[Travel] Dream Trip To Western Europe In November 2019 (Day 5)

by - Saturday, February 29, 2020

On the previous post on my blog, I was updating the stories on Day 1 until Day 4. Then, I would like to continue on Day 5 on 02 December 2019 (Monday). This day we started our day after breakfast at the hotel around 07:00 am. On Day 5, we're having the Tour Guide for a half-day Paris city tour. This is our second and also the last Tour Guide in this Europe Tour. 

The first location we're visited is the famous palace in Paris, which is the Eiffel Tower. We're moving to Eiffel Tower from the hotel, quite early in the morning because we want to avoid the heavy traffic. The traffic in Paris City is no joke when it has heavy traffic – the journey from the hotel to the Eiffel Tower will be taken almost 1 hour to reach, the normal time has been taken to reach the Eiffel Tower is around 20 minutes to 30 minutes only.

The Eiffel Tower is a wrought iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France. It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Constructed from 1887 to 1889 as the entrance to the 1889 World's Fair, it was initially criticized by some of France's leading artists and intellectuals for its design, but it has become a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The Eiffel Tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world; 6.91 million people ascended it in 2015.

The tower is 324 meters (1063ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-story building, and the tallest structure in Paris. Its base is square, measuring 125 meters (410ft) on each side. During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to become the tallest man-made structure in the world, a little it held for 41 years until the Chrysler Building in New York City was finished in 1930. 

It was the first structure to reach a height of 300 meters. Due to the addition of broadcasting aerial at the top of the tower in 1957, it is now taller than the Chrysler Building by 5.2 meters (17ft). Excluding transmitters, the Eiffel Tower is the second tallest free-standing structure in France after the Millau Viaduct. 

The tower has three levels for visitors, with restaurants on the first and second levels. The top level's upper platform is 276m (906ft) above the ground – the highest observation deck accessible to the public in the European Union. Tickets can be purchased to ascend by stairs or lift to the first and second levels. The climb from ground level to the first level is above 300 steps, as is the climb from the first level to the second. Although there is a staircase to the top level, it is usually accessible only by lift. 

TIP 12 – I do recommend who wants to going-up the Eiffel Tower is buy your ticket online or you can come early and queue to buy the ticket at the Eiffel Tower ticket counter. If not, you will take a long time by queue just to buy the ticket. Another thing, the security at the Eiffel Tower is high so be prepare – almost the same as the checking section at the airport.

TIP 13 – It has a lot of people who are selling the souvenirs around the Eiffel Tower – the price is cheaper rather than the Souvenirs Shop but you have to extra careful, especially your handbag and pocket. It is because some of them are pickpockets and be aware of you. If you want to buy something off them after a final bargain, please standby small money inside your pocket – if not, you will not get back the balance of your money. One more thing, they also can speak and understand some words in Malay and Indonesia language too. 

Our Tour Leader - Kak Zana & Tour Guide in Paris

We decide not to going-up the Eiffel Tower, so we're just killing our time for taking as many photos around the Eiffel Tower area as for 1 hour. The next destination is Trocadéro, site of the Palais de Chaillot, which is an area of Paris, France, in the 16th arrondissement, across in the Seine from the Eiffel Tower. It is also the name of the 1878 palace which was demolished in 1937 to make way for the Palais de Chaillot. The hill of the Trocadéro is the hill of Chaillot, a former village. 

For the Exposition Internationale of 1937, the old Palais du Trocadéro was partly demolished and partly rebuilt and the Palais de Chaillot now tops the hill. Is was designed in classicizing "moderne" style by architects Louis-Hippolyte Boileau, Jacques Carlu and Léon Azéma. Like the old Palais, the Palais de Chaillot features two wings shaped to form a wide arc; reclad and expanded, these wings and the pair of central pavilions are the only remaining portion of the former building. 

However, unlike the old Palais, the wings are independent buildings and there is no central element to connect them: instead, a wide esplanade leaves an open view from the Place de Trocadéro to the Eiffel Tower and beyond. We're having to give a few minutes to take some photos around this area before we're moving to another place.

The next destination that we're allowed to take photos is Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile; "Triumphal Arch of the Star" is one of the most famous monuments in Paris, France, standing at the western end of the Champs-Élysées at the center of Place Charles de Gaulle, formerly named Place de l'Étoile – the étoile or "star" of the juncture formed by its twelve radiating avenues. The location of the arc and the plaza is shared between three arrondissements, 16th (south and west), 17th (north) and 8th (east). The Arc de Triomphe honors those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces. Beneath its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I. 

As the central cohesive element of the Axe Historique (historic axis, a sequence of monuments and the grand thoroughfares on a route running from the courtyard of the Louvre to the Grande Arche de la Défense), the Arc de Triomphe was designed by Jean Chalgrin in 1806; its iconographic program pits heroically nude French youths against bearded Germanic warriors in chain mail. It set the tone for public monuments with triumphant patriotic messages. Inspired by the Arch of Titus in Rome, Italy, the Arc de Triomphe has an overall height of 50 meters (164ft), the width of 45m (148ft) and depth of 22m (72ft), while its large vault is 29.19m (95.8ft) high and 14.62m (48ft) wide. The smaller transverse vaults are 18.68m (61.3ft) high and 8.44m (27.7ft) wide. Three weeks after the Paris victory parade in 1919 (marking the end of hostilities in World War I), Charles Godefroy flew his Nieuport biplane under the arch's primary vault, with the event captured on newsreel. 

Paris's Arc de Triomphe was the tallest triumphal arch until the completion of the Monumento a la Revolución in Mexico City in 1938, which is 67 meters (220ft) high. The Arch of Triumph in Pyongyang, completed in 1982, is modeled on the Arc de Triomphe and is slightly taller at 60m (197ft). La Grande Arche in La Defense near Paris is 110 meters high. Although it is not named an Arc de Triomphe, it has been designed on the same model and from the perspective of the Arc de Triomphe. It qualifies as the world's tallest arch. 

TIP 14 – This place is a famous tourist spot and the Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile is located in the middle of busy roads, so you need extra care with many vehicles that pass by there and be patient for another tourist too, they also want to take photos. Maybe its time some of your time but it's worth it for me.

The next destination that I mention after this is taking the photo from the bus only. Sadly, I can go there for taking photos. Maybe next time, I will be going to Paris, France again for exploring many things there. 

The Place de la Concorde is one of the major public squares in Paris, France. Measuring 7.6 ha (19 acres) in area, it is the largest square in the French capital. It is located in the city's eighth arrondissement, at the eastern end of the Champs-Élysées. It was the site of many notable public executions during the French Revolution. 

The Notre-Dame de Paris; meaning "Our Lady of Paris, referred to simply as Notre-Dame, is a medieval Catholic Cathedral on the Île de la Cité in the 4th arrondissement of Paris. The cathedral was consecrated to the Virgin Mary and considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. Its pioneering use of the rib vault and flying buttress, its enormous and colorful rose windows, as well as the naturalism and abundance of its sculptural decoration set it apart from the earlier Romanesque style. Major components that make Notre Dame stand out include one of the world's largest organs and its immense church bells. The cathedral's construction began in 1160 under Bishop Maurice de Sully and was largely complete by 1260, though it was modified frequently in the following centuries. In the 1790s, Notre-Dame suffered desecration during the French Revolution; much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. In the 19th century, the cathedral was the site of the coronation of Napoleon I and funerals of many Presidents of the Republic. 

Popular interest in the cathedral blossomed soon after the publication, in 1831 of Victor Hugo's novel Notre-Dame de Paris (better known in English as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame). This led to a major restoration project between 1844 and 1864, supervised by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. The liberation of Paris was celebrated within Notre-Dame in 1944 with the singing of the Magnificat. Beginning in 1983, the cathedral's façade was cleaned of centuries of soot and grime. Another cleaning and restoration project was carried out between 1991 and 2000. The cathedral was one of the most widely recognized symbols of the city of Paris and the French nation. As the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Paris, Notre-Dame contains the cathedra of the Archbishop of Paris (Michel Aupetit). Approximately 12 million people visit Notre-Dame annually, making it the most visited monument in Paris. In recent years, an increasing number have been given by leading public figures and state-employed academics. 

While undergoing renovation and restoration, the roof of Notre-Dame caught fire on the evening of 15 April 2019. Burning of around 15 hours, the cathedral sustained serious damage, including the destruction of the flèche (the timber spire over the crossing) and most of the lead-covered wooden roof above the stone vaulted ceiling. Contamination of the site and the near environment resulted. Following the April fire, many proposals were made for modernizing the cathedral's design. However, on 16 July 2019, the French Parliament passed a law requiring that it be rebuilt exactly as it appeared before the fire. Stabilizing the structure against possible collapse is expected to continue until the end of 2020, with reconstruction beginning in 2021. The government if French hopes the reconstruction can be completed by Spring 2024, in time for the opening of the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. 

Les Invalides, formally the Hôtel national des Invalides (The National Residence of the Invalids), or also as Hôtel des Invalides, is a complex of building in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, France, containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans, the building's original purpose. The building house the Musée de I'Armée, the military museum of the Army of France, the Musée des Plans-Reliefs, and the Musée d'Histoire Contemporaine, as well as the Dôme des Invalides, a large church, the tallest in Paris at a height of 107 meters, with the tombs of some of France's war heroes, most notably Napoleon. 

The Palais Garnier or Opéra Garnier is a 1,979-seat opera house at the Place de I'Opéra in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, France. It was built for the Paris Opera from 1861 to 1875 at the behest of Emperor Napoleon III. Initially referred to as "le Nouvel Opéra de Paris" (the new Paris Opera), it soon became known as the Palais Garnier, in acknowledgment of its extraordinary opulence and the architect Charles Garnier's plans and designs, which are representative of the Napoleon III style. It was the primary theatre of the Paris Opera and its associated Paris Opera Ballet until 1989, when a new opera house, the Opéra Bastille, opened at the Place de la Bastille. The company now uses the Palais Garnier mainly for ballet. The theatre has been a monument Historique of France since 1923.

The Palais Garnier has been called "probably the most famous opera house in the world, a symbol of Paris like Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, or the Sacré Coeur Basilica. This is at least partly due to its use as the setting for Gaston Leroux's 1910 novel 'The Phantom of the Opera' and, especially, the novel's subsequent adaptations in film and the popular 1986 musical.

The Lauvre, the Louvre Museum, is the world's largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France. The Louvre or the Louvre Museum (French: Musée du Louvre is the world's largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France. A central landmark of the city, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the city's 1st arrondissement (district or ward). Approximately 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 72,735 square meters (782,910 square feet). In 2019, the Louvre received 9.6 million visitors.

The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace, originally built as the Louvre castle in the late 12th to 13th century under Philip II. Remnants of the fortress are visible in the basement of the museum. Due to urban expansion, the fortress eventually lost its defensive function, and in 1546 Francis I converted it into the primary residence of the French Kings. The building was extended many times to form the present Louvre Palace. In 1682, Louis XIV chose the Palace of Versailles for his household, leaving the Louvre primarily as a place to display the royal collection, including, from 1692, a collection of ancient Greek and Roman sculpture. In 1692, the building was occupied by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres and the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, which in 1699 held the first of a series of salons. The Académie remained at the Louvre for 100 years. During the French Revolution, the National Assembly decreed that the Louvre should be used as a museum to display the nation's masterpieces.

The museum opened on 10 August 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings, the majority of the works being royal and confiscated church property. Because of structural problems with the building, the museum was closed in 1796 until 1801. The collection was increased under Napoleon and the museum was renamed Musée Napoléon, but after Napoleon's abdication, many works seized by his armies were returned to their original owners. The collection was further increased during the reigns of Louis XVIII and Charles X, and during the Second French Empire, the museum gained 20,000 pieces. Holdings have grown steadily through donations and bequests since the Third Republic. The collection is divided among eight curatorial departments: Egyptian Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities; Islamic Art; Sculpture; Decorative Arts; Paintings; Paints and Drawings. 

This room for women's prayer place

In the afternoon, we're stopped by at the Grande Mosquée de Paris (commonly known as The Paris Mosque or The Great Mosque of Paris in English), which is located in the 5th arrondissement and is one of the largest mosques in France. There are prayer rooms, an outdoor garden, a small library, a gift shop, along with a café and restaurant. The entire mosque plays an important role in promoting the visibility of Islam and Muslims in France. It is the oldest mosque in Metropolitan France.

TIP 15 – You can easily to find Halal Foods around the Grande Mosquée de Paris area, if you have your meals then you can eat at the mini garden – just in front of the Grande Mosquée de Paris but keep it clean after you eat there. 

The Galeries Lafayette is an upmarket French department store chain. Its flagship store is on Boulevard Haussmann in the 9th arrondissement of Paris but it now operates in several other locations in France and other countries. In 2009, Galeries Lafayette recorded earnings of over one billion euros. It is a part of the company Groupe Galeries Lafayette.

Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann is located on Boulevard Haussmann in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, near Opera Garnier. It's a 70,000 m2 fashion flagship store. A wide range of brands is available at the store to suit all budgets, from ready to wear to haute couture. The architecture of the store is art nouveau, with a remarkable dome and a panoramic view of Paris that has made it a tourist attraction of the French capital city. Galeries Lafayette in Paris hosts a popular weekly fashion show for visitors. 

TIP 16 – As tourist, you're entitled to claim Tax Refund but I would like to reminder here, please ask about it to the sale person before you make the payment. Another thing, if you have to plan shopping around this area during the Sales periods or special event – I do recommend to come early in the morning, if not you will have to waiting on long queue, especially to the Luxury Stores like Channel, Dior, or many as related with luxury brand's store. 

We have time almost 3 hours to shopping around the Galeries Lafayette, so we take this chance to go to the Hard Rock Café Paris Shop. It's because we don't have attention to waste our time for a long queue at the luxury brand's store. After shopping, we're straight going to dinner at the Indian Restaurant. I don't remember what's kind of menu on that day but I think it's like Indian cuisine. After dinner, we're back in the hotel and start parking because today is our last night in Paris, France before we're going to Brussels, Belgium tomorrow. 

That is all my stories on day 5 of this trip. Just for your information, I have been writing the extra note tip about Dream Trip to Western Europe in November 2019 based on my experience during this trip. Feel free to read it. Here, the link to the continued stories about the Dream Trip to Western Europe in November 2019Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, and Day 12.

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