23 June 2011
Here I am now visiting Paris for the third time after 2007 and 2009. Nothing has changed. One difference is that this time Paris is my entry point to Europe. The immigration officer directly asked questions in French. With my (getting) broken French (for not using it for quite a while), I answer all the questions. The permit was easier than I thought. She let me in after I said I’ll only stay in Paris for 2 days before leaving to Barcelona. Done.
I landed in Orly Airport, 10 km from central Paris. Eventhough I have printed all transportation from airport to all cities I’ll visit, still I have to ask the detail. So there are three alternatives to get to central Paris, either by Orly Bus (6.40 euro), train, or Bus 285 (1.80 euro). I chose Bus 285. But I found that the bus departs not directly from the airport gate. So I have to take the airport free shuttle bus to Hotel Ibis, which is the forst stop. From that stop, I can hail Bus 285 which took me to the Villlejuif Metro Station in Paris.
Paris was sunny but ‘sejuk’ today. It took almost 1 hour to get to my hostel, which is located near (hurrayy) Montmartre. Since I arrived too early (13 pm), I just left my luggage and continue exploring Paris (wwith the same cloth and smell as I was yesterday since my 13.5 hour flight from Jakarta). Thank God I prepared to change cloths and retouching in Orly Airport toilet, so I can look fresh (still).
Since this is my third time to visit Paris, I plan to skip Eiffel, Louvre, etc, and will focuse more on the places I’ve never visited before. But I couldnt help to visit those ‘must-visit’ places in Paris, eventhough for the third time. So first place to visit is (of course) Montpartre Sacre-ceour. My hostel is very strategic in the souvenir complex of Montmartre. Unfortunately I dont like shopping, even when in Paris.
After that, I visit Montparnasse Cemetary. This is the cemetary of many famous people, such as Simone de Beauviour, Serge Gainsbourg, etc. One mistake I made is that I did not bring the MAP! Thre are hundreds of beautiful tombs, and finding the name you want is so hard without a map.
From many beautiful tomb, this is my favourite one. The tomb in the form of bed under the tree. The person must be really rest in peace in his bed now 🙂
After Montparnasse, I try to find Jardin du Luxembourg on foot, since it is not so far from Montparnasse, Moreover, it save more ticket. The garden is beautiful. There are many green alumunium chairs scattered throughout the garden and the ponds. Many people were sitting and talking and enjoying their time with their loved ones. there is one pond which is very peaceful, since ot was surrounded by shady trees and ornamented topiaries. Nest to the garden, I found Sorbonne University building. The ivory building really motivates me to dream about schooling there. Not so far from there, I arrived in Pantheon Building, opposite to Faculty of Law, Sorbonne Uni.
After Luxembourg Garden, I headed to (yeah sure) Eiffel Tower. Well, nothing has changed since the last time I went there. The Gyspies were still there, begging for money. The North African souvenir sellers still chase me to offer the Eiffel miniatures. I found it quite annoying, since I suddenly lost the sense of safety when I meet those people. I rush leaving them and try to find more peaceful and safer spot to enjoy the tower. Finally I join other hundreds people sitting on the grass on one corner near the tower. I front of me, two Indonesian girls trying to find their best poses in front of the Eiffel without bothering to stand up. Oh, taling about Indonesian, I accidently found and Indonesian restaurant near the …/