Saturday, July 3, 2010

summer trip : DAY 04

Saturday, July 3, 2010

So it was decided. This morning we were going to enjoy ourselves at the well known tower, the Eiffel. We arrived early at 9.00 am. But we had a little waiting for about an hour and a half for our booked tickets would only be valid at 10.30 am. We were lucky to have a booked ticket for each one of us to avoid the long waiting line at the ticket counter. By lift, we rode up until half of the tower. To be able to reach the uppermost part of the tower will require extra money.

The view from the half of the tower was already satisfying so we made up our mind not to pay the extra money. There was actually nothing much on the tower itself apart from enjoying a great view of Paris. I would say that there are no other skyscrapers in Paris except for the tower itself and the far away modern buildings in La Defense district. It was very windy up there.

We saw a board written ‘River Cruising.’ We followed and decided to take a ride on the boat. Cruising was really exciting. We chose to sit at the roofless part of the boat for we thought it would be more exciting. The boat took us along the river surrounding the town. We had a view of many famous buildings like the Eiffel Tower itself, the Notre Dame and many others. At one part of the river, the deejay was saying something like wishing and kissing. I think it was when the boat was between two cute bridges. No matter.

I think the cruising took us about an hour or so. We lunched at a nearby stall. I was convinced it’s Halal. So I had waffles. After that, we went back to the Eiffel Tower to take some pictures from the garden. Funny but we did enjoy taking pictures with grasses. Heh.

Then we left for Notre Dame. Notre Dame means Our Lady in French. It was a church which became a museum I think. We didn’t enter inside just to save some time and money as well. Notre Dame was once argued to be crumbled down but later being saved after a novel by Victor Hugo published. The novel ‘The Hunchback of the Notre Dame’ rebuilt the reputation of the church thus preserved it from being destroyed. It came out just when the building needed it. Ironic enough? Heh.

We met other Malaysians at the church. A large group was students from United Kingdom. Then there was an Engineering student, Azwan studying in France accompanying a friend of his. He’s under Petronas. He did give us some ideas of France and the Malaysians studying in France. He offered us to join him to go to the Great Mosque of France. But we already had other plans waited. He told us of how the Notre Dame used to be the place where the French coronation took place. We hurried back to the hotel for our Zohor prayer.

Before sunset, we set our foot out again for Arc de Triomphe. It was said that the Arc is best viewed on the night. So we took the metro to the station we thought is near enough to the Arc. Unfortunately, we confused it with the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel in front of the Louvre. We had a very long walk to reach the desired Arc de Triomphe, which actually has a metro station beside it. Douh!

Arc de Triomphe is at the centre of 3 arches which together they create a great vision of the Great Axis (Grande Axe). The emperor was responsible for the first 2, placing the Arc de Triomphe directly in line with the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel. Later in 1989, the trio was completed with the so-called 20th century’s Arc de Triomphe, the Grande Arche at La Defense. So we can see the two arches directly from Arc de Triomphe.

Paris was crazy that night. It was the FIFA. Cars were honking here and there. The long road was overcrowded. Even the presence of the cops couldn’t stop the crowd. I think Portugal must’ve won a match which was why they had the Portugal flags in their hand. They were like –Yeeehaaaa! Yahoooo! Yeahhhh!!! Woooohoooo!!!!- Very much like Jordan. Heh. I was little worried of the safety issue with all the crowds getting crazier and crazier.

By the time we arrived, the Arc was already closed for visitors. Quite disappointed, we took few pictures then hurried back to the nearest station. Realizing the limited time we had before we could reach our far away hotel, we decided to perform our Maghrib prayer at one of the connecting station. We did it below the stairs and escalators. That would be our second time performing our prayer at public areas.

to be continued...

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