À la prochaine, Paris!

09:48



This post follows the previous night of a frigid ferry ride and a sleepless bumpy bus ride... we arrived at this fluffy bed in Sheraton CDG which I promptly laid in immediately after I took a hot shower. It was one of those times I felt like I could sleep anywhere stationary, and this plume of cloud is really God-sent. 


After I recharged and became alive once again, I began to explore the different parts of the room with more zest! The view of the room is the airport's runway. Whoever who thought of this ingenuity deserves a prize. Anyway, there was no time to lose with hours before departure... so we decided to take the train (EUR20 for return trips) from the CDG airport to the city centre for some final Paris-adventures. Let's see where our feet take us!

EUR20 is pretty expensive to pay for a few hours of last-minute shopping and to tick a few more items off the Paris wishlist. But if you'll ask me again... I'll do it again anyway. It's Paris, yo. So I'll take more pictures to make my time worthwhile, that's all. #21stCenturyLogic


Please look past my fashion sense. 1. It was very cold that day. 2. My luggage was packed. 3. Time is gold. But at least it was comfortable. Here I am, ticking off 'taking a photo in the metro station of Paris'. :)


Jardin des Tuileries was on our to-go list previously. We didn't managed to go because we were overambitious with the planning, but now here we are! There are a lot of dubious, pushy people asking for charity donations. If you look Chinese enough, pretend you can't speak a word of English, smile and walk away. They can be very persistent in making you donate "just 20 Euros" (nothing less).


These are some photos that I've taken! It is a modest garden with a small theme park, it's quite okay to give it a miss if you're rushed for time. It feels like a more homely version of Versailles, which you should go as a day trip if you can.


The Bridge of Locks was also within a few steps of Jardin des Tuileries which was quite a stunning sight. There were so many locks of different shapes and sizes. There were little temporary stores selling locks on-site too. Needless to say their locks are less interesting, so if you want a unique one, bring it yourself ;)


The flags were at half-mast in remembrance of the MH17 tragedy victims. It was a really gloomy day too, unlike the sunshine Paris had a few days ago.


By a stroke of luck, we were strolling through a very comfortable route and scoring attractions all the way: our third stop was Musee d' Orsay which showcased 19th and 20th century masterpieces. We didn't go in, but just to look around the museum gift shop and... chased pigeons...

Havre Caumartin by Metro: As you can probably tell by now, what was on our minds then. This is a repeated stop from previous days but we just had to get a Longchamp.


A precious last meal at La Maison Blanche, who knows when will I see you again, Paris? This was a restaurant across the road from Gare Du Nord, where I was supposed to catch a train back to the CDG airport. 


Duck breast in pepper sauce served with tagliatelle (EUR16) which was divine - the duck was lovingly smeared with a lot of that tasty sauce and the tagliatelle was every bit of what pasta should be like. We didn't find this restaurant from Trip Advisor or any online reviews, but it seems like the casual finds on the streets have maintained a certain standard throughout.


Breaded turkey escalope spaghetti (EUR11.50) was pretty good as well though not as beautiful as the duck breast. I wished there could be more sauce!


Escargots for the very last time? Bring it on, and take my money (EUR8/half dozen, EUR15/dozen)! These are imported from Burgundy. I couldn't tell the difference because I haven't been eating enough escargots, but it was so delicious and chewy I love it! I miss it so much too.


My camera suddenly lacked a lot of documentation of what happened in between because our patience were once again tested by the transport system of Europe and when I'm agitated, I don't take photos (they'll probably appear jumpy and blur anyway). If you intend to take the train to catch a plane from Paris city centre to the CDG airport, please note that there are two types. 
1. The train that goes straight to the airport with minimal stops (only the major stations)
2. The train that stops at every small station.
I didn't know there was an option like that, so I took the first train which said that it was heading to CDG. It was two hours before the check-in counter closed, and the train journey was expected to take half an hour. It seemed like it had a comfortable (not too comfy for the worrywarts) buffer time for me to return to the hotel, get a quick shower, pack up a little, rest a little before heading to the check-in counter.
It seems like Fate doesn't like me to feel too relaxed then. No, the train has to break down. Or rather... it slowed down to a stop at a forsaken, deserted station surrounded by vegetation. The rest of the passengers looked very unaffected, presumably this happens quite often and they aren't catching flights.
I still didn't know what happened till today because the train announcements were made in a consecutive slew of rumbled French which I don't understand. Nor does it sound vaguely like English at all to make any intelligent guesses.
After ten minutes of ominous waiting, I decided to pluck up some courage to ask one of the burly old men in airport uniform,
"This train to airport?" (while flapping my arms)
I must have looked pretty funny then, because he started laughing a bit and nodded. The train announcements continued, and minutes ticked by while the train remained unmoving. Another girl from the next carriage brought her luggage down onto the platform, looking slightly worried. My heart did a mini celebration - I've found someone in the same boat as me. I called out to her and asked her if she knew why the train had stopped.
Turned out, she was as clueless as I am.. but she said someone told her the train will "resume shortly". I mentally calculated how much time I had left, discounting all chances to shower/pack/rest back at the hotel. Forty-five minutes. Not a good sign... after forever has past, the train kicked into motion again and started chugging its way into the airport while stopping at numerous stops (different from the 30-minutes train we took from the airport to the city centre).
The million things that can go wrong, eh?
My phone's battery was running low then, and I had to run to grab my luggage (nevermind fancy packing), then dash over to the check-in counter... which was closed by the time I reached. No surprises. I had to jump the queue to get to a human staff because the machine didn't recognize my flight number anymore. The human staff was engaged by another traveller who has misplaced his boarding pass and had to reprint. I had to wait... and soon I realized I forgot that I had to provide my flight reference number. Where was it?
The amount of commitment and thought given to the return flight home: zero.
I knew it was at some obscure corner of my bag which was very messy at that time - ain't nobody got the time to pack! I poured the contents of the bag onto the floor of the CDG airport, rummaging through my own things haphazardly, electric sparks going through my brain with stress. But that little piece of paper was nowhere in sight.
My phone! I must have it in one of the emails they sent. I wasn't connected to the airport Wifi, I had no data, and my battery was threatening to shut anytime at 7%. FML! Luckily, I could still access that email... and load it, and bring it to the staff to key it in and print my boarding pass. All was well there and then - I stuffed every bit of my things into the bag again as the machine churned out the beautiful boarding pass.
Quick recovery after that little scare: did I tell you that the duty-free shopping at CDG airport for Longchamp is cheaper than if you get it at departmental stores in the city centre? Ooh yes, I had time to browse those shops inside the departure gates because there was still ten minutes before the boarding gates opened.


At this moment of boarding, I was feeling sad because I didn't get to see Paris from the Eiffel Tower or the alternative Montparnasse, but guess what.. the city of lights gave me a little surprise on the plane... 


This isn't my photo... it's a HD wallpaper I pinched from somewhere to represent what I saw on the plane. This is almost the same as what I saw! Forget climbing towers and buildings to see Paris. The best view of Paris is from the plane (night view)!!! Hands down. So much chills down my spine and I actually teared a bit at marveling at this glittering beauty. Paris hasn't been very kind with all kinds of mishaps, but I'll still miss it all the same... a la prochaine, Paris!


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I share interesting episodes in life revolving around food, lifestyle, travel and inspirational ideas. If you would like to stay in touch, follow me on my Instagram on @spherepiece and Facebook page!

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