Tag Archives: church

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

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

All over Paris

9 Apr Pierre Hermé Tarte Infiniment Vanille

As I write this, I’m massaging my thighs, as I walked all around Paris in not so great flats and my thighs are cramping up. It was so worth it though. I took a ton of pictures, which you can see in the slideshow at the bottom. This post will contain a few highlights only. It IS a little picture heavy though.

When I woke up, I rushed to Huré to get my first (!!) croissant of my stay in Paris. Unfortunately, although I tried to get there early, it wasn’t warm anymore. It was still quite good though..apparently they’ve won some sort of award or something for their croissant au beurre. Interesting to note also, is that they have croissant au beurre and a normal croissant. Maybe I have to do a taste test between the two one of these days..no picture because I devoured it on the way home.

I then headed out to a beautiful day in Paris. I walked to the Notre Dame first. There were a ton of people, but the line to get in was pretty quick. I spent around 30 minutes in there. Everything is so huge, it’s hard to imagine how they built it back in the 14th century without any modern technology.

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

After Notre Dame, I walked through the Ile de la Cité and Ile Ste Louis. Both are quaint little islands which remind me of Granville Island – swarmed with tourists and filled with little trendy boutiques. Also, on Ile Ste Louis, one can find the best ice cream in Paris – Berthillon.

Caramel beurre salé + vanilla cone from Berthillon, best ice-cream in Paris!

Caramel beurre salé + vanilla cone from Berthillon, best ice-cream in Paris!

It was very smooth indeed, and I enjoyed it. Around the same price, but much better than the local “gelato” shops we can find in Hong Kong. It didn’t leave you thirsty either! After having my ice cream, I walked to the Place des Vosges, which is the oldest planned square in Paris. Built by King Henri IV in the 17th century, it’s now filled with locals sunbathing or having picnics, as well as children playing. I love this little park and wish HK had parks like these.

Maison de Victor Hugo next to the Place des Vosges

Maison de Victor Hugo next to the Place des Vosges

Victor Hugo also lived at the Place des Vosges at one time, and I went into his apartment on the second floor for a tour a few days later. It’s amazing to imagine how people lived back then…his apartment is so grand! I then headed to a patisserie next as I felt a little hypoglycemic (excuses!)… Continue reading