Saturday, 13 October 2012

Brussels, Belgium + Paris, France, 10.-17.7.2012, Part III

On Saturday, July 14th, we were back at Brussels Midi again for our Thalys train to Paris. I was so excited! I've been to Paris many, many times but never by train so this was something different. We travelled in first class and the trip was extremely fast - just 1 hour and 20 minutes from Midi to Gare du Nord in Paris!

On the train.

My breakfast on the train.

We'd booked a hotel near Gare du Nord but later on in the day, it turned out they'd double booked us and so they had to move us into another hotel, Hotel de Paris Maubeuge. Luckily, it was close to the station as well, as we'd be arriving from the Madonna show late at night and wanted to stay close to the station because of that. And naturally, we didn't have to pay extra for the room even though it would've been a bit more expensive than what we'd originally booked.

Before checking in, though, we bought ten metro tickets between us and went to Montmartre, my favourite place in Paris. I just love the atmosphere there, and Sacre Coeur is the most beautiful cathedral in the world! We were there pretty early so we got to witness a mass, the nuns singing...We also went to the store in the cathedral to buy some rosaries - they're so beautiful! After visiting the church, we took the little sightseeing train that goes around in Montmartre and had lunch before going back to our hotel to check in and relax a bit before the Madonna show.

The carousel in Montmartre.

Sacre Coeur.

I was there, too.

Nice views over Paris.

We took the little train that goes around Montmartre for 5€.

Moulin Rouge.

Place du Tertre.



Had lunch at Chez Eugène.

My mushroom omelette.

The view from our hotel window in Paris.

Chilling out before the Madonna concert.
I'm not going to write about the Madonna show on here too much as I'm going to write about it in my Madonna blog, but since I haven't done that yet, I can post some pictures...Turned out the wristband for the Golden Triangle was the same colour that it was in Copenhagen so I negotiated my way in...And ended up front row against the fence again! Yay! Also, the show was filmed so there were cameramen everywhere, and Will.I.Am was there as well, as a surprise supporting act. We didn't get to see the soundcheck, probably because the show was filmed, but we did hear it from the outside. Anyway, on to the pictures...


Will.I.Am.

Madonna <3.

Masterpiece.

Like A Virgin.

Jean-Paul Gaultier.

After the show, there were lots and lots of Rer trains running so it was easy to get back to Gare du Nord and our hotel, thankfully.

The following morning, we checked out and started our big sightseeing tour from the Eiffel Tower. We did a lot of walking that day so I think it's easier if I just post the pictures and explain what we did in the captions.

Gare du Nord.


The weather kept changing and we weren't impressed!


Pont Alexandre III.

I was there, too!

La Seine.


Notre Dame.

My salmon pizza.

Back at Notre Dame.

Some of the Notre Dame gargoyles.


Le Louvre.


Jardin des Tuileries.

Place de la Concorde.

Les Champs-Elysées.


The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.


Aaah, I love Paris! And as you can guess, we were completely exhausted after walking all day and were ready to hit the bed when we got back to Brussels! Our train back left at 10:25 pm, which meant that we were at Midi around midnight once again...nice. When we were walking to our hotel, someone threw an egg at us...yes, now it's pretty funny, but back then it really wasn't. I was so pissed off! This is our EU capital - how can it not be normal for women to walk outside on their own late at night? Insanity! Another big minus for the city of Brussels...%¤#¤%¤. Anyway, if someone's wondering how much we paid for our train tickets to and from Paris, they were 69€/one way. You can get tickets for a lot cheaper, too, but since for us this whole Paris excursion was a last minute decision, we had to pay more. We bought our train tickets online beforehand so we already had the print outs with us when we left for Brussels and Paris.

We had one more full day left in Brussels on which we didn't do anything special anymore. It was raining like mad throughout the day and I guess I was getting exhausted from all of my travelling so I was just mainly wanting to sleep and not do anything anymore. We had some pizza and some Leffe, went to a church called St Nicholas to have a look around, did some shopping, had more waffles and a last look at Manneken Pis and then went back to our room to listen to music, read and eat chocolate. We checked out the following day and went straight to the airport for our flight back home. And that, my friends, finally concludes my series of updates about my summer trips. However, don't fall into depression - there's more to come once I'm back from Budapest, Bratislava and Vienna next week...:D!

The view from our hotelroom in Brussels.

Pizza.

Inside the church.

Typical weather during our trip...I mean SERIOUSLY! Whoever claims that it's always raining in England CLEARLY hasn't been to Brussels!

Goodies at La Cure Gourmande.




Waffles! Only the plain one was 1€, the rest were closer to 5€ and completely worth the price!

Yum!!

What I bought to bring to people back home...