Sunday, November 13, 2011

[L.E.P.A.K series: Paris] Chapter 14: Triumphing Elysees

 As we strolled down the road with a crepe in hand (well I had the crepe, Cik Anai had her camera :P), we soon realised we were no longer surrounded by trees but instead magnificent buildings. When we saw the many al-fresco cafes lining up the street, we knew we have arrived at the famous Champs-Elysees.


Told you there were many!
And they probably had a written code that RED was the official colour.

 SEE SEE! Told ya.

And as we walked and walked and walked, suddenly cars came out of nowhere! At the walkway! Or at least we thought that was the walkway. They came from underground, nifty eh.
*snap snap* *click click*

Who can missed the grand Louis Vuitton building when walking down Champs-Elysees? 
Look at the lady in the picture, betul-betul ada gaya, mutu, keunggulan. Truly French. 
Truly Paris. No?

Something really interesting happened here. While we were busy taking photos and being all touristy, suddenly two Chinese women approached us for help. First they asked us if we knew Mandarin, while being unsure of the entire situation, we nodded a little and said yes. Then they asked us if we can help them buy some LV bags and instantaneously we went like "Whoah!!" Defensive mode on. They went on explaining to us that they have bought just enough for themselves but they have friends back home that have asked them to buy too. However there was a limit on how many bags one can buy so yeah, that was why they needed our help.

Cik Anai and I looked at each other and probably had the same thought in our minds. These people are either damn rich or are some con women at work. Either way we're not risking it. So we told them no. And guess what?

They told us they will even pay us for helping them.

Hell, NO!

And after a few stubborn sorry's and no's later, the ladies' faces turned black and finally walked away. Shhh!

As we continue down Champs-Elysees, the Arc de Triomphe grew bigger and bigger. We were figuring out how to get a good picture of it when suddenly we saw the divider in the middle of the road and got a light bulb turned on right above our heads. *ting* The divider was actually there as a midway point for pedestrian crossing since it was a pretty wide road. So while everyone was busy zooming pass us, we stood at the very tip of the divider, hopefully out of the way, and took our money shots.


"Look 'ma! I'm standing in the middle of the road."

As we reached the end of the road, right across the arc, we got ourselves another good spot for some photos. And then we were lost. We stared across the road, looking in awe of the majestic architecture before us that was surrounded by busy traffic all around and wondered... how on earth are we going to get to the other side?

The answer was well... at the other side of the road. 
The other side side. :P

There was an underground passageway that led us to right under the arc. If you are a lover of art, you will find yourself walking pass street artists along the underpass. By the looks of it, if you have amazing negotiating skill, it's not impossible to get some nice paintings for a fair price here. 

As we opened the doorway leading to the arc, we were once again left in awe of pure architectural beauty. The Europeans do have the tendency to "GO BIG!" with everything, from food to buildings. 

They also have a good appreciation of space. I guess another fact to consider is that us Asians are generally smaller in body size, so we somehow see everything here as just big. 

Though I don't think we were the only ones feeling small. :) We spent a little while resting our tired feet here as we sat along the base of the columns and took in the chilly breeze. After awhile, we decided we had enough. It was not the chilly breeze that was freezing us out, it was the ice-cold marble under our butts. LOL. From here, we went back down to the underground in hunt of the Metro. Our next stop was Eiffel Tower!

That's me being all crazy while waiting for the train at the platform. We finally took our first Metro ride instead of the RER. The Metro trains are more similar to our regular LRT / MRT / Tube / Subway trains found everywhere else in the world while the RER gives an impression of a more upgraded version. 

There were cute little foldable seats on the train. Space-saving during a crowded ride yet conveniently provide extra seats whenever possible. Make sense, right? As we sat and enjoyed the view outside, we noticed something odd. The doors do not open automatically at each stop. You have to do it manually. *shocking*

So I'm ending this post with Hiyashibeeps' L.E.P.A.K Travel Tips No.9! 

See that little button Cik Anai is pointing right there? You gotta press it for the doors to open. So before you go all panicky that the doors are not opening when you are in Paris, remember that little magic button right there. ;-)

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