My Europe Trip 2010 – Paris, France

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Hotel de Ville is not a hotel like its name suggests but a City Hall in Paris. It is used to hold functions, house the local administration and the Mayor of Paris. When we were there, live tennis was shown on a large projector screen watched by the local crowd.


Restaurants are abundance in the area of Hotel de Ville so deciding where to eat posed more of a problem. In the end we headed to Pizza Sant Antonio at rue de la Verrerie, without knowing they are actually one of the best pizza restaurant in Paris. Now who would have knew?


So we made a mistake here by not ordering pizza despite pizza being their specialty. We wanted to save pizza for Italy, you see. My Provencal-styled Scallops was priced at €14.50 and came with a large portion of fries. I didn’t really enjoy it mainly because they were served with their gonads attached (the orangish part)


Escalope Pizzaiola (Veal Escalope in Pizzaiola sauce) @ €11.35 isn’t as fancy as it sounded or looked. Its basically just slices of thinned veal meat cooked in a pizza tasting sauce and topped with olives. Tasted like meaty pizza if you ask me.


I was kinda disappointed with the state of Paris’ Metro too.. it was quite dirty and very inconvenient to travelers. Worse if you are lunging your luggage around because there are no escalators except for the main station!


A visit to The City of Light wouldn’t be complete without seeing the Eiffel Tower. Whether you like it or not, this tallest structure in France is a global icon that immediately makes you think of Paris.


Even if you are willing to pay for the lift tickets, the queue was so freaking long you would eventually drop the idea anyway. For me, looking at it from afar was good enough. The more you get near to it, the uglier it looks. Sad but true.


The view surrounding the Eiffel Tower was much more attractive, especially the Seine River where you could also embark on a river cruise if you have enough moolah.


Another must visit in Paris is none other than The Musée du Louvre, one of the largest museum in the world and also holds the status of being most visited. We just came to have a look, took some photos and left without entering. It is said that the museum is so large you would need to spend at least a day to really enjoy it.
But due to a planning mishap we had to leave Paris early (we originally planned to stay for two nights but had to cut short to one) to Switzerland, as we didn’t reserve the seats for train to Interlaken. This is another important thing to look out for if you are traveling in Europe with either Eurail or InterRail pass.
As mentioned in their website and its guide, the pass does not guarantee you a seat on popular routes and reservation for the seats must be made. The best thing to do is to check your itinerary for any train routes that require reservation, and make it the first thing to do when you arrive in the departing country.
For example if you are planning to go to Switzerland from France, naturally the chosen route would be from Paris to Interlaken. But since this is a popular route as indicated in the Eurail timetable, a reservation is required. So what we didn’t do was to reserve my seat when I arrived in Paris. If we did that, then we could’ve extended another night in Paris and seen more places. Worse still, since we reserved our seats so late, we got a noon train causing us to waste the most important time of the day.
However, I would like to believe it was a blessing in disguise, as we got to visit Zurich, which was never in our itinerary and got to spend more time in Switzerland. It is my most favorite country and it’s coming up in the next update! But if you have any questions about traveling by train in Europe, shoot away and I will try to answer.

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