Destination Europe – It was a dream come true trip. Our magalir-mattum gang has been planning for a destination trip to 3 countries in Europe. The plan has been on for so many years. While all along it was in talks, this year we wanted to execute it. This time, it was a group of 11 people (8 adults and 3 teen kids).
Though we planned for the trip 4 months in advance, until the last week, we were not sure how many are going to actually do it. The toughest part of the trip was the visa processing. What would you do without a valid visa, even though you have everything in place for the trip? My friend had written in detail about the same and i am linking them here.
Finally, All 11 of us made it to the trip. It was a tightly packed 16 days trip. All planning from flight ticket booking, hotel reservation, sight-seeing analysis, detailed itinerary, mode of transport in all places were all decided and executed by us. Not any package trip. We explored on our own, which added more fun to the trip and made it even more memorable.
Almost all our days were long. We started early and stayed outside till late night. Sun set was around 8.30 pm on all days, which gave us more time to explore out. We left behind all smaller kids in the age group of as young as 18 months to 12-year-old. We are all grateful to our family members who took care of our children in our absence, without whom, the trip would have been only in dreams.
Now coming to the actual trip. Actually i can write a detailed post for each day of the trip. So much experimentation and exploration. But, I am giving only a gist of all that we did.
Day 1 – 27/04/2017 : Reach Paris, refresh and visit Eiffel Tower, was the only agenda for the day. We used only public transport for all our commute except when we have to carry our luggage. Paris is well connected by Metro and so, found the nearby metro station ‘Porte de St-Ouen’. Managed to get metro ticket. Now, we need to take 3 different metro train to reach Eiffel tower. Studied the metro map ‘n’ number of times, asked people around, who talked in a different language, which we tried to decode, but in vain. Finally got hold of a person who speaks our language and found the route. The route goes as
M13 – from ‘Porte de St-Ouen’ to ‘Place de Clichy’
M2 – from ‘Place de Clichy’ to ‘Charles de Gaulle-Etoile’
M6 – from ‘Charles de Gaulle-Etoile’ to ‘Trocadero’.
(Note : These details are for my fellow travelers to remember the places we visited and all that we did there. There are some more metro stations that we visited in the 4 days stay in Paris, like ‘Porte de Clignancourt’, ‘Invalides’, ‘Gare du Nord’, ‘Gare de l’Est’ and so on. I have promised to give them all a spelling test later. 😉 )
Now, as you come out of the ‘Trocadero’ metro station, you get to see the stunning view of the Eiffel tower. We spent rest of the day there. We went to the top of the tower for the breathtaking city view, and by the time we finished that, the sun was set, the light were on and the tower was glittering. One can sit the whole night looking at the beauty of the tower. Traveling long hours all the way from Chennai and ending the day in Paris with night view of the tower was an awesome feel.
Day 2 – 28/04/2017 : The same route to reach the tower and we went on an hour-long Cruise ride on the ‘Seine River‘. Then post lunch, visited ‘Louvre Museum‘. There were painting all around and we didn’t know where to start and where to end. Managed to cover most part of the museum by evening. Then spent some time in front of the Louvre pyramid for some different photos. Next, we went to ‘Arc de Triomphe‘. Spent some time there. Then walked along the ‘Champs-Elysees’ street till the ‘Champs-Elysees’ metro station, to take the return train to our hotel.
Views from ‘Seine Rive Cruise’
‘Louvre museum’ – Famous ‘Mona Lisa’ painting was the huge attraction.
‘Arc de Triomphe’ – in one end of ‘Champs-Elysees’
Day 3 – 29/04/2017 : “Palace of Versailles” – This was our only agenda for the day. It is not a palace, it is a town / city by its own. We wondered how they maintained those huge acres of land. Heavily crowded too. Try to reach early so as to avoid the waiting time in the long queue.
Day 4 – 30/04/2017 : We visited all other important left out places, like
‘Sainte-Chapelle‘ – known for its stained glass windows, the interior view of the chapel with the huge stained glass windows, left us awestruck.
‘Notre-Dame Cathedral‘ – Huge church with fine architecture and incredible interiors.
‘Love lock bridge‘ – Famous spot in France. Actually not just this bridge, you can find love locks in all places wherever there is space for a lock. 🙂
‘Tuileries Garden‘ – the public garden between ‘Louvre Museum’ and ‘Place de la Concorde’
‘Place de la Concorde‘ – It is square on the other end of the ‘Champs-Elysees’ road, with ‘Arc de Triomphe’ on one end.
‘Sainte-Chapelle’ & ‘Notre-Dame Cathedral’
Love lock bridge & ‘Place de la Concorde’
Thus ends the tour de France and next day, we started early in the morning to catch the train to Switzerland.
Part 2 : Switzerland. To be continued….