Archive | museums RSS feed for this section

Amazing Week

14 May View of the Shing Mun River near Che Kung Temple

Wow this week’s been the most amazing week ever…definitely made me love HK a little bit more and miss Paris a little bit less. So, recap:

Monday: Mother’s day lunch at Sushi Fuku-Suke which was really good. Had the omakase dinner there before already which I found not very creative, but lunch is a really good deal for quality Japanese food! Too bad the place was half empty…guys…….radiation won’t hurt you that way. Please support your local Japanese restaurants. Then, went to the Jacky Cheung concert at night with the parents. I know like NONE of his songs lol….and he’s not even hot, so it was kind of boring. Oh well…the whole point was to spend time with my parents, so that was nice.

Tuesday: I went to a new riding club in Clearwater Bay for my assessment lesson, and I love that place! It reminds me of the barns in Vancouver, with the whole tackshop/office setup, totally overpriced drinks+ice-cream, and horse show DVDs playing on the TV. Rode a horse called Blaizer who had a super bouncy trot, but an amazing canter. Too bad I’m still on the waiting list as their weekends are quite full.

Pixar Exhibition at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum

Pixar Exhibition at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum

Cool stairs

Cool stairs

Wednesday: I played the TGV set I bought for the kid I tutor……..and we both love it!! I also went to the Pixar exhibition at Shatin in the afternoon, which was my first visit to a museum in HK since…..forever. I miss Paris’ HUGE museums, but it’s interesting to go through HK’s museums too. I bought a yearpass which should motivate me to visit more. Walked a bit around Ma On Shan and the Shing Mun River area and took some pretty pics. I guess nature can be found in HK too lol. Then, I went home to a long day of waiting for the aircon guys to install my new aircon (my old one had something wrong with the compressor or something). Finished around 10 pm….

Continue reading

Advertisements

A Day Filled with Learning and History

27 Apr Louvre at night...even more beautiful

Oh my god I can’t believe the hecticness of today managed to top yesterday! So morning was filled with OTs again, and I even got to see the OTs with local anaesthesia today. I left around 2 pm to head over to the Musée Dupuytren as planned. Also PK-ed at the university and twisted my ankle in front of 5 medical students…2 of which were pretty cute guys. Sigh…I’m a klutz. Oh well…saw LOTS of weird specimens at the museum! There were conjoint twins….stomach cancer…ovarian cancer….skeletons with rickets………it’s really a med student’s paradise haha. Photos prohibited though, so you’re just gonna have to visit yourself (if you’re not creeped out by these kinda things). What I liked the MOST  though was the office prior to the museum where the professors worked. It was filled with boxes of specimens and really, really, REALLY old books!! I regret not taking a picture. 😦 It was really cool. Not something you’d find in HK universities, which are relatively new.

So after that nerdy

Eglise Saint-Germain-des-Près: the oldest church in Paris

Eglise Saint-Germain-des-Prés: the oldest church in Paris

I then took the metro to Saint-Germain-des-Prés to visit the church there, which is the oldest church in Paris I believe (dates back to the 6th century). I actually wanted to come yesterday after the Museum of the History of Medicine, but it was closed for a concert. I find it cool that many concerts in Paris are held in old churches! This church is very different from the other churches I’ve seen. The art is more simple, and there’s a lot of wood instead of stone or marble.

I had the pata de vedao

I had the pata de vedao

I was getting hungry so I headed over to my favourite Monoprix in Paris, the one across from the church. Why is it my favourite? Because they have the biggest bread and pastry selection……duh. My target today was something I’ve seen in my past few visits – something called a pata de vedao. The name sounds Portuguese, but I looked it up and couldn’t find anything about it on the Internet…:S anyone want to enlighten me? It looks like a sponge cake, and was very moist. I’ve never had tres leches cake, but this is what I would imagine it’d taste and feel like. It tasted like it was soaked in some sort of sweet milk, and the exterior was coated with coconut flakes. So I’m thinking they just made the name up…and it’s actually tres leches cake……….but I’ll have to try the real thing some time and compare. I then headed home, picking up half a dozen of Berko cupcakes and a cheesecake for tonight.

A little bit later, I headed out to the Centres Georges Pompidou again to finish where I left off 2 days ago, namely the pre-60s collection upstairs. I liked this part of the museum much more as I can appreciate this kind of art a lot more. To each his/her own I guess. Love Picasso and Matisse! Then……Louvre again. Yes, I went to the Louvre AGAIN. Lol…museum-heavy week.

The famous blue hippotamus in the Louvre

The famous blue hippotamus in the Louvre

Tonight the Louvre closed at 10 (Wednesdays and Fridays), so I hung out until it closed. The Louvre is even more enchanting at night. I’m totally in love.

