I want to go to HK, Macau and HK Disneyland. Been reading too many blogs about HK Disneyland recently. Cs has been saying that he wants to go there as well with me, particularly during the winter. He has been there before with his whole family actually, but not with me.
Anyway. I went to look up my past diary entries about Paris and Disneyland, four years ago. Time flies. Has it been four years?
This was what I found.
Disclaimer: A lot of words ahead. I copied this exactly from my diary written years earlier..
This post actually serves as a reminder to Shirley, Nifer and I. I know that you both will screw me for posting ugly photos again (haha) but really, I tried to select the more flattering ones.
Past Diary entries:
30th November 2005: Wednesday afternoon. While in the middle of doing my dissertation, I took a break and went upstairs to look for Nifer. She was sitting in front of her laptop, many books and maps of Paris surrounding her. Remembering, I asked her when she is leaving for Paris. “Tomorrow” she told me. Then she said, “Hey, I found some cheap tickets to Paris again. Do you want to go?” we checked Eurostar. And before I knew it, had booked the tickets to go the day after next. Amazing!! I really couldn’t believe that I had just booked tickets to go to Paris.
Then, we started planning about Friday, deciding where to go, and we changed hotels. We changed to Merryl Hotel which is at La Chapelle. Nearer than the one Nifer had originally booked, which was at Gallileo. When Shirley and Evi came home that night, we told them that we’re both going to Paris the next day. They told us to go by ourselves. Neither of them wanted to join us. Next morning, as Nifer and I were planning about Paris, chit chatting happily, Shirley came to join us, and we started persuading her to go with us, telling her that it would be her last chance, as we’re going home soon, and we would never have the chance again. It worked!! She said, ok. Let’s go see if there are anymore tickets! Incredibly, the three of us are going to Paris together.
2nd December 2005: Friday early morning. We went to bed at 1++am then woke up at 4am. To get ready, throw some things into our suitcase and left. We walked to the bus stop, it was freaking cold and wet outside. Lugging our two suitcases to the bus stop, we stood there shivering for around 30 - 45 minutes waiting for bus no: N381 to Waterloo station. As we were deciding to wave at the next taxi that pass by, the bus showed up.
Nifer and I at said bus stop. I miss Bermondsey...
Finally!! But, on the bus, we missed our stop, and went down a stop past Waterloo station. Great!! Fantastic!! Let’s not forget that we have two suitcases, and it was sooo damn cold and raining as well!! Walking, running backwards, trying to find the last bus stop, we found it, then searched for the station.
The terminal was so long, we had no idea which was the front and which the back was. Walking in the rain for around 20 minutes, we finally found the entrance!! We were so relieved, as we were late. We ran inside just as the check in desk was opened.
Nifer I miss you...
Phew! We weren’t late after all…hurried inside and grabbed seats, waiting for the gates to open. Shirley and I joined the queue at Costa Coffee for two hot chocolates, one Americano, and 3 pannini’s each. As soon as we finished paying for them and hurried back to our seats, the gates open, and we went to board the train. The three of us were in Coach Number 16. It was a 2.30 hours journey.
Eurostar to Paris
We reached Paris Gare du Nord Station at 930am. On arrival, I felt strange; it was a totally different place, different culture. Everywhere I looked, no English words at all. All French, we couldn’t even find the exit. Until Shirley saw a sign: Sortie, and underneath it, in very small italic writing, was Exit. As we left the station, we were in another dilemma. Where is our hotel and how do we find it? We knew the address. On the website, in the map, it showed that it was near Gare du Nord. But we couldn’t even ask anyone. We searched for the “Customer Service” sign. Nifer and I went to ask a man. He couldn’t speak English. Mostly, we just used sign language to communicate.
Paris’s railway system seemed more complicated to me, or maybe that’s because I don’t read French. There were 7 lines altogether, with names such as Mairie d’Ivry, Porte d’Orleans, etc..Each line is given a number to differentiate them. So, we took Line 2 from La Chapelle to Charles de Gaulle Etoile. Their trains were older compared to London’s. It was small and square, with some fold-up seats. But, at least they seemed the same speed as the London Underground.
From Charles de Gaulle station, we walked to Arc de Triomphe. The Arc was known as Napoleon’s grand arch. Towering over everything else, it was a huge monument, among one of the most famous landmarks of Paris. As we came out of the station, and seeing the Arc, the three of us were ecstatic, giddy with happiness, so excited to be there at that moment. We started shouting, screaming and talking at the top of our voices and laughing at everything, then started taking photos.
