Oct 2, 2016
Prior to the whole trip, I booked a 2-day bus tour and a 1.5-hour night tour from a bus company called L’Open Tour. I know I’m a very touristy tourist – as much as I want to be a legit Parisian by taking the public transpo such as their trains and buses, it was not the better option when we only had 2 days left to tour around – we didn’t have the luxury of time to get lost!
The tour bus in all its green glory
I recommend it for people who have very limited time but want to visit as much tourist spots as possible. There are many tour bus companies to choose from – I just chose L’Open Tour because of the price and reviews. The arrangement is pretty simple. You buy tickets online, print the confirmation page, and present it to the bus driver himself, and he will give you your actual passes with maps and earphones. Anywhere you sit, there would be an audio system in place where you can plug-in your earphones and listen to a recorded tour guide, which is available in several languages. Obviously, all tour buses should stop at major tourist spots and in our case, the nearest bus stop was the Eiffel Tower. Buses arrive every 15 minutes or so.
At around 10am that Sunday, we boarded the upper deck of the tour bus.
Kilay on fleek
Les Invalides – I only know it as the final resting place of Napoleon Bonaparte. We didn’t get off here, and up to now I still wonder why. Probably on next visit – fingers crossed! 😀
The other side of Les Invalides. You can see some construction going on at the front.
This is on Pont Alexandre III bridge a.k.a. where Louisa Clark walked in the ending of Me Before You movie (lol typical millennial references)
The Grand Palais a.k.a. where Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2016 was held (again the references)
If there’s Grand Palais, then there’s this Le Petit Palais just across it.
Fontaine des Mers in Place de la Concorde. There’s also the Luxor Obelisk behind. I’m pretty sure I remembered the audio tour guide telling that some famous people were beheaded in this plaza (I don’t remember the names). Sorry I had sh*tty photos, there were just too many views I was so confused where to point my camera. I just gave up and inhaled the views.
I love Parisian buildings. Or probably all European buildings. Look at how uniform they are.
Academie Nationale de Musique and our bus mates
Now we decided to get off here, because just across this…
…is the Notre Dame Cathedral! Remember Quasimodo?
It was a sunny Sunday but friggin’ cold. Just played it cool with my outfit. I have this habit of underestimating the weather.
All of a sudden people formed a line so we followed since it looked like they’re gonna go inside.
Oh my God. This is the first time I saw such an old and enormous church. Because it was Sunday, there was a mass inside and of course visitors are not allowed to take photos during the mass. There are designated areas for that. We attended the mass first (though it was in French). After that, we toured around.
A scale model of the Notre Dame Cathedral. This is the side view of the church.
A diorama showing how the church was built.
My lucky scarf did little to save me from the coldddd. It bothered me in all ways. I can’t Queen Elsa the heck of the day.
We bought souvenirs outside the cathedral. There were plenty of stores around selling souvenirs such as t-shirts, bags, ref magnets and keychains. There were also restaurants and small stores in front of them selling baguette sandwiches and crepes. Since it was around 2pm and we haven’t had lunch yet, we bought baguette sandwiches and ate them while waiting for our tour bus.
We decided to go back to the hotel so that I can change to a more thought-of cold weather-friendly outfit, and also to drop off the things we bought.
Hello again, dearie
One does not simply pass Eiffel Tower without taking a photo of it. Even if you already have hundreds of photos of it.
Inside the tour bus
Printemps, because even department stores look fancy in Paris.
The Louvre Museum houses the most famous painting of all time – Leonardo da Vinci’s Monalisa. We didn’t go inside the museum because Rean and I share this passion of not understanding art.
Les Invalides during sunset. This was about 7pm.
With more than 2 hours to kill before our night tour which was scheduled at 945pm, we decided to have dinner at a restaurant near L’Open Tour Information Office, which was the starting point of the tour.
Inside Non Coupable restaurant and cafe. Here we see my enormous thin crust margherita pizza (but where’s the basil) and my cute espresso.
Meanwhile Rean enjoys his steak.
Just before boarding our night tour bus. We were among the first in line because we learned the hard way that in order to take good photos, you have to be seated at the very front of the bus.
Notre Dame Cathedral and Seine River at night
Paris, the City of Lights.
Arc de Triomphe at night. What a lovely sight.
Eiffel Tower view at night, from Trocadero side
“Unbelievable sight, indescribable feeling…”
Was able to catch Eiffel Tower sparkle a couple of times while we walked towards it.
Stay tuned for Part 3!
Read Part 1 here.
You can also read my posts about Europe so far:
How I Got My Schengen Visa: