Monday, May 7, 2007

Sunday, May 7th

A long Jouney home, and we are glad to be back, even though Atlanta is not nearly as grand as Paris...

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Saturday, May 6th

We had a very nice breakfast at a nearby bakery.

Outside the bakery, the normally empty square turned into a lively small market in the morning.

We had a nice visit to the Montmartre around noon time. Many artists used to live in the villiage, but now it is over run by the tourists. It still has its charm though.

Lunch there is great. We actually went back there to have dinner.

We then tried to go to Musee of Rodin, but by the time we found it, it was closed. We had a nice walk in the Jardin des Tuileries next to the Louvre.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Friday, May 5th

We went out around 11:00 am to have brunch, but most of the places have closed for breakfast, and has not started serving lunch. so we some bought chocolate croissant, almond date pie, quiche, tomatos, and almond oil stick for breakfast, which we ate in our room with some very expensive hotel coffee.

We were able to take the bus to the Luvure. Louvre is much larger than we ever imagined. It seems to stretch several city blocks. We were too lazy to navigate the museum using the map, so we just wondered around for a while. We saw Mona Lisa, the statue of Venus, etc. Most of the painting are old fashioned oil painting, which is not quite our style. The ground is rather grand and amazing. The ceilings are normally several stories high and with very ornate paintings or statues as decoration. We only spent a couple of hours there and got out.

Next stop is something Mei is really interested in - the Musee of O'Orsay. We went straight to the fifth floor where it has post-impressionalism paintings on display. We saw many famous work from famous artists - Vangouh, Monet, Sisley, Pasarrio, Renior, Degas. The work are just amazing and beautiful to see in person. The 2nd floor has pieces from Rodin and other artists who have the style of realism, naturalism, etc. We saw many great portraits. To our amazment, we could not find one single portrait that shows a smile. We figured that there is a reason those smily shots are called "Mom shots" - only moms like them.

After getting terribly lost in the city again, we finally arrive at the St. Lazare again - our favorite restaruant serving authentic frech cusine. The food is incredible - from raw mussels, duck foil
gas, to fish frassion and Tirmersu, the dinnder could not be better.

It was pour down rain after the dinner. Fortunately the bus 94 was right in front of the restaurant, which took us straight to the hotel.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Thursday, May 4th

We started the day with a proper breakfast at a nearby restaurant. Unfortunately, the food is quite a disappointment again! The food is expensive and not so good.

While we were waiting for the room, we went out and bought three day multi-pass for the metro and the bus for $37 total.

We went out to get lunch at one of the restaurants recommended by a tourist book. After getting quite lost finding it, we found out the restaunrant is no longer there. We went to a Thai restaurant that we passed by when we were lost, and it turned out to be a very nice three course meal.

We went to find Notre Dame, but got lost and visited the outside of the Army Musemum. From there, we struggled thru buses and metro and finally arrive at Notre Dame. The church is vast and breath takingly beautiful. The mass was going on while we were touring the place. The singers' perfectly beautiful voice ring in the hall, and reminded me the blue alien Diva in "The Fifth Element".

Flash and tri-pod are not allowed in the building. We could not get the wide angle pictures we wanted, so it just has to stay in our memories.

We then decided to photograph the gate of triumph. Again, we got lost in the way, and saw a nice busy place may have good food. After comparing several menus, we decided to try this French
restraunt that has been there since 1897. It can't be too bad if it has been there for that long time. The waiters were not happy when we told them we wanted to share a three course meal. The service was slow and the waiter were arrogant if not rude. However, the escargo was fantastic. The duck and the flamed alaska were not great, but they weren't bad. It was the best food we had since we came to Paris.

We finally arrive the Arc DeTriomphe thru metro. By this time, we knew our way around pretty well. We took some night photograph of the gate. It is majestic beyond our imagination. The gate was on the street of Champs De Elysees, which is once the most beautiful street in the world. We look around the shops, but most of them started to close since it is 11:00 pm. The McDonald is
quite busy still with people in and out of the restraunt. The decor is quite chic compare to the McDonalds in the states.

We found out later the souvenirs in the stores off the street are pricy. You can buy the same items elsewhere for much less.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Wednesday, May 3rd

When we woke up, it was 11:30 am already. So needless to say, we had a very slow start. We had lunch at the brissirie near by - roast beef with potatoes. The food was pretty bad, but quite expensive. Our bottle of water was 5 euros.

We then went to the Seine river and took the one hour cruise. It was a nice day, and we were amazed by the beauty of the river and the architecture. We also stopped by an artist near the river selling his prints. He seems to be nice and honest, and we bought some paintings from him. Now thinking back, we don't know if the paintings are original or not, since they look rather similar to other painting prints sold for much less on the street.

After a snack at the train station, we decided to go back to the river to take some night photos. We walked to the bottom of Effel Tower, and although we have seen it in distance and in many
photographs, we still were astonished by the shear majesty of the tower. Even though it is almost 10:00 pm, the line to the ticket booth selling ticket to go up the tower is still very long and slow, We thought we will see it next time.

We then walked back to the most beautiful bridge in the world, and trying to take a photo of the Effel tower and the bridge. Unfortunately, the best angle is blocked by some large tent.

By the time we got back to the hotel area, it was pass 12:00 am. There was one bar still open and the waiter let us in reluctantly. David ordered a Quiche, and I ordered some minced pork which I didn't really know what it was. When my food came, I was quite surprised it was cold minced pork held together by pork fat. Of course you eat that with the baggets and some pickles. It tasted all right since it does not taste that foreign to me at the time. However, my stomache couldn't quite handle it as well as my taste buds.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Tuesday, May 2nd

We took a cruise on the canal and visit the flower market and a square that is recommended by the hotel staff.

The city is not as dirty as the day before, but some streets still are full of garbage. The smell of the urine can really be stifling. The flower shop was not that nice, and the square is quite ordinary as well. We did have a nice meal in the square in a little Japenese restaunrant.

We got back a bit too early, and apparently the train does not come and wait for a long time like we thought it would. It seems that they expect you just come a couple of minutes before the ticket time. We bought some nice pastries and ate them on the way.

We arrived in Paris around 9:00 pm. It was a bit struggle to get to the hotel, but most people seem to be eagar to help when we asked for directions, but a lot of them has real difficulty with

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Monday, May 1st

We went into town again on Queen's Day. The city was a huge mess. Coffe Shop and the red light district make you feel filthy. Seeing the city in such a mess was kind-of depressing. Mei commented that the scene looked just like how she imagined things would look in the end times described in Revelations.