Paris III and Au revoir !!!
Paris Travel Blog› entry 29 of 32 › view all entries
It was the last day in Paris. We were already moved to Hotel Gallieni, which is quite close to De Gaulle airport. We got out of the hotel, and headed to see and take pictures of Paris. First place was to go was Palais de Chaillot. This nice piece of architecture has Eiffel tower behehind, and eiffel tower counted every single day to new millenium. Now it is 2010, and imagine still about 900 days before year 2000, it was very long time ago indeed.
The reason of going Palais de Chaillot was to take pictures as I wanted to do exactly the same thing my grandfa did 40 years ago. I always had picture in my desk which my grandfa went to Paris in 1958 and took picture of in front of Eiffel tower, but more precisely in the Palais de Chaillot having Eiffel tower behind. Another thing was to have picture in New York, which I have them already, and the last one is waiting to be done in Luxor, Egypt. I figure this is the most challenging one because I need to arrange at least 2 weeks of travel to Giza and Cairo, and another challenge is to fetch up a bedoin soldier who has two rifles, one is for me and the other is for him. In addition, I surely need a camel and traditional costume of Bedoin soldier. It takes time, but anyway at that time point, it was the first achievement. We left Eiffel tower for the last part of our night in Paris. However, on our way to the next place, we could see Des Invalides, which has the tomb of Napoleon I. Not sure whether my recollection is correct, but it has been used as a hospital in 19th century and later on it turned into the historic place.
After Palais de Chaillot, we went to Place de la concorde where the center of French relovution. It is quite a big plaza and there is a fountain. Seong-Duk took a picture of me, and one French man came up and kindly took a picture of both of us. Next, we went to Champ-Elysee, and started buying presents. We stopped by Sephora, became dizzy by so many people and scent of cosmetics. Also we went to department stores - Printemps and one other more which I do not remember very well. Overall we spent about 3 hours for shopping (amazing patience for boys). Fortunately, there were not many people and we can jump around department store almost freely. It was weekday morning, and actually not many people enjoy shopping at those hours. Having lots of shopping bag in our hands, we still wanted to go somewhere. So we stopped by our hotel, and headed to Sacre Coeur. At this place, you can overlook Paris, and lots of painters are doing their job. Quite disappointed because of huge crowd, the only thing we had in our mind from Sacre Coeur is that they had quite many stairs, and the weather should be good to see the entire view. The weather on that day was hazy and cloudy, so only the marked buildings were visible.
Also we had a chance to go to La Defense, which is located in the opposite side of L'arc de triomphe. La defense itself is an absolutely talented building, while you can see l'arc de triomphe and actually there is no hindrance in sight. The insight of Napoleon who made Paris as "calculative" city was still in effect. As we have seen Louvre and d'Orsay, we were not in hurry to look around other famous sightseeing places, and it became dark. Our initial plan was to spend 3-4 hours and then go to hotel, and then have a good sleep for the next day.It would be a heavy day with all the luggages and three flights we had. Somehow we played just below Eiffel tower, but not attempted to go up, and one suggested to sing songs together. We gathered as a circle, and started singing together songs we know. As time goes by, people came by and looked at us in curiosity, and some are moved, or some others were amused. Also we had some light snacks and wrote to each other and wish good luck each other. I still have the piece of paper which they gave me, and they were all saying that the leader was quite trustworthy. I looked up the sky and the stars were shining up above the tower, and for a moment I felt a bit sad but excited immediately to see my friends and family again.
Not knowing when the last train leaves for gallieni, we played hard. We found out later that it was too late to take any transportation. so what did we do? We walked. We walked around 1 :30 at dawn, and saw many sightseeing places without almost anyone except us. We saw the place de la concorde again. I cannot forget that silence around 3 am. The earliest train was 5 30 am and we were supposed to get out of hotel by 7 30 am to get to the airport to take the flight at 10 am. Finally we found a subway station but it was not opened. Literally we sat down in the stairs down to the entrance. I probably closed my eyes for one hour, and all of a sudden the entrance door was opened. We spent our whole night outside of the hotel and only had an hour to pack and take shower. By the time we arrive at the airport. It was not sure whether we should go to B or D gate. We took the bus to D gate, but it was wrong one. Perhaps that was the first and the last mistake i have made during the entire travel but it could have been deadly one. Somehow I felt something is wrong, and we just got on the plance 15 min before landing safely. We could have some peaceful time in the morning, but we have used it up last night with full of emotions all together. There is no time to say Au revoir to Paris.
It was a crazy hours to get on the plane. Now we head for the last destination in Europe, Helsinki. Seeing Paris from the sky, then I could say "Au revoir".