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Thursday, 7 June 2018


by: MisS VictoriA DaviD

The Mythical Angel Bear
It is an art installation by Richard Texier with a height of more than 7 metres.

She has been thinking of embarking on a journey in which she will travel alone when visiting foreign countries. It is either by purchasing a low-priced crampy return seat tickets by air or by booking a less regulated intermediate return journey on land. She doesn't mind one of two for as long as she feels soundly secure on board and then, laxly safe while on a nose around excursion. That is why, she enthusiastically booked her first journey ahead of time and ended-up choosing Paris, France for a dawn-to-dark jaunt. 

From London to Paris... 

It was a mild and glorious morning when she ventured-out on the first leg; a train heading to Victoria Station. Then, she found her way to the underground station en routing to the mighty King's Cross St. Pancras Undergound Station. That was a relaxing part of the chain of course as there were no surprising interruptions or the inevitable abrupt train delays on her way. Consequently, she arrived 25 minutes before her scheduled embarkation which gave her ample time to mosey until reaching the concourse for International Departures at St. Pancras International. There she was and found herself in line with a fair number of people queuing to pass through the ticket gates before the CT (computerised tomography) scanners, analysing belongings with a full body scan. What an efficient measurement which reassures the safety and security of all the Eurostar passengers. Thereafter, she followed the antecedent queue of passengers for the French Border Police Immigration Control who officially checked and scanned each passenger's passport/identity. She applauded the magnitude of security at St. Pancras International as it showed how the management have been bringing forth security measures at the station hub. 

She sat on one of the standard metal waiting chairs at the departure lounge while waiting for her train particulars to show up on the sytem screen. She was calmly waiting for the gate/platform information of her train to emerge on screen; train heading to Paris-Nord. It is the north station famously known as Gare du Nord and is one of the six large terminus stations of SNCF mainline network for Paris, France. Once you arrived at Gare du Nord, it offers connections to several urban transport lines like the Paris Metro, RER and buses. 

After her 5-minute of repose, the train for Paris-Nord arrived. The queue for getting onto the train was divided into two and based upon your coach number. She read right away her coach number and followed the rest who were slowly walking on an inclined pave ramp. It concluded on a landing designed for platforms/railways tracks where the Eurostar's Paris-Nord train alighted. She boarded the train and a minute after, it zoomed its way-out of St. Pancras International. Luckily, the aisle seat beside her was empty which provided her with more space to stretch out and an easy access when nature calls (LOL!). Unfortunately, when she tried to penetrate a few times the advertised free Wifi on board it always failed to function properly on her phone. Instead of waiting for a goose egg, she decided to use her own au courant bundle data (intermittently) to correspond with her loved ones. 

After more than 2 hours of on/off sleep on the train, the Eurostar train reached the starting point of her excursion as a “solo backpack woman”. She found her way-out of the tourist-friendly Gare du Nord with its handsomely pre-eminent facade, she then searched for the Rue de Saint-Quentin street. After she finally found the location, she said to herself, “it looks a few minutes walk on the map but it isn't. It is a straightforward access once you are out of the station”. 
(The Handsomely Pre-eminent Facade of Gare du Nord)

(The Rue de Saint-Quentin Street)

From that point forward, her circuit around Paris for a day started by joining the 'Hop-on, Hop-off Big Bus Tour'. The Paris Big Bus Tour had two different routes namely, the Montmartre Tour which was labelled as BLUE and the Classic Tour which was labelled as RED. Apart from that, she also appreciated the excellent free WiFi connection on the bus which benefited her and her loved ones. On the other hand, she highly recommends in downloading the Big Bus Tours app on your cellular phones before getting on board as there is no system screen which will show-up the neighbouring stop locations.

The Montmartre Blue route... 

She sat on one of the seats on the open top part of the double-decker bus which gave her excellent views of the surrounding districts of bohemian Montmartre; the Basilica of the the Sacred Heart of Paris known as The Sacré-Cœur; the most famous cabaret house in France and in the world, The Moulin Rouge etc. Instead of getting off at the interchange point (From Blue to Red Bus) on Avenue de l'Opera, she remained on the Blue Bus for another wander around. Its because, she only saw half of the route of the Blue bus which was shown on the map and apart from being proudly inquisitive!

