France – Paris to Germany – Frankfurt, 29 June 2004

I think most of my adventures involve travelling from point-to-point. I wanted to catch the train that ran ‘direct’ from Paris to Frankfurt, and hence, I left very early, since I didn’t place a reservation.

In order to validate my train pass, I queued at the ticket window, in the meantime, hunting for that elusive train to Frankfurt. Finding none, I checked my timetables again, only to read at the footnote that the train departs from another station!

Luckily, it was at a station one metro station away, and hence, I hurried there. After asking two information counters, I finally found the ticket window for validating my ticket.

At the same time, time was running out, and poeple in the queue seem to be taking an eternity to fix their matters! And just as I was about to reach the window, two guys in front let a lady jump the queue! But thankfully, I got on the train on time, albeit in the smoking cabin.

Pulling into Frankfurt, a sense of familiarity washed over me. For the past 2 weeks, I haven’t encountered a building that was more than 5 storeys high, or had many glass panels that were not stained, for that matter. However, Frankfurt, with its skyscrapers, is a much more familiar sight to me. Yet, beating in its heart, is Europe culture, with the same tram cars, the same cobbled streets, the same old town. What a pleasant contrast! And of course, the necessary man playing the jukebox machine with the monkey mascot clashing cymbals!

Frankfurt is an amusing place, for its finds and the experiences: Some other amusing finds in Frankfurt include Pearlin’s favourite– a Nutelleria (!!!) and guess what?– a Maggi specialty shop (!!!). And of course, Emily and my favourite wooden toy shop! Our most frustrating experience definitely involves the door to our room. It involves some magnetic thing which you must turn in a certain direction a certain number of times. If you were drunk or something, I doubt you can actually open the door. I couldn’t even open it sober! But well, I guess that deters many crimes like rape, since that hostel was right beside the red light district of Frankfurt. Nice fries and cheap sausages though. 🙂 (I LOVE GERMAN SAUSAGES!)

Frankfurt – A City of Contrasts

Frankfurt – A City of Contrasts


Maggi Shop

Frankfurt’s Skyscrapers


France – Paris, 28 June 2004

You know you’re hungry, when you are looking forward to Cocopops being served for breakfast, and of course, to my disappointment, there was no Cocopops today. The disappointment was enough to make me return to my room to nap.

A second visit was made to the Notre Dame Cathedral, as there was a procession going on when I first visited it. Hmm.. Maybe it’s because I have seen too many cathedrals, but well, it looks the same as any other that I’ve seen– the similar rooms, the stained glass, the gothic arches, etc.

The afternoon was spent in the Louvre, which is nothing short of a maze for its size. There are 3 wings, namely Sully Rethliech and Devon, containing different mediums of art. Given the fame of the Mona Lisa, Devon (being home to it) was of course my first destination. I must say, audioguides certainly contribute to my enjoyment and appreciation of the Louvre.

I am now waiting for the sun to set, and from experience, it will set at around 11pm. I hope the wait will be worth the while, as Paris is supposed to be one of the top three countries of the world in terms of night view. I’m hoping…

P.S. I waited until 8 pm, but it was too cold, and I left. I didn’t get to see the night.

Inside the Louvre

Inside the Louvre

Inside a Paris Metro

France – Paris, 27 June 2004

Versailles Day began well, with Cocopops being served at Hotel Le Quercy, my accomodation in Paris, satisfying my chocolate needs for the day.

Following the directions of the harrassed but pleasant French landlady of the hotel, I walked 3 metro stations, to the bus station, where the bus headed towards Versailles.

What can I say about Versailles? French opulence is a neat summary. Besides being more intricate than the Vatican in terms of decor, it also has massive gardens such that the grounds probably take 2 hours, just walking from one end to the other. Unbelievable!

Of course, it was also here that I was first initiated to the wonders of the audioguide, from which I found out that kings actually received guests in their bedchambers! Strange people!

The highlight of the visit was the commencement of the musical fountains. Though nothing on the scale of Sentosa’s laser shows technologically, these simple water fountains spraying away at the various parts of the MASSIVE gardens, with accompanying music is a bit of an exploration tour of sorts. More interesting to me, was the fact that the local French actually picnic in the vicinity as well! (yes, I’m in love with French babies! They’re cute!)

Dinner was a proper meal for once, consisting of what looks like linguini with salmon in tomato sauce, yummy! Notice my ramblings focus more and more on food these days? Well, it’s the result of long term luxury food depravation!


Gardens of Versailles

Gardens of Versailles

France – Paris, 26 June 2004

The bus ride was certainly tiring. It was almost impossible to get any sleep in such a small area. Doesn’t hlep that we had to lug our huge packs across town as well.

Dumping our bags, we decided on a whirlwind tour of Paris, staring with Notre Dame, followed by the Louvre, Arc de Triomph, the Eiffel Tower, before entering the Museum de’Orsay.

For some strange reason or other, there was a huge procession going on, with hoards of people in Spanish colours, and making the loudest din I ever heard in my entire life! Well, I guess this is European culture!

I’m yearning for hot soup and food!

Notre Dame Paris

Eiffel Tower

Musee d’Orsay

Western Europe, 14 June 2004 – 11 July 2004


14 June 2004: London

15 June 2004: London – Prague (Plane)

16 June 2004: Prague

17 June 2004: Prague

18 June 2004: Prague – Vienna (Train)

19 June 2004: Vienna

20 June 2004: Vienna – Klagenfurt (Train)

21 June 2004: Klagenfurt – Rome (Plane)

22 June 2004: Rome

23 June 2004: Rome

24 June 2004: Rome – London (Plane)

25 June 2004: London – Paris (Overnight Bus)

26 June 2004: Paris

27 June 2004: Paris – Versailles – Paris

28 June 2004: Paris

29 June 2004: Frankfurt

30 June 2004: Frankfurt

01 July 2004: Frankfurt – Wurzburg – Augsburg (Train)

02 July 2004: Augsburg – Munich (Train)

03 July 2004: Munich – Fussen (Schwangau) – Munich (Train)

04 July 2004: Munic – Dachau – Munich (Train)

05 July 2004: Munich – Antwerp (Train)

06 July 2004: Antwerp – London (Overnight bus)

07 July 2004: London

08 July 2004: London

09 July 2004: London – Oxford – London

10 July 2004: London

11 July 2004: London