Champs Elysees, Eiffel tower, Galeries Lafayette, Latin Quarter, Longchamp, Louis Vuitton, Louvre, Notre Dame, Paris, Paris Visite, Rose window, Seine, shopping, St Germain, tax refund, Tour Eiffel, trocadero
Finally, we managed to squeeze out time for sightseeing. It was our very first time in Paris and this meant we had to do at least 2 of the most famous sights. We had already gone to the Louvre, a must-see site in Paris and I loved it!
But before we got started on sight-seeing, we got side-tracked when our eyes fell on Galeries Lafayette on the map. And of course, we wanted to shop.
So here we were, Galeries Lafayette!
Galeries Lafayette is a shopping heaven!!! Though a lot of money is required to ensure one gets the shopping experience to die for. My sister had told me to go to the customer service counter to get a discount pass, which is exclusively for tourists. So that’s what we did. But the staff at the counter said we have to get something from our hotel in exchange for the pass. But we were not staying in any hotels at all! 😯 The other way we could get the discount voucher was if we have a Paris Visite pass. ‘So, do you have it, Madame?’. Guess what, we had each bought a 3-days Paris Visite pass!!! 😛 This allows unlimited travel on public transport for 3 days! Note: It wasn’t very cheap and not value for money unless one is really using the metro alot.
So, we got our discount coupon!! It was 10% discount except for red dot items. Red dot items are usually the items from luxury brands. So we started to buy what was on our shopping list! And boy, it was a longgggg list! This is because, in Singapore, the things we use are like 99.9% imported and hence it is always cheaper to buy goods from the country of origin. So my family and friends had asked us to please help buy a couple of Longchamp and Louis Vuitton bags etc 😐 Personally, I love products from L’Occitane and I bought loads of stuff from there and I could use the discount coupon for the purchase! 😀
All the receipts could be accumulated and as long as the total sum exceeds 175 euros, one is eligible for tax refund. Of course we were eligible for tax refunds! I love love tax refunds!! 😛
I believe we spent a lot of time and money 🙄 at Galeries Lafayette but we were happy with what we had gotten! And I found that my husband is a great great shopper! Like me, he knows a good thing when he sees it, and he loved Galeries Lafayette. He said next time we should just shop at Lafayette before heading for the boutiques around Rue d’Honore because everything is located at Lafayette. (You see, we had spent quite some time the past two days shopping around Rue d’Honore and couldn’t find the items on our shopping list).
Shopping in Paris is really a unique experience. I mean, in Singapore, there is no departmental stores that has an entire level dedicated to just shoes! An entire level dedicated to shoes is simply genius!! And we had a great shopping experience at the Louis Vuitton at Champs Elysees. The guy who served us could speak Japanese and he brings customer service to a different level! Paris is just awesome! Period!
So we really had to go sight-seeing. Can’t go back home without seeing the Notre-Dame, could we?
Before we reached the Notre-Dame, we walked past River Seine.
After a few wrong turns, we reached the Notre-Dame. It was very crowded. 🙄
And there was a long queue to enter the church. Good thing the queue moved very fast! 🙂
So we took pictures while queuing up 🙂
Its very interesting how a lot of people can crowd together and yet not make a lot of noise. Crowd remembered to lower their voices upon entering the church and the hushed atmosphere was good enough for me to enjoy the church.
One thing I’m in awe of the churches in Europe is how tall they are, with lots of spaces around. Space is something that is getting increasingly difficult to get anywhere in the world, especially in Singapore.
And the beautiful stained glass windows of course. These stained glass windows make up to tell a story but each time I’m in front of them, I could only marvel at the light passing through and the colours that I am seeing. Each time! Art is kinda wasted on me huh?!
It was a surprisingly quick tour of the church and we didn’t go up the tower as it was closed anyway.
So we went back outside to take some pictures of the facade.
And we got a bit hungry so we crossed the street and ended up somewhere either in St Germain or Latin Quarter. It was a very busy area and we couldn’t resist a chocolate crepe. 😉
And then we headed to Tour Eiffel, or Tour Iffy as the husband likes to call it.
Again, we had no intention of going up the tower and we were happy to just take pictures of the tower and the area around it.
Although it was a cloudy day, the clouds made for a dramatic backdrop!
A look under the lady’s bottom:
Getting to know the lady more:
I was actually surprised that the tower is not silver but rather brownish in colour.
And there’s a garden next to the tower and we went to enjoy the greenery there as well as to enjoy a different view of the tower.
You know you are definitely in France when you see boxy trees. Nicholas loves these boxy trees!
Peeking through a fence:
And this is the man responsible for Tour Eiffel.
Then we decided to go over to the other side of the tower and turns out we were headed for Trocadero.
The sculptures around Tour Eiffel make for lovely pictures too!
Views of the tower from Trocadero:
Just to demonstrate that everything is a matter of perspectives: