We decided to book our flights so that we could stop over in Hong Kong, unfortunately, Cathay Pacific don’t want you to do this for just a few days so we had to settle for one night in HK. It was good to break up the travel I think, but personally, Hong Kong is a bit much, it’s just so busy and hectic that you just don’t want to do anything.
There are probably places that you can go in Hong Kong where it’s not a million people moving at a million miles per hour all the time, but the centre of Hong Kong (Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui) certainly is not one of them. I managed to get down to the Avenue of the Stars to take some pictures of the Hong Kong skyline, they were okay, but not perfect because I didn’t have a tall tripod. We sort of just ate around Causeway Bay station not knowing anywhere good to go.
Transport and Accommodation
We used the MRT to get around short trips which is fast and convenient, and reasonably priced as well. We didn’t have much time so transport to and from the airport was just on the Airport Express which is a pretty good service. We stayed at the Mini Hotel in Causeway Bay, it’s a reasonably priced boutique hotel, I wouldn’t recommend it if you are not single or a couple, the rooms are not designed for privacy, the bathroom is really just a walled-off space on one side of the room. Quite nice though anyway.
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Here is a logical place to start since this is where we arrived in Europe, and where we spent the most time. It was my second time visiting Paris, and I got to see all the sites again, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Chateau Versailles, Champs-Elysee, the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, Montmartre, and this time I also visited the Musee d’Orsay, the Eiffel Tower at night, the top of the Arc de Triomphe, the towers of the Notre Dame, as well as wandering around the town a bit more in general, and taking photos in better locations. We arrived at the end of Summer and were expecting the weather to be pretty warm, but it didn’t turn out to be much better than the weather I had last time when I was there in the middle of Winter, although the last two days we were in Paris, the weather was much nicer, warm and sunny. We spent quite a bit of time at the shops as well, mostly Galeries Lafayette which has a beautiful ceiling but probably not enough seats (for weary legs). Yes, the metro is a bit smelly and food is a bit expensive, but still like Paris, it’s a beautiful city with many sights to see and things to do, and full of very stylish and beautiful people. Although the opposite is also most definitely true, we were staying in a flat in Montmartre for the first four days of our visit, and on our last night returning home there was a guy peeing on the entrance to the flat complex, nice. Unfortunately due to ill health (not to me!) we weren’t really able to try any proper French restaurants, only managing to visit one small place in Montmartre, L’Homme Tranquile, which was nice enough. Otherwise we ate a lot of cold baguettes, to the detriment of Emmy, we did a little bit of shopping, mostly at H&M (lol), but picked up some smaller items at various other shops. Getting around on the metro is pretty easy, but unless you’re going to be visiting a lot of different places during the day and jumping in and out of the metro you may as well just get bulk one-way tickets rather than a Paris visitor pass. Hey, entry into France at the airport this time was a breeze, plenty of staff and no questions asked.
Regarding the sights, it seems the Towers of Notre Dame are the longest wait, an hour and a half from arriving at 10am, you have to make your way up a tiny spiral staircase until you eventually get to the top level where you get a great view of Paris, you are allowed five minutes up the top, and you better hope it doesn’t rain up there because we were caught up there without an umbrella and some very cold weather. The Museum Pass that we purchased was quite handy as it allowed us to get quicker access into the Louvre, although as I said, it didn’t help at Notre Dame, nor at Chateau Versailles, the Arc de Triomphe was good, the Eiffel Tower we pre-ordered the tickets online so avoided the horrible queues.
Hey, a quick mention on Cathay Pacific, great flight from Melbourne to Hong Kong, but from Hong Kong to Paris (and back) the planes just are no good, the seats don’t recline and they’re older. We also had a pretty nasty flight from HK back to Melbourne, the plane was good, but the flight was very turbulent, maybe there was more turbulence in the air, I don’t know, any way, I reckon we’ll put higher priority on flying Singapore next time. That’s all for now, I’ll leave you with a bunch of pictures, I may add some more information here later if I think of anything.
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