Day 5: Notre-Dame, Fête de la Musique!

Hey, everyone!  Today’s post is gonna be super short because I don’t really have time today to edit all my photos and the videos I took today.

But, basically went walking around le quartier latin today.  I first went to le cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris. Like any other cathedral, lots of walking and photo taking.  I did get chance to use my Canon 50mm 1.4 though.  Honestly, its pretty hard to shoot with on a crop body camera.  I gotta stand pretty far back for even a small object.  But, I did manage to get some shots I really liked.  I did end up spending too much time inside the cathedral and didn’t have time to check out the crypts of Notre-Dame.  I’ll have to do that tomorrow!  After the cathedral, I ended up walking all over the place in le quartier Latin.  Today was le Fête de la Musique! Its a day where there’s random bands or groups sing or play music all over the city! Even on my way home there were groups of people everywhere listening to someone, or even dancing on the street. Mind you there were some crazies.  You’ll know what I mean when you see my videos.

Tomorrow, I’m hoping to hit the Eiffel Tower, Crypts, and Le Louvre again for the Nocture exhibit, whatever that is.  But, means that Le Louvre is open much later than usual.  I think until 10PM instead of closing at 6PM.  Anyway, until tomorrow! I’ll hopefully have time to do it then! Ciao!

UPDATE: Here are the photos from day 5!

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Day 4: Musée du Louvre, 33% Complete

Woke up late today, as usual. I ended up going to Musée du Louvre around noon.  Stood in line for like an hour before I actually got inside.  I read somewhere there’s another entrance that’s not as long but I couldn’t find it for the life of me.  I did however see it from the inside.  It was on the same floor where they sold tickets.

I basically walked around the museum for like 3 hours straight, by the 3rd hour I was so exhausted and honestly it got hard to breathe in there.  Far too many people looking at things, so hard to get a good photo of anything, without someone getting in your way.  What makes it worst is, when someone bumps you they almost never say anything because they aren’t sure what language you speak.  I would say, “Pardon” but I’d always get stares or glares.  But, it only happens so often.  Most people visiting are really friendly.  Met a Brit at the cafeteria named Rob.  He was backpacking across Europe and in Paris for a couple days.

About taking photos as well, honestly, it makes me wish I had someone travelling with me.  It’d be nice to have someone I trust to take photos of me with my camera! I sure as heck ain’t gonna let a random stranger hold my 70-200mm lens.  I did bring a point & shoot ask people to take my photo but I hardly like any of them.  I feel bad after asking the person to take a 2nd or god-forbid a 3rd shot.

Paris Museum Pass Speaking of tickets.  The ticket line ups are ridiculous.  I don’t know why so many people don’t know about this, but there’s a thing in Paris called, “Paris Museum Pass”.  It basically gives you unlimited access to all museums around Paris and they come in 2, 4 or 6 day passes.  Not only that, there’s never a line up to buy them.  They aren’t that expensive, and most of the time they work out to be a lot cheaper than buying individual tickets.  Two day pass is only 30€, 45€ for 4 day, and 65€ for 6 day.  You can find the store that sells it inside the museum.  There are several other locations around the city as well.  Look for the the store in the photo.  I ended up buying the 6 day pass since I have time here.  I’ll make a video a bit later about the passes you should consider when visiting Paris.  Really helpful to know before you come here, so that way you’ll know which option makes the most sense.

Expensive Lunch Really going to Le Louvre really takes up the whole day. But, even still you can’t see it all.  That’s why it’s 33%.  I need to go back on either Wednesday or Friday to see this exhibit they call Noture, and there’s a couple areas I didn’t get a chance to visit.  Also, I wish I ate before going.  Food is ridiculously expensive in there I ate like a small fish with fries, a salad, and a bottle of water, rang up as 15€!  Food outside can be much cheaper.  Like that chicken & cheese crèpe I had yesterday.  I was dying around the 3rd hour I wanted to get out to get some food, but I could get to the exit for the life of me.  I swear I followed the signs that said sortie but it just kept on taking me to another part of the museum! It was like a maze!

Anyway, that’s about the entire day.  Ending off with another blog here.  I’ll try and do more videos but it’s hard to find time to do them.  Here are the photos of the day!

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Day 3: Paris, Explore Rue de Rivoli

Today was the first day I walked into the city centre. It’s still Sunday so I had to make my way there with regular tickets. I did buy my Navigo Week Card. It’s basically the same as a Metro Pass, unlimited travel for a set amount of time. The weather today was pretty miserable. Overcast all day long, so the photos didn’t really come out the way I wanted, but they’ll have to do.

Walking towards my bus I saw the funniest thing.  I saw a father smoking weed in front of his, probably, 3 year old.  Let’s not forget, smoking weed in France is a pretty serious crime.  Not like its neighbours.  I actually read an article in Le Monde, a French newspaper, that was talking about how the government takes it too seriously.  Then on the bus I saw this lady who dressed her son in a suit matching her blazer and dress.  I wish I could’ve taken a photo of this but it’d be too weird.


My original plan was to go to Le Louvre but for some reason my bus 76, decided to change its last stop to Bastille mid way through the ride; close to Rue de Rivoli. So, that was a ticket wasted.  But, whatever, I decided to walk around the area.  The area is actually one of the tourist areas.  There’s even signs that say, “End of Tourist Zone”.  I thought to myself, “Heck, I can walk to Le Louvre from here.” I tried, but then got distracted by like every building in the area.  Then there was this area that was filled with police in full SWAT gear.  They were guarding some protest that was going on.

After wandering for a while I decided to grab a bite to eat.Crèpe Avec Poulet & Fromage I was so tempted to eat McDonalds lol They have this McWrap, that has chicken and bacon, and they’re huge! Not like the tiny ones in Toronto.  But, I ended up eating at this, I think, Egyptian restaurant.  They made this thing that looks like a crèpe but inside it has chicken, cheese, and egg.Starbucks Caramel Macchiato Tasted pretty amazing.  They even give you different dips, so every bite is a bit different.  It’s pretty similar to a quesadilla.  Oh, for a drink, of course I got Starbucks! But, so bad.  The Starbucks ran out of the white plastic tops, so they gave me a frap top instead.

After eating I decided to get some cash from HSBC.  But, crap! It won’t let me withdraw that much cash.  The most I could get was 60€. Something is definitely wrong.  I was told $400 CAD was the max.  I’ll have to go into a branch tomorrow morning and see if I can get some extra cash.  Definitely can’t be walking around with only 60€ in my pocket.  I’d be screwed.

WC Sign Public WCThere was the one other cool thing I wanted to mention! Look for WC signs while in Paris. Of course, most of you know WC stands for “Water Closet” aka the washroom.  I swear, their public outhouses here are so cool. It’s like going into a Star Trek elevator!  If I find it again, maybe I’ll film a bit.  Actually when I took the photo of it, there was this family filming it, and people were giving them looks.

Here are some other photos I took today.  Mostly photos of buildings I thought were pretty interesting.

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Day 2: Bagnolet Wake Up & House Tour


I ended up waking up pretty late today.  Although, it was a loud wake up.  Wasn’t my alarm clock.  It was the early parade out on the streets.  This weekend is the “Festival de Bagnolet”.  So the entire area is littered in confetti!  They had drums, horns, everything going to wake up anyone trying to sleep-in.  The weather outside has been pretty crummy all day too.  I wanted to head out today with my camera but it was raining hard.  To make matters worst, just when you think its sunny, 5 minutes later there’s an overcast above you and it starts raining again.  I managed to get a couple pictures before I packed away my gear.

The plan today was to head out and prepare for my self-tour around the city on Monday.  I wanted to head to the bank, HSBC, to grab some cash.  But, what do you know, it’s closed.  And there isn’t an out door ATM for the one I went to.  A 15 minute walk for nothing.  I did find this cute little theatre.  It’s closed down for renovation, so won’t be watching any movies there.  On the way back to my place, that’s when I bought some more groceries at another store on the way, and picked up my Chicken Burger. That’s chicken burger with a French accent.

Now that I’m home,  I decided that since I’m not going out I’d do some laundry and vlog a bit.  I’ll have to head out tomorrow and head to the other HSBC that does have an ATM outside.  Hopefully if I wake up early enough I’ll head to Le Musée du Louvre.  According to the site, it isn’t as expensive as everyone makes it out to be.  For 15€ you can get a year pass if you’re under 26 or 30€ for those under 30.  The regular one time ticket to see everything is 14€, so only one euro more (at least for me when I wrote this; that’s right future me).

Some later in the week I’ll go see this show called Comment Devenir Parisien en une Heure or How to Become Parisian in one Hour.  It’s showing at the theatre called Théâtre de la Main d’Or.  The cheapest ticket goes for 15€ online.  Was told by a friend its one of those “must see” events.

And here’s the house tour I promised:

Forgot to say, the Chicken Burger was pretty damn good.

Day 1: Plane, Train, Starbucks, and Paris

This post is really for two days worth, but I was travelling most of the day on the 16th so really today is “Day 1”.  I promised a video everyday but it’s a lot more work than I expected lol I’ll still post a video ever so often, but it’ll be a lot less frequent than these blogs.  I do have some clips I want to show off from my arrival but I’ll post that a bit later.

Anyway! I actually made it safe into Paris. But before I got here it was quite the ride.  I did some real FAIL planning.  I only gave myself a month to plan really, and I thought, “Amsterdam is in the middle of everything, that’s a good idea.”  Then half way through my planning I rent my apartment in Paris the day I arrive.  So I had to take a train from Amsterdam to Paris.  But, that isn’t the FAIL part.  The fail part is where, my plane does a connecting flight in PARIS, then goes to Amsterdam.  If I didn’t plan my trip going to Amsterdam first, I wouldn’t have had to chase it all the way there.  FAILPLANNING.  But, at least I got to see Brussels and Luxembourg while passing them on the train.

My plane rides were the usual, uncomfortable, no rest, feel sick because I get too nervous on planes, kind of ride.  The only real upside to them was that the plane food wasn’t half bad this time.  Air France was actually pretty good about it.  What I really didn’t like other than my displeasure with my nerves was, there was no personal TV or plug outlet where I was sitting.

Starbucks in Amsterdam

While waiting for my train in Schiphol (Amsterdam Airport), I was pretty thirsty.  I ended up getting Starbucks.  I know, not cool.  But what was ever more UNCOOL, is that they didn’t have LACTOSE free milk.  So, I settled for Soy.  But, the poor girl was so confused.  Or I looked totally retarded for saying lactose free.  Starbucks is mad expensive in Europe.  Think Canadian prices but switch the dollar sign to Euro sign.  That’s about how much it costs here.

Right now, the weather is pretty crummy here in Paris.  I did find my “host” who I’m renting the apartment from, though.  Yes, I’m living in some random apartment in the suburbs of Paris.  I’m in a town called Bagnolet.  TBH, it’s what we Canadians would consider ghetto.  But, there’s kids playing in the streets and stuff so I’m assuming is fairly safe here.

It’s actually not all that inconvenient to get to my area either.  Hop on the 76 and it’s right at the last stop.  I’ll probably hop on the 76 tomorrow to head to La Louvre, assuming it isn’t raining tomorrow.  If it is, I’ll probably stay indoors and VLOG.  I’m prepared for tomorrow too though.  I headed out earlier in the afternoon to get my area a bit better.  I wandered around the area aimlessly (stayed away from bad looking alleys).  I eventually ended up at a mall near Gallieni Metro.  At the mall I picked up a SIM card for 15€ and got some groceries from Auchan.  Actually, this store is more like a Wal-Mart.  It has everything. Picked up something to drink, a lot of bread like croissants and baguettes, salad and fruits.

Most of my evening today was spent looking at maps and figuring out what I wanted to do.  If you ever travel to Paris, land on either a Sunday or Monday to make the most of a week pass for trains and buses!  Do this because the week pass or Navigo Découverte is only valid from Monday to Sunday.  You can buy passes that suit your needs more, like the Visite Paris passes but they’re much more costly.  So, not until Monday will I be able to really go around the city an explore like the pass says!

Later in the week I’ll do a video on what my place is like.  For now I’m gonna go relax and chill out for a bit.