I had a rather early flight from Paris to Vienna. Early for me because I had been waking up at about 10 am everyday. :P After a string of unfortunate events, including an airport transfer I paid for that did not turn up, I finally ended up at the airport, still in time, thankfully. But in my half-zombie sleepiness, I put a loosely capped bottle of grapefruit soda into my Sorbet Pompon. The flight was delayed, so I put Sorbet on the top of my carry-on trolley while waiting at the gate. When the gate opened, I wheeled everything along, completely forgetting that I had a bottle, loosely capped, in my bag. It was a complete disaster, the final last kick in the shin from Paris to me. The bottom of Sorbet was completely soaked. I spent a good half of the flight desperately mopping and drying stuff.
(All peektures are clickable for larger, clearer views)
My little loot of Laduree macarons.
The kind Chinese couple next to me offered more tissues when they noticed what I was doing. I cleaned all my stuff and transferred them to my Envirosax, and tried not to think about Sorbet and how I was going to clean her. Had a nice chat with them and took peektures of my Laduree macarons.
With some rather nasty airplane coffee.
So I had the intention of snacking on them during the short flight.
But I realised I would leave a gap between them and cause them to bump around. So I didn’t.
I took peektures of them, and then wrapped them up again. LOL!
It was a beautiful day.
I was really happy to leave Paris for Vienna.
Good Samaritans sitting beside me.
Upon landing, my friend W was right outside the gate waiting. What a relief to see a familiar friendly face, and I was in good hands from there. We grabbed my luggage off the belt and took a cab to the hotel, which was near his apartment. It was a business hotel, very clean, efficient and inviting.
The hotel that W checked me into.
Lovely bathroom and wall heater.
I loved this thing about Europe (so far). They seem to understand that a heater in a bathroom is essential.
Clean, comfy bed and warm details.
Poor Sorbet, looking forlorn after her accident.
A nice large space where I could open my luggage.
And we were off to explore!
There was a lot of art in the city.
Many little streets like this.
Cute mini clocks in a window.
And horses are a big part of the city too.
Loved the horse sculptures on the roof.
I loved all the buildings I saw.
We took a peek at the stables.
Zoomed in through the glass windows.
Didn’t get to see a performance but at least I saw the horses!
Beautiful little details like matching flowers in the planter boxes.
There was a sense of orderliness and beauty that I appreciated.
Cannot remember the names of the buildings.
But they were majestic and absolutely gorgeous.
The detailing was just amazing.
A simple snack stop.
Salad and soup to tide us over till dinner.
I took a million peektures of buildings.
Restoration going on for a grand old dame.
It was breathtaking inside.
I have a thing for spiral staircases.
With the light streaming through the tall windows, it looked almost magical.
W showed me his office at the UN.
I never expected to ever enter a UN office.
Beautiful view from his office window.
It was so serene and wonderful.
The glow of a sunset over the city.
Doing the tourist thing!
Art is embraced everywhere.
We took a walk through a carnival.
I love ferris wheels, although I’m afraid of heights.
And I love carnivals, although I can no longer stomach the rides.
Carnivals just feel magical somehow.
I also like trees.
Balenciaga moto jacket, Alexander McQueen cashmere blend scarf, Nobody Denim skirt,
Frye Carmen Short boots, Balenciaga Mini Pompon in Rose Thulian.
Biggest snake I have ever seen.
He asked if I would like to go on the ferris wheel.
Exhibits in the ferris wheel waiting area.
Lots of intricate miniatures.
This was my favourite.
Hot air ballon!
I was more calm than I expected to be.
Glorious night scene.
The cars were very rickety though.
I only had to grab the rails a coupla times.
The dining car.
This is my favourite ride to look at. I doubt I would ever get on it.
Eerily beautiful church at night.
They were starting to put up Christmas decorations.
My birthday dinner! This whipped butter was soooo goood.
Was this bacon soup? I can’t remember, but it was awesome.
First time trying meat jelly, not too bad.
Excellent duck confit.
W, a fellow foodie, happy to help polish off anything I couldn’t finish.
We were lucky to score a table from simply walking in.
Massive gingerbread house!
No candles but at least I had good company.
I was starting to fade at this point.
I slept really well that night! The next day, I had complimentary brekkie at the hotel. As instructed by W, I found my way to the back restaurant, that most other guests did not know about. They were mostly in the front lounge. The back restaurant was lovely and exclusive, with a wider rage of brekkie items.
Hotel brekkie rocked!
Hidden gem in the hotel.
I like a well-lit room and a massive mirror.
Balenciaga moto jacket, Alexander McQueen cashmere blend scarf,
dress from Revolve (can’t remember brand), Frye Carmen Short boots.
More buildings! This one was a school.
They like to paint the domes in green?
Beautifully intricate gold ball thingy.
I would love to live in one of the corner apartments with the round balconies.
More horsey details.
A simple building with visual impact.
More restoration going on.
Lines and columns.
Wide open spaces.
Even my panoramic function wasn’t long enough.
We gave our two cameras to a lovely couple, who snapped random shots of us.
I rather like the candid ones.
W, my awesome friend.
Thank you for hosting me at the last minute!
Another sculpture of guy on horse.
I loved these bare trees. They looked a little Tim Burton-ish.
Me in a tree-lined avenue.
Mugshot of the trip.
They say Paris is the city of romance. I disagree. I think Vienna is more like it.
Can’t get over the scale of the buildings here. So awesome.
A Christmas market! But we were out of time.
Last building peekture.
A final meal before I was off to the airport!
I was a little nervous transiting in CDG. Paris seemed to be a bit of a jinx for me. Thankfully, nothing major happened although there was a massive line at the check-in due to disorganisation (of Air France). Took a seriously long time to check in for my flight to Singapore. My spirits lifted when I saw a Laduree counter.
Laduree takeaway counter back at CDG where I transited to go home.
After having a rather awful time in Paris, my short 1.5 day visit to Vienna more than made up for it. I was so glad I decided to do it, instead of staying in Paris for a miserable birthday. Regardless of company, I found Paris gritty, harsh and unfriendly in general. I could not feel the romance that everyone speaks of. In contrast, Vienna was peaceful, orderly, safe and happy. It was almost like a European version of Singapore, but with a rich cultural heritage and plenty more character. People there seemed genuinely nice. Parisians seem to be all about themselves (no offense to any Parisian who happens to read this, this was merely how I felt, from the vibe of the place. I’m sure there are nice people there too, but I did not meet any).
So that was my little adventure in Europe. There are many other places I would like to explore in Europe so I don’t know if I will go back to Paris. It is a wonderful place for high-end shopping, but that isn’t really a priority for me anymore. I know there are wonderful little suburbs around I should still visit, so I’m not totally writing it off. We shall see.
I still have peektures from Bangkok last year, and more peektures from the US after that, all of which are in my Sony NEX, still unprocessed. So stay tuned for those!
x o x o