Sunday, 1 April 2012

Paris & Barcelona Part 1 of 2

Salam all,

I just got back from Paris & Barcelona last Tuesday (27/3/2012) I was there for 11D/9N with my sisters and a 5yr old nephew and a 1yr old niece. It was a free n easy holiday. We booked our flight tru KLM way back in August 2011 when they had a promotion and booked our accommodation vide booking.com.

The preparation took us a long time ie since August 2011, since then, we slowly gathered information tru internet as well as travel books. of course we slowly saved money and started buying things for the trip such as clothing, food etc.

We took lots of photos but they are for private collection. So videos n pictures links that I posted here are from those published in the internet from other tourists.
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PRELIMINARY BUDGET

Flight KL-Paris-KL RM3065/pax

Sim card RM80 to RM120

Taxi from airport to hotel to airport RM160 x 2 (RM106/pax) 18/3/2012 & 26/3/2012

Accommodation Paris 18/3 to 22/3 (4n) RM2778 (RM926/pax)

Accommodation Paris (1n) 25 march RM886/nite (RM300/pax)

Transport in Paris - on foot n metro/bus/train/trams.

- mobilis card unlimited travel for 1 day in 2 to 6 zones (RM24 to RM68) or

-paris visit unlimited travel n museum discount 1/2/3/5day RM35/ RM58/ RM79/ RM114

Tours:

Eiffel tower - RM53/pax (cheaper with discount card)

Museums (about 8 euro/museum) - RM330/pax (use museum card bole dpt discount on tickets, 2d/4d - RM129/RM194) cheaper with discount card

River cruise RM40 (cheaper with discount card)

Versailles RM60 (cheaper with discount card)

Chartres, train fare RM55 x 2

Loire Valley train fare RM138 to RM231 x 2

TOTAL PARIS: RM2,518 (6D/5N)


22/3/12 - 25/3/12 (4D/3N)

Flight to/fro Barcelona RM1768 (RM590/pax)

Taxi from airport to hotel to airport RM141 x 2 (RM94/pax) 22/3/12 & 25/3/12

Accommodation Barcelona RM1500 4d/3n (RM500/pax)

Costa Brava & Girona day tour RM384/pax http://www.barcelonadaytours.com/costa-brava-girona-tour/
Montserat / Royal Basilica RM704 (234/pax)

TOTAL BARCELONA: 1,802

Food RM120/day/pax x 8days = RM960

TOTAL ESTIMATE: 8,345 (on the high side, can be cheaper if cut down on paid tours n some museums, for estimate purpose assume go to all museums. also museum entrants consider full fare n also with discount card)
exclude souvenir but include transport, hotel n food n phone n tours.
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Pre-trip expenses:

RETURN FLIGHT KL-Paris-KL (KLM)bought in August 2011
- RM3,065/adult
- RM2,743 (5yr old)
- RM179 (1yr old)

RETURN FLIGHT Paris-Barcelona-Paris (Easyjet) bought on 29/2/2012
3 Adults + child = Euro 91.98 x 4 = RM371.94 x 4pax
Infant = euro 48 (RM194.070)
luggage = euro 28 x 3pc = RM113.179 x 3pcs + 14 euro (additional pc)
credit card fee + admin fee = euro 15.57 (RM62.9375)
total: euro 529.49 for 4pax + 1 infant

Travel books:
1) Europe on a shoestring (lonely planet) RM110.20
2) Discover Europe (lonely planet) RM106.40
3) Best of Europe 2012 (Rick Steves') RM103.60
4) France (lonely planet) RM105.30
5) Discover France (lonely planet) RM97.50
6) Let's go Paris (The student travel guide) RM77.90
7) Paris everything you ever wanted to know (not for parents) RM49.90
8) Easy learning french phrasebook (Collins) RM39.90
9) French phrase book & dictionary (Berlitz) RM24.90
10)French phrasebook & dictionary (Collins) RM24.90
11)German phrasebook & dictionary (Collins) RM24.90
12)German phrase book & dictionary (BBC Active) RM29.00

Clothing n shoes:

1) Trench coat from Topshop abt RM300++
2) coat from uniqlo abt RM400
3) 2 cardigans from uniqlo abt RM300 or so
4) long sleeves t-shirts from uniqlo abt RM30 each. I bought abt 7 or more
5) 2 hoodie sweatshirt from China (my bf bought for me)
6) glove n hat from uniqlo
7) few new shirts n blouses
8) 2 pairs of shoes

Food:
1) Brahim
2) Precooked Biryani from Cold Storage
3) Maggie instant noodles
4) Sambal ikan bilis (from my sis's friends) RM20
5) Sardine (canned)

Luggage
Medium Pierre Cardin bag RM290.

Day 1 17/3/2012 (Saturday)
Had KFC dinner at KLIA. Flight to Amsterdam at 23.45. Everything on schedule. Didn't sleep well for obvious reason (crampy n tight space n vertical position of course) but not as bad, still manage to sleep for few hours. Meals were not bad.

PARIS
Accommodation Paris at Adagio Paris Tour Eiffel from 18/3 to 22/3 (4n) RM2778 (RM926/pax)

Day 2 18/3/2012 (Sunday)
Arrived Amsterdam and we had 1 hour to rush to the gate for Paris flight and we still had to pass tru immigration. Boy! What a process, long distance (from arrival gate to departure gate) and the immigration officer took their sweet time to do the process. I rushed with my nephew first while my sis struggled to carry her 1yr old daughter and the other elderly sister struggled to keep up. We reached the gate panting and I informed the stewardess to wait for the other 3. We were the last to board the plane. Everyone was thirsty when we boarded the plane and the steward n stewardess were kind enough to offer my nephew a drink before we took off. It took about 1hr to reach Paris.

Taxi to hotel, 71 euro (including additional charge for 4th person n 1 euro for each piece of luggage).

Our apartment hotel is at Adagio Paris Tour Eiffel at 15th arrondisement, about 20min walk to Eiffel Tower. The apartment is big by Paris standard but still small by M'sia standard.
http://www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-6790-adagio-paris-tour-eiffel/index.shtml

We reached the hotel at about 11am or so, after we rested n had lunch we wanted to go out but it rained! We ended up resting n sleeping in the hotel. I went out with my nephew to enjoy Eiffel Tower view n Seine River view when the rain stopped.

Lunch n dinner - our stock from M'sia.

oooh! First order of business before we started using pots, pans, plates, bowls, cutlery provided by the hotel..SAMAK!! My sister brought samak soap n very easily everything cleansed as per islamic ritual. http://fyi-penang.blogspot.com/2008/02/taharah-natarul-soap-samak.html

We slept n woke up early due to jet lag.

Day 3 19/3/2012 (Monday)
We walked along Seine River bank to Eiffel Tower, it was enjoyable stroll but my sisters n nephew complained it was a long walk! We reached Eiffel Tower n my nephew whined that he wanted to climb Eiffel Tower, we wished we can oblige but the line was just too long. We had lunch at Parc du Champ de Mars. Guess what? Nasi Biryani n sambal ikan bilis!

My nephew started throwing tantrum as he couldn't climb Eiffel Tower, so we had to skip exploring around Eiffel Tower and took 'Les Cars Rouges hop on n hop off bus' to pacify him. Cost us 26 euro/pax for 2 days.
http://www.parispass.com/paris-attractions/Paris-Bus-Tour.html?aid=23&gclid=CMCq6qaBlK8CFcx66wodFEBDyA

The bus took us around the major attractions in Paris, we just sat in the bus as my nephew preferred to sit in the bus rather than walking n soon after he started to whine he wanted to go home!

We took the bus back to Eiffel Tower and walked back to the apartment. He was happy when we reached the apartment.

After my niece went to sleep, my sis n I walked to Eiffel Tower to view its light. very nice. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZBV2ZUbthE

Day 3 expenses:
- Hop on hop off ticket 26 euro/pax
- hot choc 4 euro x 2 at Iolanda 105 Quai Branly 75015 Paris

- toy for my nephew 4.50 euro
- grocery from monoprix supermarket 17.25 euro (fruit juices x 3bottles (1.84 euro x 2 + 1.77 euro), bread x 2packets (0.61 euro + 1.64 euro), 4 muffins 2.63 euro, brinjal 0.43 euro, carrot 0.16 euro, 2kg oranges 1.99 euro, broccoli 2.90 euro, coke 0.42 euro, mushroom 1.02 euro)

Day 4 20/3/2012 (Tuesday)
Woke up early but got a bad flu n cough and it was raining! We had to stay in, in the morning. When the rain stop we decided to take a cab to the Louvre.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iPx7jM3v4w

It was closed! So, just just snapped pictures outside the museum. Then I walked around looking for Les Cars Rouges bus stop but gave up and informed the rest that maybe we just walked along Seine River bank to Notre Dame. Along the way, we witnessed the famous Paris scam - someone tried to snatch a tourist's bag (earlier the a girl pretend to ask for donation from me but distracted when her friend who was trying to steal from another tourist was shouted at by the lady tourist n she ran over to help her friend), thankfully they didn't manage to get anything from me or the earlier target.

