Tag Archives: travel

Disneyland Paris cos it’s MM’s Birthday Today!

It is Mickey Mouse’s birthday today thus I decided to dedicate a blog post on my day at Walt Disney Studios and Disneyland while I was in Paris. We did not reach the parks very early. We first lost our way at the train stations, then decided to visit the Premium Outlets for some shopping before dropping by the parks. Though late, we still enjoyed ourselves for the rest of the day.

Even though, my children were not with us on this trip, I still wanted to visit Disneyland. It is one off my bucket list and I am left with the last to visit, Disneyland Florida, for now and another upcoming one in Shanghai (opening in 2015).

Walt Disney Studios Hot Balloon caught at a train station before reaching DisneylandA must to take a picture just after the entrance.Walt Disney Studios Animation102 Dalmantian's car which Devil rode inMore vehicles that appeared in Walt Disney movies. Can you spot any familiar ones?A foot rester and a quick breakToy Story Land is in Walt Disney Studios in Paris while ToyStory Land is in DisneyLand Park in Hong KongJon said he wants to take a picture. Finally.....Leaving the park and setting foot into Disneyland Paris Park

We missed most of the shows and parades but it is all right. Pictures taken and place visited. I bought a 2 parks 1 day hopper tickets. So off we go to Disneyland park.

Entrance are all the same in the different DisneylandsDisneyland Paris is celebrating 20th anniversary thus the more I wanted to step inThe must have couple pictureThe Main Street While waiting for the parade to start. I bought a caramelized apple. It was very tasty.Camwhore without knowing that my camera is running out of batt. :(This gal was standing right in front of us and she can't wait for the parade to start too. :) Isn't she gorgeous?Fairy Godmothers appearance first in the parade.Sleeping Beauty PrincessSnow White princessand the rest of the princessesPooh Bearand their gangToyStory charactersFinally.... Mickey, Minnie and the rest of the Disney charactersMickey, Minnie and the rest of the charactersMickey Mouse... everyone seems to be crazy now. Frantically waving, especially the childrenOur feet by now are really tired. After sitting for so long, we were quite reluctant to move our butts.Making our way to the front of the castle to grab a seat for the Night parade. The only Sleeping Beauty castle which is pink

There is always something magical about Disneyland whether is nearer in Hong Kong or further away in Paris. Jonathan said, this is the only place with so many princesses (with the little girls dressed in their favorite princesses costumes). We seemed to be teleported into a fairytale land and for a moment, we were detached from the reality world, away from worries and stress. To children, this is a place where dreams come true and for adults like us, it is a place where we can live our dreams (even for the slightest moment). I love the Small, Small World rides, so vibrant. By placing the different countries’ culture in one place shows that everyone can live in harmony. The exciting and ‘life-threatening’ rides are no longer my cup of tea. Maybe I have grown older and became less brave. So glad that Kaitlyn is not here with us else, we would be forced to ride with her.

Of all the Disneylands that I have gone to, I love Tokyo Disneyland best maybe it bought back the most memories. I enjoyed that most even though I do not understand their language. It was my first time travelling with my first  and last batch of Primary 6 graduands (a graduation cum exchange programme to Japan). I recalled the planning of rides the night before looking at all the excited faces. I took the dangerous and lungs-breaking rides with them while they watched the calm and ‘lame’ (to them) Electric Night parade with me. :) So is there any Disneyland trips that leave you with the deepest memories?

In this post, I hereby once again wish Mickey Mouse a very

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

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Montmartre – Bohemia, Cabaret, Modern Art?

Montmartre StreetMontmartre street 1Montmartre Street2Theatre De L'AtelierMontmartre street 4 Montmartre Street 3Montmartre Street 6 Montmartre Street 5Musical BoxMusical Box1Notre-Dame ChocolateChoco_shipchoco_red_carChocolate_pink_car

Montmartre is an interesting area. I stayed in Pigalle (famous for its nightlife and a red-light district similar to Singapore’s Geylang) which houses rows and rows of night-clubs, bistros and sex stores. Main reason for choosing the area is the convenient of metro to airport, Moulin Rouge (cabaret) which I had wanted to visit since the movie in 2001 and Sacre-Coeur, the majestic church.

Street was pretty quiet in the morning when I strolled along on the first day. Shops were not opened and could only view items from the windows. Streets increased in gradient as I walked towards the highest point where Sacre-Coeur was. The walk reminded me of the days I was in San Francisco. I walked passed Sacre-Coeur but did not go in as I wanted to save the visit with hubby.

Montmartre to me, is an area with many artistic feel. It is a place where many artists, including Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh, had studios or worked in. There are many interesting shops selling unique handmade jewelry and quirky items. Pop colours and interesting displays in shopfront attracted my attention. I love the range of blue bracelets displayed in one of the shops. The jewelry designer presented a creative way to create stack without having to put them on one by one. Another shop display was packed with pinks and burgundy to remind me that summer is coming to an end and we should welcome fall. I was intrigued by a shop selling adorable household items which I had seen them for sale in one of the shops in Hong Kong’s Harbour City. All these items can be found along the street of Rue Tardieu.

