YES!!! My dream vacation came true. I have finally visited the city of love and lights.
Before this day, I actually didn’t sleep the whole night because of the excitement that is running in my head all the time knowing that I will be in Paris soon. I was even checking websites that will give me more information about the where abouts of this city. I know that Paris is nice, but I want to learn more about it and try to make an itenenary of the places we needed to visit. I was kinda worried too, knowing that this week Paris is going to be very rainy.
At 4am I started preparing myself for the tour, I packed some of the things that I will still bring for the trip. As what I have seen and read on the weather forecasts, it says that it is going to rain the whole time of the visit. I also read that April is one of the months where sudden down pour of rain happens. I was also worried because of the train schedules. Before this day, 2 trains in Amsterdam crashed at each other and the connecting trains for Amsterdam are not even possible at the moment. Im glad to have discovered the day before the trip that we just have to go to Schiphol and take the train there to Paris.
6:30am our train begins to move, I was amazed how fast the train goes. It only took us almost 30mins to be in Rotterdam with a normal travel of an hour in an ordinary train. The trip took 3 hours from Schiphol, Amsterdam to Paris.
Arriving at the Gare du Nord, I can’t believe that I am now standing and seeing Paris. It was like a time warp, so fast and I am there. The station wasn’t like from what I have actually expected. It is not fancy at all. It was a train station, period. You’ll see trains and lots of tourists.
The sight outside the station is nice, but the inside is kinda, meh…
We headed directly to our hotel, rested a bit and left our luggage. Our hotel was Campanile Gare du Nord, it is 10mins away front the station which is really handy. It is clean and I am so glad with that. The only thing I noticed, I heard lots of sirens from the police and ambulances. We are near the police station and the hospital. It was crazy, I dont know what are they doing or what is happening, it is like every minute you can hear the sounds of their alarms.
After resting we are already thrilled to see further of the city and from what we are expecting, it rained, luckily I have my umbrella with me. We actually dont have any idea where to go first, so we took the taxi and asked to bring us to the Eiffel Tower. Taxi’s are really good and cheap, the meter starts at 2.50 euros which is affordable when you are in a rush or really lost. The traffic in Paris is crazy. It is different from what I am used to when im in Holland. I felt more like im in Manila, Philippines with the traffic, people crossing everywhere and the cars sometimes doesn’t stop when it is red. When we arrived at The Eiffel Tower, I was happy to see it. I said to myself that “Wow, I can’t believe im here”.
Oh and by the way, French People knows a bit or almost not when it is about speaking English. It would be handy if you bring your map with you and show it to the taxi driver and surely it will take you to your destination. I find it a bit weird that they don’t really like speaking other languages rather than french. In my opinion, they should learn the basic english because every year millions of people visits their place and it would be of course easier for everyone if they can speak english too. But I respect the French people, I know they love their language and country and it is their way of being proud of it.
The rain pours bad, we headed our way back to the hotel and dried up a bit. It wasn’t nice anymore to walk in wet and cold. We stayed there a bit and waited for the rain to at least lighten up a bit. We looked and searched the map where to go next. We decided to go to Sacre Coeur from Gare du Nord by foot. Thank you for the iphone application saying that it is only 30mins walking when we ended up walking for an hour. It was a bit far from what we have expected.
Sacre Coeur, it is a Catholic church and it is located at the Montmartre, which is the highest point of the city. I can say that the view here is really good where you can see the whole Paris.
If you are worried about going up the stairs, don’t be. There are elevators on the left side of the church that will bring you at the top in no time. It is worth the experience.
The elevator track
And the big surprise of the church.
View from the top
Taking pictures inside the church is not allowed, so I am not able to share it to you. But as I may say, this church is really beautiful inside and out. I am glad to have discovered this place and took time to rest and pray, thanking HIM for all of the goodness in life He has given me.
My first day, wasn’t really bad at all as I have reminisced eventhough loads of rain fell from this day.
23rd of April 2012