Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Paris ‘16, Day 2 – Visiting Sainte-Chapelle and the Eiffeltower

To be honest, Friday wasn’t a really great day. It definitely had some fun parts, but it was hot and things kept going wrong. I hope I haven’t scared you off now, sorry! ^^
My mom and I woke up on Friday morning, got dressed and went to have breakfast at the hotel. We only did this once, but it was very nice. ^^ The breakfast room was in the hotel’s basement, or rather the hotel’s dungeon! The room had a really dungeon-y atmosphere with stone walls and even an armour in one of the corners! It was pretty cool. :3
We ate our breakfast, went upstairs to collect our things and went on our way. Our first goal of the day: visit Sainte-Chapelle. My mom and I have been visiting Paris since 2010 and from our first trip on we have always wanted to visit this place to see the famous stained glass windows, but somehow we never made it happen. So this time we were
determined to do so!
Because my mom was having trouble walking and the metro stairs weren’t doing her much good, we decided to see whether taking the bus would be better. To be honest: buses and me are not great friends. No wait, it’s not the buses. It’s the bus time- and route table. I often just don’t get it. And Paris is no exception. So I had put a lot of effort into finding out how to get to Sainte-Chapelle. Luckily, we only had to take one bus that would take us there
in one go.

Taking the Bus
Taking the bus to Sainte-Chapelle.

After quite some time we arrived at the Palais de Justice, which is located on the Île de la Cité (like the Notre Dame). We left the bus stop and arrived at a gorgeous golden gate, with the Palais de Justice behind it and on the left Sainte-Chapelle.

Sainte-Chapelle Day
The beautiful golden gate and Sainte-Chapelle in the distance.

We took some pictures and naturally I couldn’t resist posing in front of this magnificent gate. We had to wait for a while, because people kept walking in front of the camera, but we managed. ^^

Golden Gate
Posing with the beautiful gate. ♥

We then proceeded to stand in line to what I presumed was the ticket counter. A stern, bodyguard-like man let in groups of people. We hoped we wouldn’t be too late, since the chapel would close for about an hour during lunch time. We didn’t have to wait long though luckily. ^^

Waiting in Line
Waiting in line.

When it was our turn, we followed the designated route to... a body- and bag scanner? It was like entering an airport, so strict! We put our bags into the trays, had ourselves scanned and collected our things again. Then we were allowed to walk on and we entered the square where the giant Sainte-Chapelle stood.

Sainte-Chapelle Outside
Quite impressive, isn’t it?

We arrived at the ticket desk, where only my mom needed to pay for a ticket since I’m below the age of 26. The entrance of 10 euros was fairly expensive compared to most other churches since the entrance is free most of the time (as far as I know), but considered I got in for free it was ok.

Our tickets for Sainte-Chapelle.

We had our tickets checked and entered the building. We first arrived in what was apparently called ‘the lower chapel’. It was a big, dark room with lots of beautiful arches and it was quite dark, although the light coming through the entrance helped. There were several stalls selling goods (which always feels slightly weird to me, you know, in a church) and people were talking loudly, often shushed by ladies working there. At the back of the room were some stained glass window and a statue of Saint Louis (had to look that up especially for you guys, haha). There was also a computer screen showing a drawing of the chapel. You could tap it and then it gave you information on the thing you tapped on.

Lower Chapel
The lower chapel.

The lower chapel was nice, but not very impressive. So we started our journey up the stairs. My poor mom had slightly underestimated the climb, but eventually she made it. And wow, was it worth it!
We arrived in the upper chapel and all around us were windows, beautiful stained glass windows everywhere! They all had the most beautiful colours, it was amazing!

I have no words for this beauty…

The ceiling at the same arches as the lower chapel, but here they were far up higher. It was so cool to just look up!

Looking up at the amazing ceiling was such a great experience!

The room was a lot smaller than I had imagined, but it didn’t really matter. The windows were there and they were glorious. ^^ I was expecting the place to be somewhat lighter, but maybe that was influenced by other people’s pictures. But just look at these windows. Aren’t they a-ma-zing!?

Stained Glass Window
Sainte-Chapelle makes all your stained glass window dreams come true! ☆

The was also a beautiful rose window above the big doors. Rose windows are always so impressive and this one sure was as well. ♥

Rose Window
The beautiful rose window.

I’m afraid I can’t tell you much more. The room was amazing and I looked at all the window at least a hundred times, but other than showing you pictures I don’t really know what to say. So just… look at the pictures. XD

Stained Glass Windows
All of the colours together are just so mesmerizing! ♥

We decided to sit outside for a bit. There was some sort of balcony adjacent to the upper chapel with stone statues etc. It was nice to sit for a bit, until my mom blew up a coke can. XD My mom had been carrying a can of coke around in her bag and we were thirsty, so we decided to open it. Maybe it was a bit too shaken up in her bag or something, but when she opened it an incredibly loud ‘BANG!’ echoed around the chapel. People looked up in surprise and we looked at the can in disbelieve, but no coke sprayed out of it at all. We apologized profusely and hoped none of the tough looking military men we had spotted outside would jump on us, but luckily nothing happened, thank God.

Stone Statues
The outer balcony of the upper chapel is also quite impressive!

After sitting some more, we took some pictures before we decided to leave Sainte-Chapelle. A challenge as usual, since people kept walking in front of me. XD

Posing at Sainte-Chapelle
Last picture at Sainte-Chapelle.

We had to go all the way down some other stairs again and my mom took a little longer, but eventually we walked out of the chapel again and stood outside in the hot sun.
We left the Palais de Justice and decided we wanted to go on to the Eiffeltower. Buuut I didn’t understand the bus routes at all! ^^’ So we decided to take the bus to the next stop and hoped we could take a bus to the Eiffeltower from there (spoiler alert: the answer
is no. XD).
We arrived at a beautiful square with a big fountain. My mom and I had been there before when we visited Quartier Latin, so it was nice to be back there. The big fountain is called ‘Fontaine Saint-Michel’. It’s pretty epic-looking and it’s just randomly in the middle of the city! So cool!

Fontaine Saint-Michel
Fontaine Saint-Michel.

I decided to check out the surrounding bus stops to see whether one of the buses would take us to the Eiffeltower, but first we got distracted by a Claire’s shop. They had some pretty nice things, but I wasn’t feeling too well in the shop somehow so we left again.
After checking the bus stops and asking a slightly frightened-of-me old man for directions we decided to take the metro after all because honestly %&$# the buses in Paris! XD We walked down the stairs into the station, but when I checked the metro map I realised taking the train (yes really) would be easier! So we decided to take the train (which felt really weird since we were in the middle of the city and somehow taking the train just felt odd and out of place)! When we walked up the platform a train arrived and hoping this would be the right one we took it. Luckily it was indeed the right one and earlier than I expected we arrived at station Champ de Mars.

Champ de Mars Station
Taking the train within the city felt quite strange!

I was hoping this station would be somewhat closer to the Effeltower than Bir Hakeim, the metro station. But they were about the same distance after all. XD
We left the station and quickly spotted the world famous landmark peeking over the beautiful houses and trees.

Eiffeltower Peeking
The Eiffeltower~!

We walked along the boulevard, but it was really hot there. The floor was covered in light-coloured sand, which reflected the sun heavily. It was quite terrible for me, aaah. I kept fanning myself a lot. x)
We finally arrived at the road in front of the Eiffeltower, but by now I was already not feeling so great. The day had been hot, but ever since we left Sainte-Chapelle it was too hot for me. And walking on that boulevard didn’t help at all. Ugh.

Despite not feeling well, I could still appreciate the greatness of the Eiffeltower. ♥

We crossed the road when suddenly, we realised that there was a problem! Our idea had been to sit in the park underneath the Eiffeltower, Champ de Mars, and just rest and look up at the tower or something. But… the park was surrounded by fences and we couldn’t even walk underneath the Eiffeltower itself! I had no idea what was going on, but I was getting too hot and tired to think straight. Later I realised the park had been closed off because there was a giant tv screen to watch the soccer games on for the upcoming evenings. Makes sense. Also, did you notice the Eiffeltower’s decorations for the European Championship? I thought it was pretty cool!

Postcard Eiffeltower
Another pretty shot of the Eiffeltower to distract myself from the memory of the heat. XD

We walked a bit in circles, not really knowing what to do, until my wise mom suggested to have a crêpe for lunch. We walked down the stairs to the bank along the river Seine. We went to get drinks and crêpes with sugar, which we sat down and I cried. x) I couldn’t help it. I was so hot and felt so lost for a moment. Luckily a crêpe and sitting down in the shade of the parasols helped.

Ice Tea and Crêpe
A delicious crêpe and a cold ice tea. ♥

Finally, we decided to head back to our hotel. We waked up the stairs again and crossed the bridge to Trocadéro. When you’re at the Eiffeltower it doesn’t matter which way you walk, you always have to walk quite a distance until you reach a metro station. Walking to Trocadéro was sooo tiring. It was hot and we had to walk uphill and it was just outright terrible. Not just for me, but for my mom as well. I did end up buying a super cute hat a street seller was selling. Partially because it was cute, but also because I felt like a hat might save me from more heat and sun.
Finally we reached Trocadéro. We did take some pictures there by the way, despite all the ever ongoing constructions there. *sigh of annoyance*

Posing with my new hat in front of the Eiffeltower. And constructions.

Since we wanted to try and take the bus again, I went up to some security guards(?) and asked for directions. They pointed us at the right bus stop so we started walking. While doing so, I discovered something very unsettling: my photo camera wasn’t autofocussing anymore. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get it to work again. I started to panic slightly: the next day would be the Angelic Pretty Tea Party and I really wanted to be able to use my camera there! Now of course my camera has manual focus too, but that is just really hard for me to use.
Meanwhile, the bus arrived and a long, very long drive began. The only highlight was the fact we drove partially around the Arc de Triomphe, which was pretty cool, but other than that it was a nightmare. The bus was hot, there was no airflow whatsoever and the drive seemed endless! Plus, my camera wouldn’t work and I was freaking out. It was then that my mom and I decided to take the metro from here on out again despite my mom’s walking problems, because the bus was harming us more than it did good.
Finally, we arrived back at Gare du Nord. We went back to our hotel and just collapsed onto our bed, where we just lay still for a while. Well, for like a minute, because I couldn’t stand not knowing what was wrong with my camera. So I started Googling and quickly found some very helpful tips. Tip no. 1? Clean your lens. So I did and… can you believe that was actually the problem!? After I cleaned my lens thoroughly my camera worked perfectly fine again! I felt so dumb but so freaking relieved!
We rested a bit more and then decided to have dinner at the amazing restaurant Marina had taken me to during my previous trip. The restaurant is called The restaurant is called Yummy and it was great to be back there. The food was delicious and the air-conditioning was
great. :3

Yummy Paris
I really love this restaurant!

So yeah, all in all this was a day with lots of bad sides and some good ones. The next few days were a lot better. ^^ For my next post however I am not sure how long it will take before it will be up. I am waiting for some pictures and reports, so until then I can’t upload a blogpost or video. Let’s hope it won’t take too long!

Purchase of the Day
Purchase of the day

And to end this post with, here is the video I made about our adventures on our second day in Paris. The video is a bit more happy than my blogpost, haha! I hope you will like it! ♥ Please take a look if you want!

Thank you for reading! ~☆~