Walking along Rue de Steinkerque, seems to teleport me back to Bugis Street. The road that leads me to Sacre-Coeur from Anvers metro station, is filled with shops selling Paris souvenir. I love this street. It is filled with tourists and trinkets that can be brought home. Personally, I love the musical box. Usually musical boxes are square but the ones sold here are round and beautifully decorated with significant Paris icons. On the same road, it is a must to visit Maison Georges Larnicol which sells chocolates. Even if you are not a chocolate lover, walk in to view the amazing chocolate artwork of Notre Dame.

Lastly, gonna leave a picture of Chicken Spot. Hubby and I had cravings for fried chicken and apparently, could not find any KFC. We were so glad we found Chicken Spot and went back two days straight for snacks. It was really good.

SAM_4622

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Loving the Trains in Paris

RER at Gare St-LazareRER at Gare St-Lazare 1Looking LostDouble decker RERon a RERAnna on a RER

I can’t help but to share more about my observations and feelings on the RER or metro. I caught the metro every day while in Paris. It was the most important form of transport for us. Every morning before going out, I would pull out the metro map and discussed with hub on which line we should take and changed. There were just so many choices that we could make. Sometimes, we bickered insisting that ours were the shortest way. Sometimes, we blamed ourselves when we realized that we had taken the wrong route. After two days of trial and errors, we decided to ask the information counter before we confirmed our routes.

Metro tickets are at €1.70 per trip. If taken together with RER, it will be wiser to buy from the information counter as the staff will combine the ticket price. As compared to Singapore, the price of the ticket does not account for distance. One ticket allows me to travel to any station at any distance. So even if I plan a longer route, I will only waste my precious time.

The interior of each station is unique to make me slow down my every walk and to see more.  There were different interior designs for each station. It’s like an art gallery! Some days, I would see workers in coveralls holding rolls and rolls of posters, changing the big posters in stations with scraper and pail. At times, there would be street musicians playing in the underground. This sight is quite common in Singapore but to see a group of eight musicians playing and promoting their music with different kinds of big instruments is somehow rare.  :) Stations hardly have escalators too. Every day, we had to walk many flights of stairs to reach and out of the metro. A lot of training on our calves. :) Vending machines for snacks and drinks can be found before boarding the metro so which means food is allowed but the metro remains clean.

The metro is not as long as Singapore’s MRT and they have cabins that do not allow passengers to pass through. The doors are not automated for older metro. Passengers have to push a button or lever to open the doors in order to alight or board. An ingenious idea is the lever chairs near the doors (like our olden days’ cinema chairs). When the metro is not crowded, passengers tend to push down the chairs to rest. There is a rule on the metro that these chairs should not be seated if the metro is crowded.

As the metro passed by many stations, graffiti can be seen almost on every walls in the tunnels, all beautifully drawn. At times, sudden blast of music could be heard in the metro, someone personified as Michael Jackson dancing to his hits or just an old man playing on his button accordion. At the end of their performances, they would go around to collect gratuities.

RER is somehow not as exciting as metro in Paris but a good time to enjoy the scenery. Maybe it travels a longer distance and further out of Paris. Pictures above were all taken in a RER on my way to Disneyland Paris. We took the wrong route and got stranded in Gare St-Lazare, one of the main stations. In the end, we had to seek help from the Metro information counter to direct us the shortest way to reach our destination. It was my first time on a double-decker train. Train was pretty empty and clean. :) Since a long journey, we camwhored!

We are on the RER

Train system in Paris is so complicated and definitely needs time for further investigation. Put aside the inter-twining routes and fifteen color-coded lines, I think I am in love with the train systems in Paris with so much to see and feel.

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Hi Paris

Arriving at Paris CDG airport on a Friday morning. It was my first time travelling alone and setting foot on a country that I had never been. No cars and with no intention to take a taxi to my hotel, I scampered together with other travelers to the long waiting queue of the lifts. Holding tight to the luggage and making my way to the train station, my heart palpitated as I wondered if I would lose my way in Paris.

There were three types of trains that I would need to take. The CDGVAL shuttle train to RER station, the RER then a Metro from CDG airport to Montmartre where my stay would be.

journey

CDGVAL is easily identified as major signboards are located along the way. Not knowing where to head to, I just followed the crowd. RER is one of the train services, from lines from A to E, travelling further out or into Paris. I took the RER B line to reach Gare du Nord (aka Paris Nord) to switch to a Metro. Comfort of escalators were gone once I reached Gare du Nord station. I had to lug my luggage up and down numerous flights of stairs starting from there to the place I stayed. A Metro, with 15 lines (complicated but coded with different colours) connected all over Paris, was the next transportation I took. I boarded Line 2 (blue) train, from La Chapelle to Pigalle. Walk from Gare du Nord was a short 10 minutes with an underground connecting. Maybe it was in the morning, I kinda of eased a little when I saw many people in the underground.

