And so my travel entries from Europe ends here. I can’t say I’m 100% sad that my next travel post might not be as dreamy as Paris anymore, since it took me so long to find time to post-process everything. 16 GB times 5 days in London and 5 days in Paris equals hours/days/weeks/months of going through hundreds of pictures, working my lazy butt off and working on these photos every chance I get, and deliberating which ones to show on my blog. All the sleepless nights, and finally, it’s over. For now, at least. I still have two trips worth of photos from Singapore, as well as a pending trip to Melbourne this September. Please do watch out for those posts soon! I am always the happiest every time I finish a travel photo diary. Now, if I could do this forever…
If only I could eat macarons everyday just like I did in Paris…
If I could only give a macaron to each of my readers in gratitude…
Miss Dior perfume display. Some of my favorite perfume campaigns are from Miss Dior. All the pink roses and ribbons!
Fell in love with this dress the moment I saw it. Something a grown-up Madeline or a modern Miss Clavel would wear.
French department store, Galeries Lafayette. I wasn’t able to go shopping in Paris at all (Shame on me for going all tourist-photographer mode!), but I was able to pass by for a while when my dad decided to buy a new pair of walking sandals.
Such a temple for shopaholics. The glass dome and the interiors are quite lovely too, so don’t forget to take a picture (or don’t be like me) even if you’re not going to shop! *photography advice*
If you’ve noticed, I always post pictures of couples in my travel entries. This picture is a little different though.
A group of young American girls hopped on the tour bus I was in and sat behind my seat. Suddenly, they started talking about a couple fighting near the bus stop, so I took a picture out of curiosity. I zoomed the photo in, and this is what I got. Drama much!
The girls behind me kept on shouting “Don’t break up with her!” in the hopes of trying to uplift the couple’s mood from… well, the top of the double decker bus we were on.
The Louvre on a busy weekend.
My brothers Chase and Juju in front of the Louvre.
Me looking like a giddy little girl! Dreams do come true. I’ve always wanted to visit the Louvre, especially since I took art history classes back in university. It was finally a time for me to see all these artbook staples in real life!
Details of I.M. Pei’s glass pyramid. A lot of people think that such a futuristic structure in the middle of classic French architecture looks out of place, but I kind of love how, from afar, you can totally see the marriage between the new and the old.
I don’t believe in being too stuck up about pretty old things, as long as the new ones look just as good, or even better.
Inside the Louvre. SO MANY PEOPLE! But not surprising since I’m pretty sure this place is on everyone’s bucket lists.
Winged Victory of Samothrace, or simply, Nike. This is one of the most celebrated sculptures EVER. The moment you find out that it was created way back in 190 BC, it becomes all the more worthy of celebration.
The Mona Lisa! It was surprisingly small - that is all I can say. I have a closer photo of it, but my mom told me that if I only take a photo of the painting, it could look like something that I just got off the Internet.
So I decided to include the frame, and the glass pane protecting it as proof that I actually went to the Louvre and saw the real Mona Lisa. LOL, too extreme.
In this hall where this ceiling is, I bumped into my cousin’s girlfriend. Of all places to bump into someone you know!
And again, I heeded my mom’s advice and decided to include people in my photo. It’s a little amazing how everyone is just free to take pictures inside the Louvre. Some tourists were even using flash. SMH!
I had a totally different experience in Musee d’Orsay! There were so many guards trying to catch people taking pictures. I had to use my ninja skills again for the sake of this blog.
La Grande Odalisque by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres.
Jacques-Louis David’s The Coronation of Napoleon.
Some of the characters in the painting.
From the same artist, The Intervention of the Sabine Women. Leader of the Sabines, Hersilia, is that iconic woman in the white dress.
Venus de Milo!
The famous armless statue. The epitome of Classical beauty.
Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss.
Michaelangelo’s unfinished marble structure, Dying Slave.
Vermeer’s The Astronomer.
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres’ Turkish Bath.
The Louvre from a higher place. Fans of The Da Vinci Code would love this!
The weather was pretty good and our tour bus stopped at the most convenient places, so I was finally able to take a lot of photos of random people walking by.
I love this couple’s fashion!
Notre Dame Cathedral, home of hunchback bell-ringer Quasimodo! :)
Love her outfit so much! Totally something I would also wear, especially the pants.
A man selling souvenirs by the street.
Oops, I got caught! But it’s still a good picture nonetheless. I love everyone’s fashion in Paris. No doubt it is the fashion capital of the world.
These girl friends had matching shoes. How adorable!
Musee d’Orsay restaurant.
Sacre Coeur through clock at Musee D’Orsay!
Picture taking is prohibited in most areas of Musée d’Orsay…
…unless you are a ninja like me! It’s absolutely gorgeous inside the Musée d’Orsay d’Orsay - these pictures don’t do it any justice.
This museum was formerly Gare d’Orsay, an impressive Beaux-Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900. Nowadays, we know it for its collection of impressionist and post-impressionist works of art. Here are some of the paintings I was able to see with my very own eyes: Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s Bal du moulin de la Galette, Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night Over the Rhone Arles and The Church at Auvers, Édouard Manet’s The Luncheon on the Grass and Olympia, and Gustave Courbet’s The Artist’s Studio.
Fangirled a little inside every time I saw an iconic painting!
One of my lucky pictures of the inside of the museum.
One of the sections housed Gustave Courbet’s L’Origine du monde or The Origin of The World… also known as that very bold close-up painting of a woman’s genitals. In the same area, a group of little kids were having an art session for school. Interesting choice of location, teacher!
National Assembly, where the lower house of the bicameral Parliament of France is.
Paris, it’s so annoying that you are so breathtakingly beautiful! Such a dream! I wish I could visit you every year.
Traffic building up.
A close-up of the Luxor Obelisk in Place de la Concorde.
Blue and brown + glasses = always a smart combination.
Flowers on tall trees that were being blown by the strong winds. It’s so fun being able to take pictures from a double decker bus. Gives you a totally different perspective of a certain place.
Al fresco at Avenue des Champs-Élysées! Perfect day to have afternoon tea and macarons.
The famous giant Louis Vuitton store along Champs-Élysées.
Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile.
On a different day, the French flag in the middle was removed, but one of the sculptures suddenly got a red scarf. I wonder who gets to decide what to do with all these pieces of cloth.
Mother and daughters taking a walk.
La Tour Eiffel from Trocadero.
Ahh, to be able to ride a bike in Paris…
Close-up of the Eiffel Tower. Did you know that this monument is the most-visited paid monument in the world?
If earlier I had a photo of a mother with her daughters, here’s a photo of a father and his sons!
Me looking rather disheveled because of the wind… but it’s the freaking Eiffel Tower in the background! *happy dance*
My brothers Calel, Juju and Chase. OT, but do we look like one another?
So many people going to and from the Eiffel Tower.
The Beautiful Life.
L’Hôtel national des Invalides.
The chapel at Invalides.
Spot the old lady in red! This is one of my favorite pictures ever. I got lucky!
Sacré Cœur, in English, means Sacred Heart.
On our way to La Basilique du Sacré Coeur de Montmartre, which is a church on top of a hill. Again, brown and blue + glasses + book = <3 (I’m such a stalker!)
The view of the city from the top of Montmartre, where many artists such as Salvador Dalí, Claude Monet, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh used to have their own studios.
People were free to perform in the area.
Coincidentally, the Relic of St. Therese was in this church the day we visited this place. They were having a really long mass (in French though) with hundreds and hundreds of people, so my family and I decided to drop by and pray as well.
The way to Montmartre.
Art Nouveau detail on the Metro sign, and a man with nice shiny shoes.
Ideal clear blue sky.
Had mass at this church as well!
People outside the church looking like they were so ready to have their photo taken.
Two women crossing the street, wearing bright red color accents.
Dinner time at La Contrescarpe. It was my parents’ 28th wedding anniversary, and my mom’s student from Ateneo, Frédéric, reserved a table for us at this restaurant.
I swear I felt like I gained a hundred pounds in Paris. But how can you not eat your heart out when authentic French cuisine is readily available everywhere?
My parents said our food expenses in Paris were double our London food expenses. That says something, yes?
Dramatic lighting calls for an equally dramatic photograph. Sorry if it’s contrived. I couldn’t help it!
The restaurant’s special menu.
Al fresco. It was too cold in the evening though, so we decided to dine inside. I need to grow another layer of skin - I am so bad with lower temperatures. :(
The Dandy Warhols were performing at some place near our hotel.
On our last free day in Paris, we went to Champs-Élysées in the hopes of doing some serious shopping. However, we totally forgot it was Labor Day, and almost all the stores turned out to be closed. So what did my family do for a whole day? What else but eat! Luckily, the original Ladurée was open and was serving customers as usual. If you haven’t heard of this place before, they are only the inventor of the double-decker macaron, and they sell about 15,000 every single day. Definitely one of the highlights of my whole Paris trip was being able to taste Ladurée macarons.
A fitting ending to a long travel post, yes? I hope you guys liked this entry as much as I enjoyed working on it! <3
(I’m actually updating from Singapore right now, leeching wifi from CBTL Ion Orchard!)
Château de Versailles was the official residence of the kings of France from 1682 until 1790, and is considered as one of the finest, most superb examples of French Baroque architecture. Most of us now recognize this place for its association to Marie Antoinette and Louis XIV.
I think it would be a sin to skip this place if you’re a tourist in France! Fortunately, from the heart of Paris, it only takes a 30 minute train ride before you can witness the splendor of this place. The best thing about Versailles, I believe, is that it is so massive and ornate that it definitely will make you blurt out, “Humans are too amazing!”
Early morning view in front of Versailles.
The Sun King, and also the longest-reigning king in European history, reigning for 72 years and 110 days. If you’re a fan of Alexandre Dumas, you’d recognize Louis XIV as the twin brother of The Man In The Iron Mask!
Me at the Marble Court. I look like I was just photoshopped in!
The Golden Gates of Versailles.
So many people were taking pictures of the gates from outside. Why not take a picture from inside? *ninja photographer mode*
Me and my prince-like outfit! No one was taking pictures from this side of the gates, so I took the liberty to do a funny leg pose.
The Chapels of Versailles, where Marie Antoinette married Louis XVI.
Inside each room, you can find beautiful oil paintings on the ceilings. Here is Apothèse d’Hercule (Apotheosis of Hercules, where this room’s name, Salon of Hercules, was derived from) by François Le Moyne. He committed suicide after painting it. :(
The Salon of Abundance.
The Mars Salon where the paintings are all military-themed.
Hall of Mirrors / Galerie des Glaces, one of the most popular places in the world! Louis XIV always passed by this hall to go from his private apartment to the chapel.
The mirror at the Queen’s Bedchamber. This has got to be my favorite room in the whole of Versailles. You’ll see why in the next few pictures.
To say that this room has so many flowers is an understatement! Very fitting for Marie Antoinette, yes?
The headboard. If you look closely, there is combined M and A in the middle.
Beautiful fabric. How grand! Can I stay here forever?
Fidelity, Charity, Prudence and Generosity were depicted in the 4 gray paintings in the ceiling (you can see one in this picture).
One of the gardens in Versailles.
Not entirely related to Versailles, but they had Angelina in one of the rooms so I was tempted to… well, eat cake.
"Qu’ils mangent de la brioche!" is said to not have been Marie Antoinette’s line though! There have been lots of speculation that "Let them eat cake!" was uttered by another great princess. Oh well!
So many people! It’s a good thing we were free to take pictures in Versailles. Now, I wish Windsor Castle could also allow picture taking at the State Apartments…
The Latona Basin, found in between the Palace of Versailles and the Grand Canal (also visible in this picture).
Latona, where the statue on top of the fountain was based on, turned the Lycean peasants into frogs when they refused to give her water.
Looks like it could be a scene from a movie.
Spotted a couple taking a stroll from far away.
Ducks at the Grand Canal.
Versailles is HUGE. You definitely can’t walk through the whole of it in a day, especially if you’re not going to pay extra for a cart. Too bad all the carts were sold out when were were there because it was raining pretty hard. :(
One of the rooms at Petit Trianon. Not too many pictures from this place because it was honestly too plain compared to the Palace of Versailles. A good spot to still visit if you have a lot of extra time.
But it started raining so hard by the end of the afternoon that everyone, including us, just decided to call it a day. Well, as long as you visit the main areas, you’re pretty much good to go. I wish I could visit this place again next time, when the weather is a lot better!
Dropped by Starbucks before heading back to central Paris.
Hope you liked that short tour of Versailles! I’ll be posting more from my Paris trip next weekend. I hope I can do travel posts on a weekly basis! <3
After my short trip to London, my family and I headed straight to Paris via Eurostar!