Continue reading

Hectic Tuesday

26 Apr Passionata from Boulangerie Julien

This morning, I spent the morning scrubbed in with Dr. Pulvermacker in the OT. As I caught a cold, I wasn’t feeling very well and left early….

Really small

Really small

Headed to the Musee de l’Histoire de la Medécine at the 2nd floor of the Faculty of Medicine in the université de Paris V René Descartes. It was really small, occupying just one room. Interesting…but not TOO interesting. Gonna go to Musée Dupuytren tomorrow, which holds a lot of wacky medical specimens. Should be more interesting!

Un Dimanche à Paris

Un Dimanche à Paris

Being a bit hungry, I headed across the street to Un Dimanche à Paris to get one of their mini trio sets. I wish I bought more of their stuff, as everything was really good! The mini lemon tart was….very tart! But had a sweet lingering citrusy note….the tart base was very crispy. The eclair was OK. I’m beginning to think I don’t really like eclairs lol because I’ve had 2 just OK eclairs these 2 days from 2 great patisseries, so maybe it’s just me. Finally, the mini chocolate fondant was verrrrrryyy melt-in-your-mouth. I wish I had a giant version of this.

Then, I headed to Montparnasse to look for Des Gateaux et Du Pain….i kept on walking in the wrong direction till i got there 1 hour later 😦 with very sore feet. And………….found out it was closed. 😦 Argh!!!! I really wanted to try the Pomme Tatin. Don’t think I’ll have time to come all the way out there in the next few days either. Oh well…next time.

So i went back to the Les Halles area as I wanted to go to the kookai outlet which closes at 7:30. I got there at 7:00 pm, and they didn’t let me in anymore. BOO. To heal my disappointment, went into Monoprix to get a Petit Pain aux Raisin Poilane (which tasted not very special either). Then I went to Rue Montorgueil…wanted to run into cute salesguy at Kayser. He wasn’t there, so I left (JUST KIDDING…I wanted a ficelle and they were out). Ok. Maybe NOT so kidding haha….nonetheless, I headed to Stohrer instead to do the same thing (KIDDING…although the salesguys at Stohrer ARE incredibly cute). Actually, I wanted to get their tarte aux fraises bois, but they were out ALSO 😦 It’s only 7 pm! So I got some chocolate thing called a Marie something…which was dark chocolate wrapped around praline with half a cherry glacé on top and half on the middle. It was…kind…tasteless. I threw it away after 2 bites.

Continue reading

I’m Not Contemporary Enough

25 Apr

Last day of my Easter long weekend, and a busy day like the rest of my weekend! Woke up bright and early and headed to the first stop of today’s itinerary……..Eglise Saint-Eustache. Unfortunately, it was closed. Since it’s right next to Rue Montorgueil, I headed over there for some breakfast.

Stohrer's pastry case...well, half of it

Stohrer's pastry case...well, half of it

Stohrer again! This time my target was one of their éclairs…they’ve been voted as one of the best in Paris. I got a vanilla éclair as those aren’t very common. Let’s just say I’ve had better….the choux pastry was tasteless, dry, and the creme was kind of tasteless and too sweet too. I think my neighbourhood bakery makes better éclairs.

Pasteis, which wasn't very good...even KFC's is better

Pasteis, which wasn't very good...even KFC's is better

I also had a pasteis (de nata), which wasn’t very good either, much like the one I had at the Bastille market. I guess I shouldn’t complain as it’s my own fault for having a Portuguese pastry in a French shop?

So my next plan was to head over to the University area to check out the sights there. On the way, I passed by Saint-Chapelle, and noticed that the lineup was REALLY SHORT! Like 10 people short. It’s usually at least 3 times the length. I then decided not to miss this opportunity and lined up. I’m glad I did so, as the church was so beautiful.

The beautiful stained glass windows of Eglise Saint-Chapelle

The beautiful stained glass windows of Eglise Saint-Chapelle

I literally stood in the middle of the hall for a few minutes just to take in the beauty of it all. This was one of the smaller churches I’ve been to, as it’s mainly just for pilgrimage, holding the relics of the Passion, including the purported Crown of Thorns of Christ. Apparently, King Louis IX paid more for the relics than building the church! After being awestruck by the church, I headed next door to the Conciergerie, which was the Medieval royal palace of France. Later, it became a prison during the Revolution. I got to see the cell where Marie Antoinette was kept.

Then, finally, headed to my prior planned destination.