My sis was tired carrying my niece n we stopped at Seine River bank to rest and slowly walked to Notre Dame.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O61ng_QqC4I&feature=related

Along the way, we stopped at Pont de l'Archevêché 'Lovers bridge' where lovers placed padlocks here to symbolize their everlasting love. We had our lunch here. Another Brahim fare!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_padlocks

We walked further and found Marché aux Fleurs (flower market)and few other beautiful buildings and finally Notre Dame!
http://www.geobeats.com/video/266306/flower-market

Walked further and many pictures later, we stopped to rest as my niece was asleep n I found Berthilon kiosk (Many consider Berthillon to be the best ice cream of Paris and maybe of France) n bought their sorbet n ice cream...hmm nothing to shout about. I prefer Baskin-Robbins or Häagen-Dazs http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berthillon

Around the corner we found Notre Dame.

Near Notre Dame, my nephew wanted to pee, we asked for direction but we couldn't understand french n we were lost looking for toilet! My sister gave up n wanted to ask her son to pee in front of Notre Dame! I told her keep looking or you may caused unnecessary friction as the Christians may think we (both my sisters wear heads carves)are trying to insult Christians by peeing at their church! Thankfully we found the toilet within Notre Dame compound...phew!!!

After snapping pictures, we found playground at Square de l'Ile de France just next to Notre Dame and my nephew was happy to play with the other little tourists.

After playing, my nephew was tired, poor boy! He wanted to ride a boat and we found batobus nearby Notre Dame. We took the boat (also hop on n hop off service) and he was very happy. http://www.batobus.com/english/ My sisters n nephew were tired and proceeded to Eiffel Tower to go home while I continued with my sightseeing around River Seine vicinity - Musee D'Orsay, Hotel Deville etc. Then took Batobus and stopped at Champs-Elysées, explored the surrounding area and by the time decided to start shopping, the shops closed!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Champs-%C3%89lys%C3%A9es

Decided to walk home. Walked passed Eiffel Tower. Beautiful!! Everyone was asleep when I reached home.

Day 4 expenses:
- Taxi from hotel to Louvre 15 euro
- music box from flower market 15 euro
- Hop on hop off batobus ticket 15 euro/adult, 7 euro/child
- orange juice 3 euro
- mineral water 3 euro
- disney toys (from Champs-Elysées store)for my nephew n niece 28 euro + 8.90 euro

Day 5 21/3/2012 (Wednesday)
We thought of exploring outside Paris i.e. either Versailles or Chartres or Giverny, called travel agent and he asked us to go to his office at San Augustine Road to make payment, when we reached there he told us it was too late to venture outside. We decided to walk around the area (St Germaine & Latin Quarter). After a while, the
rest of the group wanted to go home while I continued with my exploration. Stopped for vegetarian falafel at:

Maoz Vegetarian
Rue Xavier Privas
8 Rue Xavier Privas
75005 Paris, France
01 43 26 36 00
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maoz_Vegetarian

After my falafel break I decided to proceed to Monmarte.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csJupEA1lCI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AePsn_S_ucY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqiPWt__iL0

I kept on walking downhill and reached Rue des Martyrs. Nice quaint neighbourhood. Spotted a nice little designer patisserie called Sebastien Gaudard patisserie Des Martyrs. Bought meringue, macaroon n lemon tarts. Very nice. Got back and googled. Hmm he's quite a famous pastry chef in Paris! Address 22, rue des Martyrs 75009 Paris.
http://www.raids-patisseries.com/2011/12/sebastien-gaudard-les-patisseries.html

By the time I left the patisserie, it was quite late and I couldn't get a taxi, so decided to take a metro. Stopped at Place de la Concorde and explored the area and walked home. Another late night.

Day 5 expenses:
- Taxi from hotel to quai des Grands Augustins near Boulevard St-Michel 15.50 euro
- Scarf from Etam 14.95 euro
- Souvenirs from Latin Quarter 90 euro
- falafel & fries
- Taxi from quai des Grands Augustins to Sacre Coure 27 euro (bad jam)
- Metro ticket 1.60 euro
- Tartelette citron 4,10€ x 2; Kugelhopf 2€; the macaroon € 1.35; Meringue
- Taxi from Eiffel Tower to hotel 6.20 Euro (meter read about 3 euro but min taxi fare is 6.20 euro); had to take cab, too tired to finish my journey for the day.

Day 6 22/3/2012 (Thursday)
Woke up early as we need to go to airport for Barcelona.

to be continued.....

1 comment:

el the man said...

thanks for the link to my site fyi-penang.blogspot.com.
Nice blog indeed, you travel alot. Btw i also blog about halal food - Penang Food namely at Penang Food