Journey to Pigalle was quite fast. Stops from station to station was pretty short but crowded. Only saddened by the rain when I reached my location, thinking how on earth was I able to carry a 17kg luggage up the flight of stairs and holding an umbrella. Stranded, I waited together with others at the end of the stairs but decided to just cover myself with my scarf as I did not feel really safe alone. On my way up, some offered help but I declined, for fear that they might be pickpockets (being warned by many about pickpockets in Paris).

I will be sharing my Paris in snippets of locations instead of days as there are quite a number of pictures. :) So I will start off with food on my first day since I did not visit much places while waiting for my hubby to arrive in Paris in late afternoon. Of course, the jet lag played a part and knocked out in hotel.

BreakfastRaspberry tart

Had a little snack at a café opposite the Metro after placing luggage in the hotel. An awesome raspberry tart with fruits melting in my mouth. A hot chocolate to soothe my cold body after being in the rain.

Price: about €5.00 for a set

Location: La Brioche Dorée, 16 boulevard Clichy, 75018 Paris

Tel: 01 46 06 18 16

Dinner1Dinner2Dinner3My Dinner

Shopped a little at Avenue des Champs Elysees and popped by La Maison del’ Aubrac recommended by a Sales Assistant from Montblanc. Upon hearing that we were from Singapore, his eyes sparkled. He started to reminisce the days he did his internship in Singapore and how he enjoyed his stay. :)

Food was fantastic at Aubrac especially love the succulent Veal Skewer and Zucchini. Hub had the Roast Chicken with Herb and Fig while his colleague had the Sirloin Steak and potatoes. All receiving good comments. Bistro alike ambience where soft music is played and lightings. A good place to eat and chat comfortably. Perks, there is wifi connection in the restaurant. :)

Price: about €30 per person (including a glass of wine)

Location: La Maison del’ Aubrac, 37, rue Marbeuf, 75008, Paris

Tel: 0033 (0)1 43 59 05 14

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Filed under Food Glorious Food, Love, Paris, Travel

Taiwan Trip 2010 Day 1

This is a long overdue post. It was a 7 days/6 nights trip to Taiwan. The trip was supposedly to be a family trip with my parents, siblings, Jonathan and the kiddos. Sad to say… Jonathan was posted overseas and because of that, I “dumped” my kiddos with my in-laws to have my well-deserved break (a self-declared one :)) Andrew and Angie, both are not free due to work. So instead of my own family, the trip was extended to my aunties, the big and the youngest aunties. A good experience for me as this was my first trip out with my aunties.

When we reached Taipei, it was already 4 plus thus only 3 destinations on our itinerary. The first destination was the Fisherman’s Wharf. Supposedly to be a place for lovers because of the Love Bridge. :). It was pretty windy and dark for phototaking. Due to the winter, the sun sets as early as 5 plus.

So windy that daddy and mummy got to hide under the LOVE bridge for the photo. :)

The next destination was the 淡水老街 (TamShui Old Street).

Daddy was very excited when he saw the food. Though not very hungry, we decided to try our 1st food which was the red bean “tong luo shao”. The smell attracted us to the stall. As we walked down the street with our “tong luo shao”, we spotted the ‘Jiang Mu Cha”. Couldn’t resist due to the cold. With the “tong luo shao” in one hand and “jiang mu cha” in another…. heavens!!!!!

Anne was happy with the 1st food in Taiwan. :)

Besides the food, the shopping also attracted us. The 49 bucks on the cardboard attracted my attention but the pricing is not applicable to all the bags wo. :)

Small auntie spotted another good food. We suddenly became food critics. Gave our comments here and there. LOL The squid is definitely good. Too bad that was the first and last time we ate cos we couldn’t find in any other towns.

We departed the place and proceeded to our 3rd destination which was the 士林夜市 (Shihlin Night Market). The time given by the tour guide at Shihlin was short too short. :( I think was only about 2 hours for us to have dinner and shopping. We decided to spend our time on food since the time given was too short for shopping.

The first stall we sat down to have the following…. Daddy didn’t really like the fried oyster. We still prefer the Singapore version. Maybe oilier??? LOL I like the beehoon and squid soup though.

The tour guide also recommended the soups to us. So we definitely must try. :) The next stall we sat down, immediately ordered the different herbal soups.

Besides that, I ordered the fried smelly beancurd and the dumpling. On the table are the 麻油鸡 (sesame chicken) and 十全大补汤 (some tonic soup which said to keep the body warm).

Tummy filled up, then we took a slow walk to the other side of ShihLin before we headed back to the bus. First night ended off at TaoYuan. Day 2 will proceed to 台中(Taichung).

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