So if you didn't catch the last few posts, this series is about our trip to Paris way back in June 2016 when we went there for summer school! Both of us enrolled in a Luxury Management course at a college called HEC Paris. The course itself was 2 weeks long, but we booked our flight a week earlier so we could travel and explore the city.
In the last post, we got into a daily routine of going to class for 3 hours, having lunch, going to class for another 3 hours, then cooking dinner in our secret kitchen! Soon it was the weekend, and we went exploring with our friend, Ho Kit, who was also from the same college as us back in Singapore!
I couldn't finish writing about the day since it was getting long, so here's the rest of our day in the city!
18 June 2016. Saturday.
After visiting the Arc de Triomphe and Fontaine Saint-Michel, we were getting a little hungry, and decided to stop for lunch.
I don't remember what restaurant we went to since I didn't take a picture, but it was probably a small cafe or something. We had a nice meal of chicken and omelette, with a side of fries and salad.
I do remember not being very full from this meal though. It wasn't a lot since I'm pretty sure we ordered the cheapest thing on the menu.
Anyway, after resting for a little bit, we headed on our way back to exploring the city. The cafe we were at probably wasn't too far from this building, which I unfortunately cannot identify either, since most buildings in Paris look like this:
But just a short walk away (across the bridge called Pont Saint-Michel) was Sainte-Chapelle (and the Palais de Justice, the shorter building)! Sorry I don't actually have a picture of the Sainte-Chapelle, but you can see the top parts of it in the on the left):
The Sainte-Chapelle is a royal chapel in the Gothic style, within the medieval Palais de la Cité, the residence of the Kings of France until the 14th century, on the Île de la Cité in the River Seine in Paris, France. is considered among the highest achievements of the Rayonnant period of Gothic architecture. It was commissioned by King Louis IX of France to house his collection of Passion relics, including Christ's Crown of Thorns – one of the most important relics in medieval Christendom.
Like the Panthéon, we didn't actually go inside Sainte-Chapelle. I think there might have been some event going on since there were quite a few cars outside and security around. We didn't want to get caught in a crowd, so we just took a quick look and went on our way.
It is quite unfortunate though, because the inside of the Sainte-Chapelle looks amazing! Colourful stained glass windows cover almost the entirety of the inner walls! Arranged across 15 windows, each 15 metres high, the stained glass panes depict 1,113 scenes from the Old and New Testaments recounting the history of the world until the arrival of the relics in Paris.
Well anyway, not too far from the Sainte-Chapelle was another monument! This one was a little tough to spot since it was behind a tree, and on the side of a really tall building.
So I mentioned that the Sainte-Chapelle was part of the Palais de la Cité (the former royal palace). Together with the chapel, the Palais de Justice and the Conciergerie (formerly a prison but now used for law courts) were also part of the royal palace. So the palace itself was really huge and had a lot of wings and towers. One of which had a clock on its side, and it was know as the Tour de l'Horloge, which was this:
It wasn't that big tbh, and at the time I didn't understand why it was a monument since it was just a fancy clock, which I guess it still is, but it was a fancy clock ordered by Charles V, the King of France from 1364 to 1380.
After that, we crossed another bridge, over the river Seine!
I'm sure everyone has heard of the Seine, which is a 777 km long river and important commercial waterway within the Paris Basin in the north of France. Nearly its whole length is available for recreational boating like sightseeing boating tours.
Soon, we arrived at yet another tower, called Saint-Jacques Tower!
This 52 metre gothic tower is all that remains of the former 16th-century Church of Saint-Jacques-de-la-Boucherie ("Saint James of the butchers"), which was demolished in 1797, during the French Revolution.
The architecture was pretty cool though, so I'm glad they left some part of it still standing.
After that we walked more towards the more modern area with shops and department stores.
My mum wanted me to check out the Lipault store for any good bags on sale, so we visited the store for a bit, but didn't end up buying anything.
I believe this is part of the Conciegerie that we could see from across the Seine:
Our friend lead us to another bridge over the Seine called Pont des Arts, which connected the Louvre & the Institut de France.
The Institut de France is a French learned society, and they manage approximately 1,000 foundations, as well as museums and châteaux open for visit. And it looks really grand from the outside as well:
Along that same stretch was just a bunch of museums and galleries!
We didn't visit any, since we're not museum buffs and it was pretty crowded too, but it was cool to look at the buildings.
Soon, we ended up back at the Grand Palais (where I began my solo adventure a couple of days ago)!
I didn't get to explore the last time I was here so it was nice to be back in the same area with Sean.
We took a nice leisurely walk, seeing the Eiffel Tower in the distance:
Walking by the same Napoleon statue:
And getting a better view of Tour de Eiffel!
Since Sean had never seen it up close before (I actually went up the tower during a tour with my family in Dec 2015), we decided to spend the rest of the day heading towards the tower so we could get as close as we could.
And about half an hour later from the above photo, we made it!
I don't know how much we walked, but it felt like a pretty long distance. We didn't go up the tower because I told Sean there wasn't much to see since it wasn't that high anyway. There wasn't much to eat when we were there but there was some ice cream stalls nearby so we bought a cone to share.
It was pretty crowded since it was a Saturday, and there were quite a few soccer fans around since it was the world cup period.
We did manage to get a few decent shots at least:
After taking a couple more pictures, we headed back towards Grand Palais and stopped for dinner at a restaurant, where we had pizza and pasta to share!
We ordered a ham and mushroom pizza:
And a carbonara:
After which, we were really stuffed! We didn't have any carbs for lunch and after all that walking it was a much needed refuel.
It was almost 9pm by the time we ended up back at the train station nearest our campus, but the weather was really nice:
And I caught this amazing shot of the sunset as we trudged back to our hostel!
We were both really exhausted after walking around the city the whole day. Our feet were sore, and we couldn't wait to get back to our room to relax. We ended up turning in early since we were soo tired.
But that's all for today! Tune in next week where we visit the Palace of Versailles!
Thanks so much for reading!
To find out more about me, check out my intro post here!