Day 6 22/3/2012 (Thursday)
Woke up early as we need to go to airport for Barcelona.
The hotel called for taxi n we left at 7.30am.
We took Easyjet to Barcelona, only about 1hr flight. We took a cab to the hotel, along the way everything is totally different from Paris. I mean in South East Asia, if you go to Singapore or Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur or Siem Reap you can spot some similarities but Paris and Barcelona...I can't spot any similarity even though they share same continent.
On the way to hotel, we passed by Sagrada Familia with its hordes of tourists...WOW! Turned up our hotel just 5 to 10 minutes walk to the Church.
We reached the hotel and after checking in just as per Adagio, first order of business SAMAK with samak soap http://fyi-penang.blogspot.com/2008/02/taharah-natarul-soap-samak.html
Our hotel ie apartment is in Eixample is bigger (2 bedrooms instead of bedroom when we were in Paris), cheaper and much nicer in every aspect as compared to Adagio. We stayed at Apartaments Restaurant Hispanos 7 Suiza
We rested, unpacked, checked out the TV and later once everything settled walked to nearby supermarket and checked out Sagrada Familia. Wow! awesome! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vP7hnoy9Tw
It was getting dark and we went back to the apartment.
Day 6 expenses:
- Taxi from hotel to Charles De Gaulle Airport 75 euro (the hotel took 23 euro n the balance of 52 euro paid to the taxi driver)
- Breakfast on Easyjet - Starbucks coffee 2.50 euro; shortbread 1.50 euro
- Taxi from airport to Eixample 48 euro
- Grocery 7.33 euro (2kg oranges 1.85 euro, strawberry 4.29 euro, detergent 1.19 euro)
- Travel voucher from the hotel to purchase hop on and hop off bus ticket 12 euro per person
Day 7 23/3/2012 (Friday)
Woke up early and walked to Sagrada Familia. We then bought hop on n hop off bus ticket right in front of Sagrada 20 euro/pax http://www.barcelona-bus-turistic.com/
Same as Paris just hop n off as you like. We reached Park Guell and I suggested to everyone that we should hop off and visit the park. My sisters looked at the hill that we have to climb and she decided to hop on back to the bus! I proceeded on my own, hop on and off to explore the followings and occasionally just sat in the bus to enjoy Barcelona sights.
Parc Guell http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Deq8vfb71kE
Catalunya Square http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLmkSK9MvL4
Las Ramblas http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWWgsNPj4f8
Port Vell http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2i2f0H-wDVY
I missed the bus as it stopped operating at 7pm. So decided to take a metro back. again reached home at about 10pm or so and my nephew complained why I always came back late...
Day 7 expenses:
- Grocery 5.56 euro (baguette 0.68 euro, milk 1.25 euro, yoghurt 0.89 euro, orange juice 1.75 euro, oreo 0.99 euro)
- Turistic bus hop on n hop off ticket 20 euro/pax
- Drinks 2 euro (coke n bottled water)
- Souvenirs 50 euro
- Tibidabo funicular ticket 7.50 euro (and donated 1 euro to another tourist that did not have small change)
- Falafel + fries 8 euro
- Metro ticket 2 euro
- Orange juice 0.91 euro
Got home and asked my sisters what they wanted to do tomorrow. No suggestions so I suggested Las Ramblas n Port Vell and Montjuic as I think they may enjoy it.
Day 8 24/3/2012 (Saturday)
We walked to Sagrada Familia again. We thought of visiting Sagrada mercat (market) as we spotted it yesterday from the hop on and hop off bus. My nephew spotted playground in front of the Church and decided to enjoy himself first. Meanwhile my sister took the opportunity to snap photos of the church.
Once everyone happy we decided to walk and look for the mercat, after a while we couldn't find the place n both kids started to throw tantrum. and the mother was stressed out.So decided to take a taxi to Las Ramblas.
We reached Las Ramblas n while strolling, my sis (the 2 kids' mum) broke down, I guess it was just too much for her. She spent thousands of ringgit for the trip n unable to enjoy herself, the kids being kids whined and cried and she had to follow their schedule n I guess being harassed she couldn't be nice to us other adults n I couldn't take that sort of crap n we had a row the night before. Anyway after a while she calmed down and started to enjoy the place.
What we did:
Strolled along Las Ramblas http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhNCrWNn_P8&feature=related
few halal restaurants along Las Ramblas n we had lunch at one of them.
La Boquera http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TMwBw43iaY
While walking, my nephew and I got separated from my sisters. We proceeded to Port Vell n my nephew started to enjoy the sights. Hours later we received a text message from his mom who frantically been looking for him. Hello! I love him too and will never let anything happen to him.
Port Vell - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65KOAqyzXeQ
We took a boat ride around the harbour
After the boat ride they were tired and decided to go back. I continued with my exploration.
Discovered many wonderful sights and enjoyed Gothic Quarter Barcelona.
While exploring I stopped by for coffee n cupcake n few hours later coffee n churros.
Again took metro back to hotel.
Day 8 expenses:
- Taxi from Sagrada Familia to Las Ramblas 6 euro
- telescope coin 1 euro
- boat ride 23 euro (6.50 euro/adult, 2.60 euro/child)Las Golondrinas
- La Boquera drinks 2 euro; calzone; fruits
- memory & art game trencadis de gaudi 8 euro
- football jersey 40 euro
- cupcake 1.50 euro
- coffee 2 euro
- churros & coffee
- Metro ticket 2 euro
Day 9 25/3/2012 (Sunday)
End of Barcelona visit. We left the hotel when it was still dark at 7.30am.
