France

Lost in Paris

So for the 2nd half of my Paris story (read all about the first part here), we got lost in Paris, literally.

That encounter came a little later in the day. Prior to that, as if it were to set an ominous tone of things to come, we woke up to another dreadful winter’s day in Paris.

Alas, the sun couldn’t keep its smile for us from the previous day and grey wintry skies descended upon us again. Under the slight drizzle, we set off for a day trip to the Palace of Versailles.

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From the outset, the palace looked grand enough. But because we were in a queue (which was constantly moving, thankfully) and as it was rainy, I didn’t capture a shot of it.

After 20minutes of queuing and security checks, we finally made it in.

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We purchased the recorded commentary and with that, we were taken through the history of the French royalty and French Revolution…

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It was picture after picture, room after room, chandelier after chandelier so just like the weather, things got a little hazy.

But at the end, we were brought to the epitome of the French aristocratic decadence, the Hall of Mirrors. That certainly left an impression.

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By the time we were done touring, the rain came down fast and hard. So we had to skip the garden tour (quite unfortunately) and make our way back to the city.

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Paris looking dreary

Once we got back to Paris, we made a pitstop at Sadaharu Aoki for a teatime snack…

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Sadaharu Aoki is famous for their Jap-French pastries and I have heard so much about their matcha croissants. The matcha lover in me just couldn’t resist making a special trip to this place in the rain, to find out what’s the deal with these croissants…

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Unfortunately, I didn’t find that ‘it’ factor. The croissant I had was dry. I found the matcha taste a little underwhelming too. Oh well, at least I got my curiosity satisfied!

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With the rain, we couldn’t do much sightseeing so we sought refuge in a MacDonald’s (free wifi yo). Dad mentioned that when he was in Paris previously, he remembered the Eiffel Tower had a lightshow at night.

So when the rain had finally let up and the sun had set, we decided to make a stop there.

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This is when it happened.

When we got there, there were hordes of people and we struggled to get a good spot to view the Tower, or get a good shot. In the chaos, we got separated.

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The shot that got us separated!

Thankfully, we got split up in pairs – Dad and Mum, Bro and I. At least we had someone else in the midst of this chaos!

With no way of contacting each other by mobile, I started to get anxious as we circled the area countless times.

All of my senses went on overdrive. There was I, pushing through the crowd, looking out for my parents, keeping my Bro in view (can’t lose him too!), thinking of what to do next if we couldn’t find our parents, while making sure that my belongings were safe with me at the same time. Seriously, I could feel myself sweating under all my winter clothes.

Fortunately, as I know that I have a bad sense of direction, I always keep the address of my accommodation with me, so that I can ask people around me if I get lost. I also ensure that I always have the map of my travelling destination downloaded onto my mobile, so that I can navigate via GPS without the need for mobile data. I made sure the rest of my family did the same too.

I was then contemplating whether to head back to our accommodation (hoping that my parents will have the same idea too). Just as I was discussing this with my Bro, lo and behold, we spotted our Dad walking towards us – hurray!

Needless to say, we were so relieved to find each other. If anything, this taught us that accidents happen, even when travelling in a group. So when travelling, never take things for granted, and always keep your accommodation address with you!

Anyway, we must have been separated for at least half an hour and we were hungry by then. So we went off in search for dinner.

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Hohum. Who would’ve thought? Well, the thing was, we wanted to have another go at Le Baratin. But we weren’t so fortunate this time as they were fully booked.

So we looked for places around the area and found ourselves in this crowded little Chinese restaurant. Oh well, I think the parents were secretly happy to have their Chinese fix! Haha.

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Surprisingly, the Chinese food was decent. The hot piping food also helped to soothe the winter blues and the earlier drama. Thank God indeed for His protection and keeping us together 🙂

And just when I thought that was the end of my French gastronomic experience, Paris had 1 last surprise for me…

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Yes, a neighbourhood boulangerie!! Just like the ones I dreamed of since my South of France trip. I didn’t expect them to be open at night so that was definitely a sweet deal to end the day. The smells were just so comforting and inviting. Without hesitation, we got some pastries for breakfast the next day.

Ah yes, our last breakfast in Paris…

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This is the kind of breakfast I can have all year long (if I didn’t have to worry about my waistline haha!). Buttery and flaky bread, beautiful fruit tarts, finished off with those exquisite Pierre Herme macarons.

Lounging in the cosy living room with the family and munching on breakfast, I realised that nothing fills up my heart more than having the family around safe and sound, with food on the table and a roof above our heads. Thank God for these little blessings in life that we take for granted.

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Leaving Paris – Au revoir!

So that ends my story in Paris. A story not without some highlights and low points. And more importantly, not without some lessons on life to take away from.

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