We arrived Paris airport late in the afternoon. We had a red eye flight. It also took energy out of me trying to find Air France bus in the airport and get to our hotel. Though everything was quite smooth and we didn’t make any mistake, I was quite tired when we reach the hotel. We decided to have a light day. We basically spend time in the afternoon getting familiar w/ Paris Metro system. Got two 5 days pass for both of us. Then we hop on the Metro to the Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysees which is a stop quite close to where we live.
Arc de Triomphe
My first impression was, wow, this is Paris. We were really here. With the popularity of Internet, I’ve seen the photo (like you do now) many times. But the fact that the Arc was right in front of me, it validated brought me to the reality that I was actually in Paris! About little more than a month ago, I didn’t know I would be in Paris, and now I am standing on the soil of world proclaimed most romantic city. It took us a while to figure out that in order to reach the Arc, we need to go to an underground walk way. Underground walk way was really familiar to me as I grew up in a busy city in Asia. In the walk way, I saw beautiful painting of Paris. I wish I bought one then I can frame it in my reading room. BTW, I am decorating my reading room w/ all the travel photos. If I get to choose, I would decorate it w/ food photos during travel, but The Photographer refuses to take photos for me when there’s yummy food in front of him. He just wishes to dig in and enjoy .. I guess I need to sign up some photo lessons from Augie 😉 That way I don’t need to rely on The Photographer.
Av. des Champs-Elysees
Champs-Elysees is a street w/ many (famous) shops on both side of the street. There are many cafe’s and restaurants as well. It was quite cold outside, but there were still many tourists enjoying the shopping. There wasn’t snow on that day. But I really experienced White Christmas in Paris. The street was decorated w/ the theme of White Christmas. There were floating white lights hanging on the tree. During evening time, the lights float downs the tree just like white snow flake. It’s really hard to describe by words. Equally hard to capture the atmosphere by camera.
image source: Annie’s point and shoot
I passed by the flagship shop of Louis Vuitton on Champs-Elysees. It was real crowded and there was a line. We decided not to go in as we are too physically tired to face the crowd.
Pl de la Concorde
It took us a while to walk from Arc de Triomphe to Pl de la Concorde. It didn’t look that long from the map. Also, I guess those of you who visited in summer time, it wouldn’t feel long either. However, walking in extremely cold weather can strain out one’s energy quite a bit. One pleasant though though, there were just so many Christmas decoration on the street. When it light up in the evening, it was deadly romantic. There were also nativity scenes displayed along side the park.
On the first day, w/ jet lag and all, Hy and I didn’t feel quite hungry at the evening. We decided to have some sweets for dinner and head back to hotel and rest. We arrived at Ladurée Royale (Laduree’s original store since 1862) at around 5:30pm. There was two long lines, one for takeout, another for cafe. We had to wait outside for a hour to get a seat at the cafe. It was freezing cold, but the sweets and classic decor was totally worth the wait! We had various flavor of macarons and Mont Blac. Both coffee and tea there were killers.
image source: http://www.laduree.fr/public_fr/produits/images/patisserie_mont-blanc.jpg
If you do get married in Paris, you can also order Laduree’s Macaron Tower for your reception.
image source: http://www.laduree.fr/public_fr/produits/images/ceremonies4f.jpg
On the last day of our trip, we again visited Ladurée, but this time at the Champs-Elysees location. The store at Champs-Elysees is much bigger. Though there’s a long line still, but the customers get to wait indoor instead of outdoor.
Stay tune for Day 2 tomorrow ~