Surviving Paris (Time of visit: 8 – 11 June 2008)

I finally have a chance to visit France. Well actually I plan to meet my friends, former colleagues in Indonesia, there. One is French guy who works in Indonesia and the other is Indonesian girl who study in England. But then, the girl can’t make it as her visa was approved late. In the end, I just met the French guy but will come again later to meet the girl ;)

My travel to Paris wasn’t so exciting. I have to fly from Hamburg in order to be able to land in CDG, the main airport. If I fly from Bremen, the landing will be far from the city. I was supposed to land at midnight; yet due to technical problem, the plane has to land in Orly, airport far from the city!

After communicating back and forth with my friend because he waited in CDG and tried to go to Orly while at the same time I was transferred by bus to CDG; in the end we have to take night bus as the Metro wasn’t operated anymore. We arrive at our hostel at 3 AM!!!

General Impression
What a crazy city! I must have been living in Germany for a long time. I am so shocked to find out that streets in Paris are almost no different than Jakarta. People just jaywalking, vehicles sometime don’t stop during red light, and the litters are everywhere. Probably the only difference with Jakarta is that they don’t litter to the river. Or maybe not yet!

This is Europe? Oh c’mon!

The Metro
One thing that my friend taught me was how to travel within Paris. Metro is the main public transportation in Paris; and my friend has taught me how to travel with it. Whenever we go to one place, he’ll let me to lead and he just followed. And after awhile, I understand the principles. Great, now I can just go there alone without afraid of getting lost although I don’t speak the language.

Louvre Museum
This is the first tourist attraction that I visit in Paris. The self proclaim ‘the biggest museum in the world’, it’s surely a nice place to visit especially it holds the most famous painting: Mona Lisa. And yes, the Mona Lisa corner is the most crowded spot in all over the museum.

Another interesting collections to see (well, at least for me) are Egypt, Mesopotamia, Babylonia and Napoleon III apartments. Perhaps I don’t need to go to Egypt, Iran and other area to see their heritages now. I can see pyramids, mummies, fraction of palaces, etc. In Napoleon III apartments, I am amazed by the gold rich ornamental designs. And remember, France doesn’t have gold; they all come from the colonies and trades!

Notre Dame
The most famous church in France, but probably due to the story of Hunchback of Notre Dame. The church of course is fascinating, but if you have seen the Köln Dom, you will not so amaze anymore.

The Eiffel
Of course you can’t visit Paris without visiting the Eiffel tower. It’s something that makes the city famous for. I can’t believe it that finally I can visit this famous tower. And of course I am not just come to the place, I am also climbing it. Yes, I really climb it. I didn’t use the elevator; I took the stairs!!!

But taking the stairs only available until the 2nd level. To go further we have to take the elevator which cost pretty high. But I guess that’s enough. After climbing the Eiffel, I ate a big portion of ice cream to balance my calorie lost ;)

For complete Eiffel stairs climbing, please go to:

The Grand Mosque of Paris
I know it’s not a mainstream tourist destination, but as a Moslem I would like to see it. The Mosque is big, of course but somehow the ornamentals are not so much. I like the nice and shooting garden; it makes you feel peaceful.

Next to the Mosque, there’s a famous Algerian Café. It serves Algerian sweets that taste so good. Even the birds love it! The café is pretty full and not easy to find empty nice seats.

To see the birds eating crumbs, take a look at:

1 comment:

widodo pranowo said...

Wow, Lovre museum. Did you tracking down footprint of Dr. Robert Langdon or Jacques Saunière (The Da Vinci Code) ???