The Classic Red route...
(The Pyramide du Louvre)

(The Notre-dame de Paris)

(The Arc de Triomphe)

(The Palais de Chaillot with its Ethereal Landscape)

(The Eiffel Tower)
The Blue bus was back at the interchange point on Avenue de l'Opera and off she embarked on the Classic Red route bus. It wiggled bit by bit to iconic landmarks and famous attractions which were the prominent sightseeing highlights. Such as the nearest elegant transparent pyramid made of large glass and metal, The Pyramide du Louvre; the majestic gothic/medieval Catholic Cathedral on the Île de la Cité in the fourth borough of Paris, The Notre-dame de Paris; the unshakable whale-sized monument standing at the western end of the Champs-Élysées, The Arc de Triomphe; the symmetrical design of Palais de Chaillot with its ethereal landscape layout built in the Trocadero area; the imperial global cultural icon of France with a towering height of 324 metres (1063 ft) on the Champ de Mars, The Eiffel Tower and many more. On the other hand, she admired how the neighbouring boroughs in Paris have been giving importance to Mother Nature. In particular, there was an abundance of foliage from their sturdy and healthy trees as well as vines and flowers on the balconies of residents living in mid-rise buildings. What she also observed was the height of all terraced buildings, they were more or less the same but the architectural structures were stunningly discordant. It made each building, even though attached from one another, very recognisable and with character. However, not all of the buildings were of mid-rise in height as there was a couple nearby the iconic Eiffel Tower that were high-rise building like the ones here in London. Then a question lingered around her mind, "Why those detached high-rise buildings are in contrast from the rest around Paris?". 

When she decided to remain on the Classic Red route bus for the second time, she didn't finish the whole journey. She hopped off then rambled around the less touristy places on foot and courageously navigated the Paris Metro. Because of her boldness and fearlessness, she found herself verging on Quai Anatole France road and adjacent to the Musée d'Orsay. She stood on the side of the road while also captivatingly overlooking the important commercial waterway and river within the Paris Basin in the north of France, The Seine. After appreciating the freshness of the river Seine, she crossed over the Pont Royal Bridge and sauntered the Quai Francois Mitterand road. However, her snoopiness strode her to go down the steps to an elongated bank with a smooth old bricks pavement. Later, she traced back her steps on Quai Francois Mitterand road until reaching the unusual ingress of the Place du Carrousel. It is a public square beautified with an outdoor structure built in honour to Napoleon's victories called The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel; a 14th century Italian-style green garden built by Catherine de Medici popularly known as Jardin des Tuileries and the dainty main entrance to the Louvre Museum, located in the main courtyard of the Louvre Palace, which was designed by Chinese-American architect Ieoh Ming Pei, The Pyramide du Louvre.
(The River Seine)

(The Pont Royal Bridge)

(The Elongated Bank with a smooth Old Bricks Pavement)

(The Unusual Ingress of the Place du Carrousel)

(The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel)

(Exterior Angle of Jardin des Tuileries)

(The main courtyard of the Louvre Palace, The Louvre Museum and The Pyramide du Louvre)

After wandering around on foot, she only had an hour left before her scheduled train at Gare du Nord would depart. That is why, she recomposed herself before gently walking back towards at the interchange point on the bustling Avenue de l'Opera. She embarked on the Blue bus for the last time and was dropped off at her origin bus stop on Rue de Saint-Quentin street. The halfway circuit didn't consume most of her remaining time which also gave her sufficient time to eat at a nearby restaurant. 
(The Water Fountain on the bustling Avenue de l'Opera)

After going through the same process of security measurement, she boarded her train from Gare du Nord heading back to England. She was very ecstatic for successfully navigating the “ins and outs” around Paris. Moreover, she brought back home a few souvenirs including a 19-inch tall replica of Eiffel Tower in bronze and a French art decorative fan. 

The inevitable nervousness and excitement she felt before visiting solely The City of Light, Romance and Landscapes flourished as a fruitful sojourn. You might comprehend her dawn-to-dark excursion around Paris, France as a gasconade trip in visiting illustrious landmarks and the like. However, it was more on refortifying her self esteem and worth as a woman!