28 June 2016

Europe Part 18: Goodbye Paris (Laduree And Notre Dame)

Europe Part 17: Our Last Day In Paris (Academie Hotel Saint-Germain And Café De Flore)

Notre Dame

Smart container

Laduree (the best macarons in town)

Just want to share a little story of my extreme disappointment experience on my last day in Paris.  Basically, I just want to throw my sadness out of my heart so I will feel a bit relieve.  The thing was..  It happened on our last night in this beautiful city of Paris.  We were travelling with 5 adults and 2 toddlers and always carrying strollers for the two of those little kiddies.  And while we were in Paris, we caught public transport so often especially for the train.  And of course we are a law-abiding citizen so we always bought ticket as per use.  However, on that unlucky day, we as normal bought single way train ticket as we only need that one way journey (I couldn't recall from where to where, but that's not important anyway).  At that time, the gate attendant helped automatically open the gate for us to go through, because he saw us carrying so much stuffs and baby strollers as well.  We so appreciate of what he done for us but yet he didn't mention anything, therefore we didn't check the ticket into the machine.  (as in Australia, if the gate is open, then we don't need to put the ticket through again, as long as you carry the valid ticket with you). 

Bad luck, once we arrive our stop, we were innocently walked out the station heading to our hotel.  There were quite lots of polices, maybe nearly 10 of them, standing or I would say blocking the way out to check every passenger's ticket.  We then handed our tickets to them, and they checked with kinda small black machine that they carry anywhere.  And said to us that 3 of them were invalid (because me, my husband and my brother-in law that went through the gate without put the ticket through).  We tried to explain to them, however was very hard as they speak very little English and they basically don't want to hear nothing of our explanations.  I mean we only a traveler that knowing nothing about this complicated train system (so far, in Australia is definitely OK as long as you carry a valid ticket.  But of course how can I compare isn't it, it is totally different country).  We are only travelers, don't know about it, the other guy on that gate didn't tell us, plus we are carrying a-bought unused ticket.  Not like we try or plan to cheat or what but whatever the reasons are still unacceptable.  But they are police with the gun and even though how much we tried to explain, they just throw their face away and ready with their fine book.  And threatening us by saying that if you don't pay now (which is 50 Euro pp), tomorrow at the airport would be 380 Euro pp, yet if still want to go to court would even be more expensive.  They also mentioned "you guys come here as a tourist although cash finish, you must have credit card or so." So, is there any option left for us beside swipe our card with a total of 150 Euro.  Last day.. Bad memories...  Hmmmm.. I won't be coming back to this country for a while. 

27 June 2016

Europe Part 17: Our Last Day In Paris (Academie Hotel Saint-Germain and Cafe De Flore)

Europe Part 16: FC Barcelona And Tapas

This hotel is a new refurbished with chic and modern style rooms and decoration.  The room itself is pretty tiny compared to any previous hotels we stayed before, however, the room is very clean and friendly concierge, that totally made our stay enjoyable.  This hotel is located in the heart of Saint-Germain, in the small alley which is just a few steps away Boulevard saint-germain. 

Not forget to try, is the famous café de flore.  Only about less than five minutes walk from our hotel.  However, I just feel that this café is quite overrated.  The food was better than average, but the service is quite snob from my perspective.

Académie Hôtel Saint Germain 
32 rue des Saints Pères, 7th arr., 75007 Paris, France
172 Boulevard Saint-Germain, Paris
Ph: 01 4548 5526
Open daily 07:30 to 1:30.  NO RESERVATION
Stay tuned for the next blog still in Europe:

25 June 2016

Europe Part 16: FC Barcelona And Tapas

Europe Part 15: La Ramba, Christopher Columbus Monument and Cruising Around Port Vell

Another place to visit is of course FC Barcelona, located in the city and not so far from our hotel by metro, so why not.  There were not any game nor training held that day or probably we came too late.  However, don't want to talk bulls*it, I think I got a glimpse or more than a glimpse of Messie.  The thing is, at that time was quite dark and we didn't come in from the main gate, more like side gate toward back door and at that time I was right at the last to go through the gate.  All the boys were inside already and there were these couple, looking nice and elegant, the guy wearing a black suit and girl was on evening dress with a dark coat.  They were walked pass me, smiled and gone toward the back of stadium.  At first, I didn't even think anything, it was probably just another westerner or someone else as I wasn't football fan and never actually see Messie face.  However, when my brain start working and I mentioned this to my husband and in-law, they then showed me the picture of Messie which is everywhere in stadium and store actually, and I am pretty sure like 99.999% it was definitely him.  I was very very disappointed, it would be nice to get an autographed or even photo with him eventhough I wasn't a big fan of soccer, but the boys would love to take some photos with him though, yet until now they still don't kinda believe my story.  Phewww...

Another a-must-try cuisine in Spain is tapas.  A few different type of small serving dishes that perfect to be enjoyed with beers and good company.   

Calamari, Frankfurt, and others 

Crème catalana


Stay tuned for the next blog still in Europe:

20 June 2016

Europe Part 14: Having Paella At El Bravo Restaurant, Barcelona

Europe Part 13: Hola Barcelona (La Sagrada Familia, Park Guell and Arc De Triomf)

There is saying that "you haven't arrive Spain, if you didn't try their local paella while you were there."  So here we are in one of paella restaurant in Barcelona City called El Bravo.  Nothing particular, I didn't search this from internet or another blogger, just simply randomly found on the way back to metro station from Arc De Triomf.  It was pretty good though, although not the best.

Sangria 12.90Euro

Sangria is as usual very refreshing and full of sweet fruity smell.  However, in here I felt that the level of alcohol is a little too strong for my liking, especially in this early hour of the day. 

Croquette 3Euro

Gambas prawns 6.80 Euro

We tried a few different types of paella that they have in the house, from traditional seafood paella to a dish that I have never tried before, chicken paella.  They tasted delicious and quite saucy with generous amount of toppings. 

Chicken Paella

Stay tuned for the next blog still in Europe: