top of page


Adorable Chick

HIGHLIGHTS OF EUROPE - Day 2 - 16th April 2016

The LOVE capital of the world needs no particular introduction. Dipped in history and filled with renowned monuments, structures, museums and churches at every nook and corner, the French capital takes the cake when it comes to being visited the most throughout the year. It is said that the city houses over 40000 restaurants. The largest food market on earth can be found here. It was surprising to know that all the distances within the city are generally measured from the Notre Dame. The Genesis of Mona Lisa happens to be here. Not only Vinci, but the city is known to have produced some of the greatest artists have been produced here.

The city is noted for its high cost of living and abandoned metros. Its most important landmarks curve around the SIENE river. We had just under 8 hours in this city and tried to make the best of it. We preferred staying put in Brussels (Belgium) and looking around neighbouring countries of THE NETHERLANDS and FRANCE from there, as the fastest trains between them reach in less than 2 hours time. We targeted Amsterdam, Keukenhof and Paris as short day trips from Brussels city.

Early that morning we boarded a train from Brussels - Gare du Nord Station to get to the main station and the THALYS fast train from there directly to Paris. The total travel time is just about 2 hours. We reached the Paris Gare du Nord station by 9 am. We opted for the BIG BUS PARIS tour. This bus journey began from bang opposite the train station and was super easy to board. We had booked ourselves on this day tour much in advance. This tour helped us to cover most landmarks around the Siene river.

Getting off at the train station, we boarded the BIG BUS PARIS . This tourist bus begins its journey each day from outside this main railway station. We booked ourselves a combo ticket on this day tour consisting of main landmark visits around the Siene river including a Siene river cruise. This was the best way to see the city our short time. The tour began at 9:30 am and the comfortable , open at the top bus zoomed past narrow roads before heading to the main, wide streets of Paris. We soon got past the CHAMPS ELYSEES. A stunning gateway - ARC DE TRIOMPHE - arching over a 2 km long avenue with an almost 70 metre wide road is what one can see here.

Tidy Desk

Labelled as one of the most beautiful avenues, the road is lit on both sides with cafes, stores, shops fit enough for a great shopping experience, apart from the huge offices and office spaces. The audio guide provided all the required information as we moved past each and every landmark. The bus cruised past the wide avenue explaining the history behind the place , while the song “OOO CHAMPS ELYSEES” kept our feet tapping to a catchy number.

The Big bus tour is a highly organised one and stops at all important points with audio explanations and sticks to its time schedule. This gives you the freedom to choose your stops in advance. The entire circle is completed in about 2 hours and so it keeps repeating this circle. So if you have missed a stop, you can always get back there during the next circling. The first hour or so saw us walking all around the open roofed bus. It was exciting to the see the entire city go about its daily routine as we savoured these images.

We got off opposite the Eiffel Tower. Our visit to the tower itself was planned a little later. We headed to the pier lying opposite to the tower to board our Siene cruise. You just need to climb down a few wide steps to get a view of the pier itself. The cruise was scheduled for 11 am. We joined the queue of another 100 people and boarded the ferry on time. The one hour cruising began . I felt the boat was so huge that in certain places it was just a few metres away from hitting the sides of the canal. Crossing bridges and landmarks we hardly noticed how the hour flew by. It was delightful to see the city from the waters. We met another fellow Indian - Niveditha from Delhi who joined us for the rest of the day as she was stuck single in the city. The outer deck was relatively free and good enough for some personal group pictures.

The Inside of the boat was spacious with "bench type” seating, fit enough to accommodate all passengers. By the time the boat returned to the pier, it had started to mildly shower. Once off the boat we had our home cooked &. Packed lunch and topped it up with YUMMY fries with mayonnaise from a Srilankan’s shop opposite to the tower, near the pier. Till date that taste is remembered by all.