Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Breath Of Paris: Île de la Cité

I am taking such a long time sorting out which of my Paris pics to share. Rome was already difficult enough, but Paris is even more difficult. You can’t take a bad angle of this city. I enjoy looking at them again and again that I get lost in reminiscing, and I keep forgetting that I am sorting out pics for a blog entry.

My alarm went off at 6:30am. I wanted to play snoozefest with it right away but I had to consider my roommates. It is annoying when someone plays snoozefest with her alarm in hostels. I took a peek outside the window. It was still dark, and there were water droplets in the window. Uh-oh, it was raining in Paris.

I did my morning routine and then I was bright and sparkly, ready to conquer Paris. I stepped outside my hostel... and I stopped. It was cold, but still manageable. Right then, I knew I made the wrong decision of shipping a lot of my clothes back home whenI was in Rome. I needed them for Paris! I still had a pair of gloves with me to save my fingers from the cold. It was already the first week of October and autumn was starting. I haven’t thought then that Paris was geographically located in the northern part of Europe. I spent most of my first two weeks under the sun and I thought the sun would join me up in Paris. *wonk wonk*

But of course, I can’t let the rainfall rain on my parade. Time to learn the Paris metro. My nearest stop was Blanche Station in Line 2.  I passed by the Moulin Rouge station that time but I didn’t notice it because it wasn’t so flashy.
The underground metro offered me warmth. I thought of getting the Paris Visite Pass but after doing a cost comparison, I figured that I could plan my itinerary and the pass might not be worth it. I bought a carnet of 10 tickets for €12,50. One ticket can be used even if you change trains as long as you haven’t exited the metro station. Soooo... it was okay to get lost. Hahaha! Just don’t go out of the station if you are not sure of your stop.

The hostel provided me with a comprehensive map of Paris’ metro. For my first morning in Paris, I explored Île de la Cité. It is a natural island located in the center of Paris. Surprisingly, I did not get lost finding the Cite stop.

The purple camera case made it to Paris!

Notre Dame Cathedral. A fan of Quasimodo? This is his hideout.

I have to admit that I wasn’t wow-ed by the church immediately. It was quite plain compared to the striped Duomo of Siena or gold of Basilica di San Marco of Venice. The church was simple but majestic. The plain marble walls with the stained glass elicit a silent elegance.

Then again, look at the ceiling.

Simple yet grand

Lines and texture make it interesting. Nothing flashy, but majestic nonetheless.

Art students were sketching the cathedral.

This door and its arc is very similar to the Cologne Cathedral. Both are Gothic Churches.

They are also taking a picture

The three gargoyle friends of Quasimodo?

There was quite a line in going up the cathedral. I decided to wander around first before falling in line to see Quasimodo. Hahaha.

There was a park at the back of the cathedral. The trees were beckoning me.

I had to wait a while for someone to pass by and take this picture. And it ends up with another guy behind me.

The park was almost deserted. I had to be creative if I want a picture.

I placed the camera on the next bench.

And for this pa-tweetums shot, I placed the camera on top of a trash can. Sariling sikap!

I took a bunch of shots that will make me laugh at when I see them when I am old. Coupled with these blog entries, they'll serve as a nice memory of my crazy adventure. After getting dozens of sariling sikap shots, I proceeded in exploring the rest of the island.

My main goal in the island is to eat the very popular Berthillon ice cream which is dubbed to be the best ice cream in the world. But it was cold plug I already had this cold-occasional phlegm combo condition. I didn’t want my condition to get any worse when I am exploring Paris. I held on to the reign of self-discipline and skipped the ice cream and just roamed around.

The island was adorned by all of these ice cream shops. 

Reminds me of this scene in the movie Inception.

Although it was almost lunch time, I wasn’t quite hungry yet. Eventually, I decided to ditch climbing Notre Dame. I don’t think Quasimodo is up there anyway. I headed off to find the Latin Quarter.  
The guy who took this pic had to really lean back to get a full picture with the cathedral.

Rain finally stopped me in my tracks. I also had my umbrella in that LBC box and I was still stingy at that time to throw away a €9 souvenir umbrella. 

I stopped in front of the restaurant. Since I had no umbrella, I couldn't go on with my plan. Time for lunch. Besides, I haven't had a bathroom break all morning.There were public pay-for toilets around but I didn't want to line up - or pay. Haha.

The menu this time was in French. I got their lunch set for € 15. Easy choice.

The Pesto was so-so.

But the tiramisu was divine.

Fully charged again. Time to conquer the rest of Paris.


  1. excited for Paris post :) btw, curious question..because this is my struggle when traveling do you dine alone? how do u order in french/italian??

  2. For the casual restos like fastfood chains, it was easy to dine alone. For the more formal restos, at first, I was shy to say "table for one please", but I got used to it. I still got the same attention as other diners, I believe.

    Most of the waiters/waitress understand English. But... you won't always understand their English. Hehehe. But you'll get by with patience. I just say the French/Italian of Hello and Goodbye. It was quite fun dining in Paris!

  3. I love your blog! Though I've been to Paris many times I will never get tired of looking at pictures and reading your descriptions of the place.


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