Reached Paris to another apartment. This time right at the centre of Latin quarter and the most expensive apartment (compared to the earlier 2). Location is superb! minutes to all the major attractions.
Checked in, unpacked, samak, had lunch. Everyone fell asleep. I woke up and asked the rest if they want to walk and check out the neighbourhood, after all it is our last night in Paris. They declined as they were tired. Wanted to shop but shops close on Sunday! I proceeded on my own, started with Latin quarter, then went to Marais neighbourhood.
Latin quarter http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTzzZUwV87o
Centre Georges Pompidou http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzKk7rQZbQ8
Day 9 Barcelona expenses
- Taxi from hotel to airport 48 euro
- Breakfast at airport 2.80 euro (2 croissant at 1.40 euro/pc)
- bought easyjet toys for my nephews 13 euro x 2
- Airport bag 2 units at 1 euro each
- Airport last minute souvenir 32.90 euro(choc 15.60 euro, cookie 6.50 euro + 6 euro x 2)
- Airport buy - kit kat 5.70 euro, bottled water 1.20 euro
Day 9 Paris expenses
- Taxi from airport to hotel 62 euros
- drinks x 2, 4.50 euro (coke n bottled water)
Day 10 26/3/2012 (Monday)
End of Paris visit. Our flight was in the evening, so we packed n checked out at 12noon, stored our things at the hotel luggage room. The 2 kids decided to stay at lobby with my eldest sis while my youngest sis explored nearby shops. I took a taxi to Sothy's salon at 128 Faubourg St Honore. Ha ha can't believe I'm at the very address that is shown on my skincare tube! Caught by surprise on the price, product that costs RM773 in M'sia is only 158 euro (RM632), another that costs RM412 in M'sia, sells for 57.30 euro (RM229.20), another costs RM362 in M'sia n in Paris 41 euro (RM164) and I can go on and on and on top of that I received free products due to the amount spent n plenty of samples n I enjoy VAT refund of 184 euro. Basically I spent a nett of 1,256 euro n enjoy products worth 1,587 euro. I'm happy!!
Took a cab back to hotel and packed my newly bought purchases n off to airport.
On the way to airport, we passed by La Chapelle at 19th arrondisement. Wow! almost the whole stretch of the street line up with halal shops (restaurants n butcher shops)...hmm too late to discover for this trip ..Maybe next time.
Excerpt from http://goparis.about.com/od/parisneighborhoods/a/lachapelle-guide-paris.htm on this stretch of road:
La Chapelle Orientation and Transport
La Chapelle is relatively tiny in comparison to other Paris neighborhoods, located northeast of the Seine in the district known to locals as the 19th arrondissement. The Bassin de la Villette and the Canal St. Martin run to the east with Gare du Nord just southwest. Montmartre is not too far away to the northwest.
Main Streets Around La Chapelle: Rue du Faubourg St. Denis, Boulevard de la Chapelle, Rue de Cail
Getting There: The neighborhood is best served by metro stop La Chapelle on line 2 or Gare du Nord
We reached the airport and plenty of time to browse about. Not as many shops as KLIA or Bangkok or Amsterdam but I still managed to buy something. Bought perfume for myself n my bf. also bought him a box of Laduree macaroon.
Boarded a plane to Amsterdam n same thing again when we reached Amsterdam we only had 1 hour to pass tru immigration and to walk to departure gate.
Finally on the plane and this time it was much easier to sleep. I woke 2 or 3 times but had a nice sleep throughout the journey.
Day 10 expenses
- taxi from hotel to Sothy's 15 euro x 2
- taxi from hotel to airport 75 euros (bad jam)
- Sothy's skincare (by credit card) 1,440 euro); VAT refund 184.20 euro (after deduction of 3 euro commission)
- Perfume (by credit card at airport):
- CK obsession for men 49 euro
- CK sheer beauty 67.40 euro
- Laduree macaroon http://www.laduree.fr/en/scene
Day 11 27/3/12 (Tuesday)
Reached KLIA at about 3pm. My sis's hubby picked us up. End of a holiday...
Day 11 expenses
Souvenir 15yr Glenfiddich RM218 x 2
TOTAL SPENT (excluding hotel n flight):
Cash = 722.14 euro (RM2,888.56)
Credit card: RM5,924.80
Total spent = RM8,813.36 + flight KLM 3,065 + Easyjet RM590 + hotel RM1,726
TOTAL EXPENSES: RM14,194.36 (excluding preparation like clothes, bags etc). I guess if I don't spend my money at Sothy's it only cost me less than 10k. But, I use Sothy's, so better to buy cheaper products in Paris than buy here in M'sia in the near future and spend more money.
I prefer relaxing holiday as I feel our trip was quite rush but we don't have a month or 2 months to spend in Europe so I guess it is still better than tour group holiday...
Holiday with family is good I would say, but family being family somehow you tend to create some tension when you spent lots of time together and when fatigue, stress kicked in it is so easy to explode amongst family members as compared to amongst friends. But good thing about family, you fight, you made up and everything is ok again. With friends you may not see them again after the holiday :-)