Friday, January 27, 2012

[L.E.P.A.K series: Paris] Chap 17: Meeting Madame Mona

Alright! That was certainly a loooong rest since the last L.E.P.A.K post. No time to sit and linger anymore. It's time to get up and go, go, GO! Boy were we determined to hunt down Mona Lisa. Determined enough to set it as our goal before dinner. So we walked and walked until we got distracted by the beautiful night view outside.

The sun had set by then and the lights were on. Pretty. 
 We finally found that little turn we kept on missing and was on our way 
to meet Madame Mona...

... but alas, we got distracted once again. 
This time by a gigantic art piece. I say it just goes to proof my earlier point that 
Europeans have a thing for BIG THINGS. Hahaha. 

 Sure enough, we finally found the biggest crowd at the Louvre, all gathered to lay their eyes on Mona Lisa. It was impossible to get a good shot with her when there was a whole bunch of people to share the spotlight with. Not to mention she was shyly hiding behind a protective glass and surrounded by a barricade. Talk about being anti-social. Tsk tsk tsk. I came all the way just to see you, 'mam. 

 Oh well, you're even more famous than celebrities these days after all.

So I humbly settled with what she has to offer. *click* 
Boy do I look tired out in the picture. *sigh* 
Now that our mission is complete, it's time for a good French dinner!

We had enough of walking for the day so we decided to head down to a restaurant 
inside the Louvre. Nothing overly fancy but still a very 'luxurious' place compared to all 
the budget meals we were having for the past few days. All that savings certainly deserved 
one good meal and what better place to dine finely than Paris, right?

I ordered my very first cup of coffee since I arrived at this side of the globe. 
Truth to be told, the coffee was not very impressive which was kind of disappointing since I was kind of hoping to be wowed by it. *sad face* Now, those little sugar cubes and complimentary nougats on the other hand was conveniently brought home as my little momentos. Muahahaha. So Chinese. So proud of it. :P

Now for the recommended affordable dish-to-try in Paris, Croque-Monsieur! 
Yummy. It was not bad at all. Cik Anai being the bread-potato-lover that she is 
preferred this to our another order. 

 BUT! I stand to differ!

Because I was in loved with this other dish instead. 

Yuuummmmy Poelon de moules au curry et poireaux. What?!!?! Haha... or in English, 
Mussels and leeks casserole spiced with yellow curry. Again WHAT?!? Leek? Eww! 
And why go all the way to Paris to eat curry. These girls are not in the right state 
of mind are they. :P 

 But I see no leek and instead lots of what looks to me like alfalfa sprouts. Hmm... 
and nope, the curry was not spicy at all, obviously. Spiced? More like herbs maybe. 
Either way, it waaasss delicious. Well, at least to me lah. Each to their own.

I love it enough to insist Cik Anai to take a picture of me with it. Yum! 
Oh and in case you're wondering about the cost of a meal inside the Louvre, well, the Croque
 was 15€ and the mussels was 9€. Not to outrageous I guess for a tourist spot.

Now that we are all recharged and energised back to at least mid-battery level, 
we're off again to hunt down our next 'target'. Venus de Milo. By then, the museum was pretty much cleared of tourist. Yay!

That gives us time to linger and take our time at every single thing that 
perked our interest. Like insanely beautiful architecture!

The Nike of Samothrace or also known as the Winged Victory of Samothrace. 

Why such a faraway shot instead of a close-up you say? Well, we were left in awe 
of the sight of the empty stairway actually. Hahaha. Earlier in the day, this place was packed 
with visitors as these stairs was the cross-road to different halls. There were people walking 
from in every direction and there were also those sitting along the stairs, at the feet of the statue. There were people everywhere and now, waalaah! A lady and a statue.

And finally! Venus de Milo was surprisingly easier to locate. Maybe because 
we were more calm and less distracted by the crowd. The down-side of a night trip 
to the museum is the lighting though. :(

One last compulsory shot inside the museum. *click* There are a lot more to see in the museum actually. All that we saw were only in one of the three wings of the museum. Imagine that. Museum enthusiasts can easily spend three days in here and still complain there's not enough time. So yeah, this would have to do for us this time around. If the chance do come by again, I'll be sure to drop by and awed all over again. *smiles*

We decided to step out again for a night shot of the museum.

It was a bittersweet feeling for us as it was also time to bid goodbye to Paris. 


Not before we visited La Pyramide Inversée aka The Inverted Pyramid. Hehe. 
With that, our mission here in Paris was finally completed. 

 Or so we thought! 

 Who knew we had one last adventure before finding our way to the bus station. *sigh* 
For us, Paris does not sign off 'with love' but instead 'Paris... with adventure'. We headed towards the one route that we knew of, the route that we came but alas, we somehow got ourselves a little lost. With the clock ticking away, we hit the yellow panic button. 

 Eh? Eh? Eh?!? 

 Finally we found our way to the metro station only to discover it was already closed! Wooot?!?! Panic signal hit orange. Danger Danger! We headed out to the streets only to be greeted with a lonely street and a sad few pedestrians. Panic signal reached bright RED because we had no idea how to go about from here because we had no freaking idea where we were. 

 Weee!!! Heart-pounding excitement. 

 The thing was, we had a bus to catch and if we missed it then we're practically stranded in Paris. Yeah, worst come to worst, we can somehow manage a night's stay in a hotel but still.... *tick tick tick* 

Time to ask for help!!

We quickly approached a young lady who seemed to be on her way back from work and asked for the nearest metro station and guess what!! She kindly offered to guide us there. Hooray! WAIT! Should we turn our suspicious mode on? No time yo! It's time to believe in the greater good of mankind! 

And so we followed. 

 And so we arrived safely to the metro station. 


 She even asked if we know how to manage our way with the ticketing machine and we said yes as we already have our carnet of tickets ready. We expressed our deep gratitude as she smiled and wave farewell to us. Yup! She was not heading to this metro at all. She just took the extra effort to help us! *sniffles* Together with the guy who helped us ordered our lunch earlier in the day, I'll say French people are so not what some made out to be, snobbish or unfriendly to those who knows no French? Well, not to us at least. 

Thank you Paris for a wonderful and exciting experience like no other! 
It will forever be a day we will never forget. :) 

 Now it's time for a rocky night's sleep on the bus as we get ready 
to wake up in another country. Weee!

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