Steam punk vibe at the station. It was love at first sight.
Different trains arriving from different places such as Amsterdam and Brussels. It’s so easy to travel from one place to another while you’re in Europe! Wish I could say the same about Asia! My craziest dream is for a train/tunnel to magically appear from Manila to Tokyo.
Ah, la belle Paris!
As usual, we walked around the area of our hotel after leaving our stuff in our rooms. We stayed at Hotel Saint Petersbourg at 33-35 Rue de Caumartin, which is a humble place that’s only one block away from the Opera and the subway. Excellent location! It’s also near shopping places such as Galeries Lafayette and Printemps.
We passed by an Office du Tourisme to get our bearings. You can get almost all your tickets to all the famous tourist spots here. Talk about convenient!
From here on, I couldn’t help but snap pictures at almost every corner.
Ministère de la Justice at Place Vendome.
Librairie Galignani in rue de Rivoli. It is the first English bookshop established on the continent! It’s been around since the early 19th century.
When in Paris, eat macarons. I think I ate macarons everyday when I was there. I tried Pierre Hermé, Angelina, and of course Ladurée!
So many people having their afternoon tea and cake. Angelina (formerly known as Rumpelmayers) was once a favorite of Audrey Hepburn and Coco Chanel.
I can stare at this the whole day. I loved all the macarons so much that I had to buy some more before heading back to Manila. My tummy was very satisfied.
Hello there, little fella!
Jardin des Tuileries, a public garden located between the Louvre Museum and the Place de la Concorde. There weren’t a lot of people when I went there because it was so windy and rainy.
My hair after being subjected to x number of hours of different weather conditions. Nothing like a little red lipstick to save a bad hair day.
River cruise! Vedettes du Pont Neuf. Pont Neuf is the oldest standing bridge across the river Seine.
Rue du Bac, near Musée d’Orsay.
The flag of France. The Tricolour.
Gare d’Orsay is a former Paris railway station and hotel. Now, we just know it as Musée d’Orsay, the famous art museum.
In front of Musée d’Orsay. Went here on another day, so more pictures of this place in another post.
Pretty French buildings.
Even tree branches are photogenic in Paris.
Feels and looks like a dream.
Had afternoon coffee (al fresco) at a small cafe where everyone was too nice! One of the waitresses knew how to speak in English so she patiently took our orders and even complimented us for looking cute. Little did she know that she was the cutest one!
One of my favorite landscape photos from my Paris trip. Here’s a good view of the Eiffel Tower, the River Seine, and the Pont Alexandre III arch bridge.
Thank God we found someone who could understand English!
Hotel des invalides and Dome des invalides. Louis XIV built Hotel des invalides in the 17th century to serve as a home for invalid war veterans. Now it’s a war museum.
Dome des invalides is the burial place of Napoleon, two of his brothers and his son Napoleon II. More pictures of this place in another post!
Place de la Concorde, one of the major public squares in Paris.
Here you can find the Obelisk of Luxor, another one of the three Ancient Egyptian obelisks. I already posted a photo of the London Cleopatra’s Needle before, so I only need a photo of the one in New York to complete the series! Back in early 2011, I wasn’t able to take a lot of pictures and go around Central Park because of my 38-39 degree fever. Hopefully I can come back soon, yes?
Stylish Parisian pedestrians (and some tourists!)
L’église de la Madeleine. The Madeleine is a parish of the Archdiocese of Paris.
Every fashion fan should know the significance of 31 rue Cambon. Clue: She invented the concept of the modern boutique… and of course, N°5.
The Opera by day.
Guess where I am?
Just in time for the lights! I’ve always preferred the Louvre when it’s dramatically lit up in the evening.
Time for fill our empty stomachs with classic French food!
But first we had apéritifs with my mom’s former student and my former schoolmate (he went to Ateneo for a few months as an exchange student) Frédéric, who introduced us to Sauternes. Sweet wine will be the death of me! Someone bring this to Manila!
The Opera by night.
I absolutely love Paris at night. It’s like it completely transforms into another place! Nothing can ever compare. Everything is so wonderfully lit, and the fact that there are so many places with Paris with a very rich history makes it all the more magical.
Up next: Versailles!