After London, our next destination was Paris, France. Naturally there are two ways of getting to Paris from London, either by ferry (cheaper, but longer time needed and confusing) or via Eurostar.
If you didn’t know, Eurostar is a high speed passenger rail service with its trains crossing the English Channel connecting London with Paris and Brussels. It is pretty obvious Eurostar is expensive but it would cut down the traveling time into just a little more than two hours.
Luckily we booked our Eurostar tickets earlier so we still got it at a relatively affordable price at £39. Here, we were boarding the train at St Pancras station. Anyway, if you are planning to travel to Europe including England on your own, do be prepared to fork out extra for Eurostar tickets – even if you have a Eurail pass!
And here are some useful tips: when you are leaving for home, try not to fly out from London because you would have to pay extra to cross the channel again. I myself did a mistake here by choosing to fly back to Malaysia from London. I could’ve saved myself a few hundred ringgit if I had planned to go back because my last destination was Amsterdam. More tips at the end of this post, so keep reading lol.
After reaching our crappy hostel we walked to our first attraction – The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Paris or Basilique du Sacré-Cœur in French. It is a Roman Catholic church dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and also prominently located at Montmartre hill, the highest point in the city.
I still couldn’t believe we actually walked all the way up (130 metres high) without realizing there was actually a bus service.. But all the sweat was worth it as we were rewarded with a view of Paris’ skyline.
Locals and tourists alike taking the summer opportunity to sunbathe in the grass nearby.
Below the hill is actually a shopping and nightclub district, where you can find plenty of cheap things on sale. Most of the eateries here sell crepes with various toppings and jams, seems like Montmarte’s Crepes are really famous and also a must try here. Anwyay, it was the only cheap food we could afford, lol.
Then we spent some time wandering around some places and eventually ended up at Notre Dame de Paris or also known as Notre Dame Cathedral. It is also a cathedral, which I believe would be more known to us through the novel and Disney Cartoon “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame”. Although I do not harbor too much love for Paris, I have to admit seeing Notre Dame was one of my best memories through out the entire Europe trip.
Despite the many “NO PHOTOGRAPHY” signs, visitors were busy snapping away anyway – with flash too! Even the cathedral’s staff didn’t mind so… I took photos too lol.
It was the first cathedral I entered so I was really intrigued by the lightings, atmosphere and its sheer size.
No where in Asia, let alone Malaysia could you find any cathedral as big and beautiful like this – an eye opening experience indeed.
The altar in Notre Dame. Also, you would find the statue of Joan of Arc in the cathedral interior, it was here where she was beatified.