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Year 2011

Year 2011 (9)

NOV - Europe: Paris, France 2011 (Part VI)

Day 7 (1st Dec)

Paris town re-visit

We went to Tour Eiffel, this is not the season of school holiday, hence no long queue. Ticket at 13,40 Euro per adult that go up to the upper level. We met with Hong Kong couple and they mentioned that Jie Rou is such a lucky girl to travel to Europe at this young age.

Later, we went back to Champs-Elysees. The initial idea is to get my Prada handbag, but before that Edmond bought me a Loewe wallet as my Christmas present at Euro375. So, I decided not to waste more money, even we went into Prada boutique, we left empty handed.

Day 8 (2nd Dec)

Woke up at 5.30 morning, can’t really sleep cos too many people and afraid to miss the flight.

Left at 6.30 morning to catch the earliest train to town. Can’t buy ticket at train station cos too early, counter not open and the machine is not working.

Went to Gare du Nord, transit to Anthony station and change our route to airport transit and hit straight to Orly south airport. Save money cos we only bought ticket when we did the transit at the airport.

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NOV - Europe: Paris Disneyland, France 2011 (Part V)

Day 6 (30th Nov) - Disneyland, Paris

Can’t meet the Kwok’s family, we went for our plan.

Today morning wasted, as the Kwok’s family supposed to meet us at 11am. But due to his son stomachache, they didn’t go to town and the worst thing is our phone also spoiled at this time.

Later, we decided to go Disneyland for our Jie Rou.

Disneyland Studio, ticket at 59 Euro per adult. We have our lunch there, fast food but is good and reasonable price. We spent more than half a day. The parade was superb, and of cos Jie Rou was so excited because she saw all her favorite characters. We stayed until late around 7pm, watched for another round of Christmas special show.

Late back to Taverny, called the Kwok’s family and met for dinner at the back of the street for kebab. Then, only we found the problem of them. Anyway, the food is ok only.

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NOV - Europe: Champs-Elysees @Paris, France (Part IV)

Day 5 (29th Nov) - Paris

Daily train ticket at 10,40 Euro with unlimited travel by train, metro or bus. Today a bit disappointed with our plan. The Kwok’s family supposed to be back to Taverny at 11am as they will check in the hotel nearby. But for some reasons, they only arrived at 1pm. By the time they have settled down, it is already half of the day gone. Anyway, our plan today is to go Paris downtown for shopping. First we went to Champs-Elysees, LV boutique is the first one I visited. In there for 2 hours, and my damaged is 1.650 Euro, and I got my 2nd LV bag with the wallet. Cheers!!!

Then we walked along the street, it is so beautiful and busy and full of people. We wanted to go Gucci and Prada boutiques but they closed at 8pm. Thus, we went for dinner which is recommended by Lonely Planet and Stanley. The dinner was great, we spent 200 Euro, each family about Euro70. We have escargot and bread as starter, beef and stew as main course, dessert is the cake or ice cream. To us, wine is still our favorite!

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NOV - Europe: Brugge, Belgium 2011 (Part III)

Day 3 (27th Nov) - Brugge, Belgium

This morning we woke up very early, fresh but hungry. It is Sunday morning, most of the restaurant didn’t open early due to late weekend night. We have walked for more than an hour, still can’t find a place to eat. What we saw were the drunkards lying and sitting with stone look at the corner of the street. The shocking thing is we found a club is still open at 8am in the morning. We can still hear out loud the dancing music, and smell cigarette smoke and alcohol when we walked near to the club.

Later we decided went straight to Brugg. When we reached the station, we saw the youngsters, whom can tell obviously just came out from the dancing club. They didn’t buy the metro ticket, but just jumped in from the entrance. This is a serious moral issue I think the local government should look into.

Anyway, we bought return ticket at Euro13,80 per adult to Brugg which is a special weekend fare, it took about an hour by train. Every hour there will be a train to this route during weekend/ public holiday and half an hour during weekday. It was drizzling with strong wind when we reached our destination. Needless to say, first thing we went straight to the tourist information counter to ask for direction for food. The map cost us Euro0,50 per piece. Got the direction, we went straight to the famous market place, which is also named as Canal, little Venice in Brussel. No doubt, the scenery is superb. You will love the peace and quietness of this place. Walked for about 20mins, we reached the town center, the little Venice.  The rain is getting heavier, and lucky enough that we managed to find a good and reasonable restaurant to sit in before the heavy rain get started.

Later on, we found out that the restaurant is famous with its waffle. Since we were starved since early morning, we have to go straight for main course instead snack. So, Edmond went for kebab, and I have beef stew. Since the waffle is famous, Jie Rou has chosen the chocolate favorite for herself. The lunch cost us Euro30. After the rain stopped, we continued our journey to walk along the riverside to enjoy the beautiful scenery. As we passed the market place, I have bought chocolate for my colleagues and also we found the little rabbit ring for my darling Jie Rou at Euro3,95 and Hello Kitty purse at Euro2. Also, I went for another round of chocolate shopping, this time I bought all the alcoholic chocolate for my colleagues at Euro10 for 5 boxes, a very good deal!

As time passed, it is time to sit down for a drink. However, we need to catch the 3pm train, and hence we have to rush from market place and run all the way back to the station.

# For further details on train schedule, please go online www.sncb.be

Back to Brussels, we walked to the statue of little pepe angel, took a couple of picture. We didn’t expect the statue is small and it is displayed at the corner of the street. On the way back to hotel, we stopped by a bar to experience the famous Belgium beers. To our surprise, the menu shows out of 4 pages is the type of beers offer and the percentage of alcohol contain. Only 2 pages show the food and non-alcoholic drinks.

# Bar details: Brasserie Du Lombard – 1 rue du Lombard, 1000 Bruxelles

Phone: +32(0)489872016/ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Back to hotel for a rest, we came back out again for the last night visit at Brussels. As compared to Saturday night, there are lesser people and lesser car at the street. The night market stalls also reduced. We went to a fine dining restaurant. It was a bit disappointed as the food is not that fantastic and the price is high. Edmond has the seafood platter and 2 bottles of beer, I order paella and a small bottle of wine. The dinner bill came up to be about Euro200.

Day 4 (28th Nov) – Brussels - Paris

Can’t wait to go back Paris.

We woke up extremely early at 6am, showered and packed. Heading to the train station right away, and hoping to catch the next available train back to Paris to meet the Kwok’s family.

An hour later, we arrived at Gare du Nord, quickly walked down from train, and there we saw the Kwok’s family waiting for us right at the waiting alley. It was the best and touching moment as we didn’t see our closed friends for so long. After discussion, they decided to bring along the dirty clothes and back to Taverny with us for laundry services. 

Arrived destination, we have drinks, the kids have fun by running around the house, and the men busy with the laundry services, and also busy searching for the nearby hotels. Later, we went to the nearby Chinese restaurant for late lunch. It was great to meet with closed friends for a couple of wine and enjoy our favorite food at foreign country

After lunch, the Kwok’s family spent the rest of the day with us. Our initial plan supposed to go Paris downtown for night shopping, but due to the influence of alcohol, everyone seems to be reluctant to leave. So, we went to Carrefour to buy food and more drinks for dinner. Stanley was the chef of the night, he cooked paella and ceasser salad, and of cos it is yummy. We also have smoke salmon, but before the dinner started, it was all finished by the kids. Edmond cooked the chicken and steak, it is equally delicious!

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NOV - Europe: Brussels, Belgium 2011 (Part II)

Day 2 (26th Nov) - Paris - Brussels

Wake up at 7am, the plan for today is to travel to Brussels, Belgium. The neighboring country of France, by train it takes only about an hour. We departed from Gare du Nord main station, bought Thalys train tickets at Euro90 for adult. The train schedule is every hour from this station, and the service counter offers accommodation reservation also. We have not yet decided the number of nights stay; thus we didn’t take up the offer. After an hour journey, we reached Gare de Midi station. The first impression is not that pleasant as the place is not clean and the people not as friendly too. After checking from the tourist office, we found the way to city center. The map is available at the tourist office at Euro0,50 per piece. The city center is a big culture shock to us, there are bars and restaurants at every shop row and corner. It was a weekend today, hence there are many stalls at the roadside that offer local food + beer. We went to few motels to check for room but none is available. Luckily we managed to get one at the end of the road, it is Hotel Chantelier at Euro160 for 2 nights. Once settled, we went for lunch at Grande Market, the famous downtown shopping place. The set lunch is good; Edmond have steak set with a bottle of beer and I have the famous dish in Brussels, mussel with a glass of wine, and our little princess Jie Rou has spaghetti. We spent Euro45 at this restaurant.

After filling up our stomach, we headed to the market for shopping. The market place is full of people, whether is tourist or the local. There are famous chocolate shops every where in the market. We bought Port Royal Chocolate for our French sisters. Then we bought Belgium chocolate at Euro25 for 5 boxes at special promotion, and Jie Rou chosen her Ginger Bread Man and deer biscuits at Euro4 and Euro6 each. Also, they offer chocolate lollipop at Euro1,50 each. Unfortunately, we didn’t spend long as the kid is too tired and we also hit by jetlag. On the way back, we tried out the local hawker stall for the mushroom at Euro7 and 2 cans of beers at Euro2.  We went back to hotel around 7pm, thought to take a rest and come out for dinner later. But all this didn’t happen because we have slept through until the next morning. Left alone the cans of very cheap beer we bought from the store.

 

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NOV - Europe: Paris, France 2011 (Part I)

Day 1 (25th Nov) - We touched down at 7.35am local time at Orly South Airport, France.

From airport, we took airport transfer to Anthony Station at 1,80 Euro per adult, and headed straight to Gare du Nord main station.

Taverny, is a sub-urban area from Paris, and also our home for this trip. From Gare du Nord, we took train at @Euro3,95 per adult for about 35mins journey.

Once we reached Taverny, we were happy to see our friend Madjid, he prepared the traditional French breakfast for us and showed us around. After light lunch, we decided to bring Jie Rou to Disneyland Paris for a walk. we back to Gare du Nord main station, took express train and stopped at Marne la Vallee Parcs Disneyland station. It was a cold and rainy day, we are not familiar with the direction, so we have to check and ask around. By the time we reached Disneyland is already 3.30pm. Since half of the day gone, we don’t want to waste money for the half day tour. Hence, we detour to Val d’ Europe and heading for shopping. A little warning to highlight; during the waiting time, we have bumped into a group of corn man. The lucky thing is Edmond alert me and we managed to escape.

La Vallee Village is a huge factory outlet store, next to it is the shopping mall that offer variety of fashion and stuffs. There are Burberry, Polo Ralph Lauren, Celine, Longchamp, and most of the famous designer brands you can name it! However, I found the price is still at the higher side for a factory outlet store. After an hour plus of walking around, we couldn’t get anything we like, and our stomach is again calling. So we stopped by at Italian Restaurant in the shopping mall for food and drinks. The meal cost us about Euro40+, that include 2 main courses, a beer, a glass of wine and a kid set.

Right after that, we return back to Taverny as Madjid told us earlier that he has arranged dinner with his friends and family with us at 6.30pm.

While, needless to say… The dinner has ended almost at 12midnigt. We have burnt BBQ food from Madjid, and lots of alcohol supply! But, what we like the most is the Champaign and beers!!!

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