Took a look at the universities and the areas around it. Then I went to the Musée Cluny, which is actually the Museum of the Middle Age. The lady at the ticket counter was very nice and let me go in for free, even though supposedly only under-26s from the EU could do that! =D The entire building is very cool….built in the 14th century!! :O It used to be the town house of the abbots of Cluny. The entire structure was also built on the ruins of Gallo-Roman baths dating from the 3rd century!!!!!! Mind-boggling.

Continue reading

Bastille Market

24 Apr Breton galette for meeeeee

Today I planned to wake up early to head down to the Louvre before going to Versailles (yes again) to watch an equestrian performance at the Grand Ecurie. Unfortunately, I’m just not one for waking up early and I woke up at 8:45, which would mean huge line-ups at the Louvre, especially since it’s Easter. I was planning to go to Sunday mass at Notre Dame at 10, and I didn’t think I would make it if I went to the Louvre. So I headed out for some early morning wandering instead…

All-You-Can-Spread at Le Pain Quotidien

All-You-Can-Spread at Le Pain Quotidien

Le Pain Quotidien is a chain store selling organic breads in “naturally” decorated cafés with lots of wood panelling, communal wooden tables, and lots of bread. But that’s not what made me happy. I ordered a croissant au beurre for here, and what was ON the table made me happiest. ALL YOU CAN SPREAD spreads!!! They had Brunette (hazelnut butter), Noisella (nutella dupe but organic), Blondie (white chocolate spread), Noir (dark chocolate spread), and various jams, but who cares about jams when you have unlimited chocolate spreads? Ok, just kidding, their cherry jam was excellent paired with the dark chocolate spread. So, for 2.20 euros, I had a croissant as a side dish to my million different kinds of spreads. And also went through my guidebook (which I only started reading today. Yes, my last week. lol) trying to decide where to go.

Easter Sunday Mass at Notre Dame

Easter Sunday Mass at Notre Dame

I decided I would head over to the Île de la Cité a bit earlier in case there were lines at Notre Dame, and thank god I did, as the lines were SNAKING. Ah spring break. Fortunately, I got into the cathedral just as the Gregorian mass was about to start, and attended my first mass in…many years (not since I switched high schools from a Catholic one to a secular one I believe). It was calming, and I must admit I sort of missed it. 🙂 Not to mention the venue was gorgeous and it’s breathtaking to imagine mass a few hundred years ago here. The picture above is of the English mass, after the Gregorian mass, which I snapped as I was leaving.

My next stop was the Bastille market across the street from the Opéra Bastille, a starkingly modern structure in contrast to everything else in Paris. I actually read about the market in the guidebook this morning, and I’m glad I did. Or else, I would’ve missed the chance to experience an outdoor market!

Bastille Market

Bastille Market

It was bustling and lively. There were stalls selling all kinds of things: raw meats, rotisserie, fresh oysters, Breton specialties, North African goodies, Greek deli items, Italian stalls, cheap clothing, shoes, fruits, vegetables, Chinese food, Bob the Paella guy (I think it’s a franchise), breads, LOTS of cheese, Portuguese food, and street musicians. Oh, and underwear. Yea. Kinda reminded me of 女人街, except the food they sell is a lot classier.

Continue reading

T minus One Week

23 Apr Refreshing Melon macarons

Super sad that one more week and I’m gone. I tried waking up early this morning to do more exploring,  but ended up waking up at 10 am again…I wanted to do a little shopping, and ended up at Lafayette. Naturally, breakfast is in order, and I had a Kugelhopf from Dalloyau. No photo taken but it was quite good! I’d prefer a croissant aux amandes though….I’m getting addicted to those things.

Next stop was going across the street to the Opera. Last time I went, they were having rehearsals so I couldn’t get into the auditorium, so this time that was my goal!

The Opera Garnier Auditorium...wish I could've had a chance to watch a performance here!

The Opera Garnier Auditorium...wish I could've had a chance to watch a performance here!

Gorgeous and breathtaking to imagine all the important people who mingled in high society in that opera house.

I then headed to Concorde to visit the Museum d’Orangerie, where Monet’s waterlilies are kept. But I forgot to take photos! 😦 The 2 rooms where the paintings are kept have a wonderful ambience. They’re both circular, with filtered skylights, and soothing music playing. I’m sure Monet would have been proud.

Next stop was Angelina across the road from the Jardin des Tuileries (where the Musee d’Orangerie is located). Can’t believe I didn’t get a picture of the Tuileries either, as the garden is amazingly beautiful. I am soooo bringing my DSLR next time I come to Paris! As I was on a tight schedule, I just got their 2 famous items to go: a hot chocolate (for now), and a Mont Blanc (for tonight).

Mont Blanc Army

Mont Blanc Army

My hot chocolate to go!

My hot chocolate to go!

The hot chocolate disappointed me though. Yes, it was super thick, but I thought it could’ve been more chocolatey or even milkier. The only impression I got was – thick. Then again, I’m not a HUGEEEE goopy hot chocolate fan…I prefer my chocolate in edible form. After dropping off the Mont Blanc at my apartment, I rushed out again to the Cité de la Musique to explore their museum…I wish I had more time to do this, as I didn’t get through all the rooms before they closed! 😦 Next time…

After 6 pm, all the touristy sites are closed…so off to do some OTHER exploring. I.e. SHOPPING! I took the metro to the 6th arrondissement and did a little shopping. I wish we had something like eram in Hong Kong…I really love that store – they cover a variety of styles. However, now that A&F and Hollister are coming, I guess I won’t complain. 😉 Along the way, I of course had some snacks too.

Continue reading

Good Friday

22 Apr Love the top...and the fresh tasting apples are probably what I like best about this cake

Today, none of the other externs were at the hospital except for me. I later realized it’s Good Friday and perhaps they thought it was a public holiday? Helped out in another surgery again…breast reduction. I kept on violating sterile rules in the beginning and had to changing my gown and gloves several times…I felt so stupid 😦 and the OT nurse looked so impatient with me. But then most OT nurses are grumpy. Hmph. Nonetheless, I’m learning more and more. So sad it’s almost time to go home. After watching one and helping out with one surgery, I headed out as I wanted to do more exploring. I went to Sacre-Coeur, and it was filled with people waiting for Good Friday mass. Outside, on the steps, was a guy playing guitar with tons of people watching him sing classics like Hotel California, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, etc. A little lower, a guy was putting on a puppet show. Below all that, one can see a birds’ eye view of Paris. Montmarte is a really cool place…actually, so is a lot of other places in Paris. ARGH IM GONNA MISS THIS PLACE.

Basilique Sacre-Coeur

Basilique Sacre-Coeur

They changed their wrapping paper!

They changed their wrapping paper!

Rocher

Rocher

Just before I got home, I was really craving chocolate, so I dropped into Boulangerie Beatrix and David again, which is downstairs and oh so convenient. I actually asked for Croquechoco, which looked like a version of the popular cake that Tony Wong makes. When I got home, I found out the salesgirl gave me a Rocher instead. Oh well, no worries, it’s still chocolate. The Rocher is basically a giant Ferrero Rocher. The whole thing is covered in real milk chocolate studded with salty nuts. For some reason, it didn’t taste like hazelnuts…it kind of tasted like peanuts. Need to double check tomorrow by going back to the boulangerie and looking at the sign.

Chocolate coating, noisette mousse, chocolate cake, chocolate hazelnut mousse, feuilletine

Chocolate coating, noisette mousse, chocolate cake, chocolate hazelnut mousse, croustillant

Inside, from top to bottom are the noisette mousse, a thin layer of chocolate cake, chocolate hazelnut mousse, and then a croustillant layer. I could taste a little coffee in the noisette mousse…don’t know if it’s just my imagination as it’s coffee coloured. The biscuit provided a nice textural difference and separation between the 2 mousse layers.It seems like the French people really enjoy croustillant and hazelnuts, as it’s featured heavily in many stores pastries. This was satisfying. I mean, the combination of chocolate and hazelnuts is really hard to go wrong. Also, like their Paris Brest, the mousse is very light, while still satisfying due to its creaminess.

Aligot...so stretchy!

Aligot...so stretchy!

Earlier in the afternoon, after visiting Sacre-Coeur, I ended up at Champs Elysées just to have a walk. I visited a small shop called Aubrac Corner, which is a takeout store belonging to the restaurant Le Maison de L’Aubrac next door. Aubrac is a region in the South of France, and their specialty is aligot, a mashed potatoes, cheese, and butter concoction. I bought a box to have tonight. As I was too lazy to cook it on the stove, I just microwaved it, then mixed and mixed and mixed like the traditional way. It reminded me of natto, getting stickier and stretchier the more you mix. After having the mashed potatoes from Le Meurice, I’ve been spoiled; and this is a microwave version…still, it was interesting. Tasted like potatoes and cheese. The interesting thing is mostly the texture, which was super, uber, duper, stretchy and chewy. You can keep on twirling it around your fork. This is thanks to the addition of a special type of cheese called Tome cheese. Traditionally, aligot is served with wild boar sausage, but I don’t think I could finish a sausage with this rich dish. So instead, I also bought some cheese at Lafayette. As if cheese isn’t rich.

Continue reading