the Place de la Concorde. It is the seat of the French National Assembly, the lower legislative chamber of the French government. The Palace was originally built by the duchesse de Bourbon as a country house, surrounded by gardens. Napoleon Bonaparte added the classical colonnade, to mirror that of Church of the Madeleine, facing it across the Seine and the Place de la Concorde. The Palace complex today includes the Hôtel de Lassay, on the west side of the Palais Bourbon; it is the official residence of the President of the National Assembly.

(The north front of Les Invalides)
(The Tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte)

Les Invalides commonly known as The National Residence of the Invalids, or also as Hôtel des Invalides, is a complex of buildings containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans. The buildings house the Musée de l'Armée, the military museum of the Army of France, the Musée des Plans-Reliefs, and the Musée d'Histoire Contemporaine, as well as the Dôme des Invalides, a large church with the tombs of some of France's war heroes, most notably Napoleon Bonaparte.

(The museum of French sculptor auguste Rodin)
(Museum with extensive garden)

The Musée Rodin is a museum that was dedicated to the works of the French sculptor Auguste Rodin. It has two sites: the Hôtel Biron and surrounding grounds in central Paris and just outside Paris at Rodin's old home, the Villa des Brillants at Meudon. The collection includes 6,600 sculptures, 8,000 drawings, 8,000 old photographs, and 7,000 objects d’art. The Musée Rodin contains most of Rodin's significant creations, including The Thinker, The Kiss, and The Gates of Hell. Many of his sculptures are displayed in the museum's extensive garden.

(The former hotel of Cesar duc de Vendome)
(The famous Hotel Ritz now stands)

Place Vendôme is a square located to the north of the Tuileries Gardens and east of the Église de la Madeleine. It is the starting point of the Rue de la Paix. Its regular architecture by Jules Hardouin-Mansart and pedimented screens canted across the corners give the rectangular Place Vendôme the aspect of an octagon.

(Modern hotels, night-clubs and bars)
(The column was erected by Napoleon)

The original Vendôme Column at the centre of the square was erected by Napoleon I to commemorate the Battle of Austerlitz. It was torn down in 1871, by decree of the Paris Commune, but subsequently re-erected and remains a prominent feature on the square today.

(Tourists waiting to visit the famous cabaret)
(The landmark of Moulin Rouge)

Moulin Rouge, French for "Red Mill" is a cabaret in Paris. It is marked by the red windmill on its roof. Moulin Rouge is best known as the spiritual birthplace of the modern form of the can-can dance. Originally introduced as a seductive dance by the courtesans who operated from the site, the can-can dance revue evolved into a form of entertainment of its own and led to the introduction of cabarets across Europe. Today, the Moulin Rouge is a tourist attraction, offering musical dance entertainment for visitors from around the world.

(Mythical sites and secret places, the Opera House)
(The Palais Garnier and Opera Bastilles)

The Paris Opera Currently called the Opéra National de Paris, it mainly produces operas at its modern 2700-seat theatre Opéra Bastille, and ballets and some classical operas at the older 1970-seat Palais Garnier. The opulent Opéra Garnier was built in the late 19th century by Charles Garnier and famously served as the setting of Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel The Phantom of the Opera. Small scale and contemporary works are also staged in the 500-seat Amphitheatre under the Opéra Bastille.

(Built in honor of north African armies)
(A single minaret mosque)

The Grande Mosquée de Paris is one of the largest mosques in France. The mosque was founded in 1926 as a token of gratitude, after World War I, to the Muslim tirailleurs from France's colonial empire, of whom some 100,000 died fighting against Germany. The mosque was built following the mudéjar style, and its minaret is 33 m high. During World War II when France and Paris were occupied by Nazi Germany, the mosque served as a secret refuge for Algerian and European Jews and protect them from German persecution.

We completed the tour of Paris early and took the train from Trocadero Station direct to Gare Du Nord Train Station to board the 4:00 pm Eurotrain to London. After collecting our luggage at St Pancras Locker Room, we took the train to Wembley where we stayed for two nights at Travelodge London Wembley.

We were dead tired when we checked-in the hotel and slept like a log. And we missed watching the news on Manchester bombing that happened earlier of the night.

Note from the Wiki:

On 22 May 2017, 22-year-old British Muslim Salman Ramadan Abedi detonated a shrapnel-laden homemade bomb at the exit of Manchester Arena in Manchester, England, following a concert by American singer Ariana Grande. Twenty-three adults and children were killed, including Abedi, and 250 were injured.

After initial suspicions of a terrorist network, police later said they believe Abedi had largely acted alone, but that others had been aware of Abedi's plans.

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