From the Arc de Triumph, we walked down Champs-Elysees. After that, we went to take the Metro from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Trocadero. We had no idea what place Trocadero was. We actually wanted to go to Luxemborg or Notre Dame, but we did not know how to get there, so stopped at Trocadero. As we came out of the station, we saw a stall, or vendor selling crepes. Remembering what Chris (our housemate) told us about “must-try” crepes, we each bought one. Crepes are a type of French pancake.
Then, as we were eating, we saw something. EIFFEL TOWER!! The view was fantastic! The tower was standing majestically beside the River Seine, and there were many fountains below the tower.
As we finished eating our crepes, we went to admire the view and started taking photos, each of us posing. We weren’t the only ones; many tourists were there as well. Then, two men approached us, and took out miniature Eiffel tower key chains, and asked us if we wanted any. They were priced 3 for 1 Euro. Nifer bought 6. Shirley and I each bought 3. After that, we walked to the fountains and took more pictures and a video.
As we were queuing to buy tickets to Eiffel Tower, Nifer suddenly exclaimed, “It’s SNOWING!! Shirley and I both quickly turned to the sky, with our hand outstretched. After a few seconds, we realized that it was drizzling. But it was so cold that it could have been snowing. Nifer who forgot to wear gloves was saying that her hands had frozen. Then, we each bought tickets to Eiffel tower. To our dismay, the top floor was closed due to strong winds. Le sIgh!! Disappointed!!
So, we bought tickets for the second floor. They cost 7 Euro 50 cents each. We had to take a lift up to the second floor. It was large, able to accommodate around 20 people. On reaching, it was soooooo…cold, freezing. The wind was so strong. The second floor was full of people, everyone had their cameras or video cameras out. The view was like what we’d see at Civic Centre back home. Only, in Kuching, we are able to see green scenery as well as buildings. In Paris, I see lots of white buildings; in fact they remind me of many tombs. Seriously, like graveyards.
View from Eiffel Tower (2nd floor). All white, like tombs right? Haha
There are no flattering photos of the three of us seriously..
3rd December 2005 – Saturday early morning. 7am. We were all woken up by my alarm clock (Nick Carter’s serenade of I Need You Tonight). None of us moved. We were all exhausted from last night. Again and again, I hear my alarm clock, then Shirley’s alarm. Finally, at 7.30am, Nifer went into the toilet first, then Shirley. I was, of course, last to wake. No surprise to them. We were ready to leave at 8.30am, and then went downstairs to have breakfast. Nobody was there. It was empty, only two jugs of coffee and hot chocolate stood there, with some croissants and bread. Breakfast consisted of three croissants with jam and hot chocolate or coffee or juice. That’s it.
After a quick breakfast, we went to the station. It was a cold morning, strong winds. We told the woman behind the counter at La Chapelle station one word: Disneyland. She nodded and showed us the prices. It totaled Euro 100++. We were shocked, and then learned that she had included the price of the Disneyland Park tickets as well. It was 30 Pounds each, equivalent to 42 Euros. And train tickets to Disneyland were around 10++ Euros. It was a one hour journey from La Chapelle.
On reaching Disneyland, the three of us couldn’t stop smiling, laughing, talking at the top of our voices, and oh yeah, taking pictures. Everywhere we went, we kept taking pictures. How could we not? It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Even though it was barely 10am in the morning, there were so many people there. Families with children, couples, grandmas and granddads, teenagers, the place was full. We joined the crowd, taking pictures, and then queuing up to enter Disneyland Park.
Disney music was playing everywhere, and happy faces were seen everywhere. The buildings were all so beautiful, and the whole atmosphere just felt so wonderful, so magical. It was no wonder they call it The Wonderful, Magical World of Disney! It truly was!! In Mainstreet USA, we saw some cartoon characters, driving past in antique cars. There were a lot of shops there, souvenir shops, and restaurants. We each bought a Mickey Mouse Hat and wore it. Shirley and I bought a white one each, and Nifer bought a blue one. As walked together, people were staring at us, and smiling at us, we must have looked really comical or weird.
I still have that hat!
Haha..too much Disney spirit. Our first ride was La Carrousel de Lancelot, or the horse ride. In Fantasyland. It was fun, more suitable for little children though. We walked past Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. Really beautiful…!! But we did not go inside; there was not enough time for everything. We saw Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups, Alice’s Curious Labyrinth, Peter Pan’s Flight and many more.
Diary ended here cos I was too tired to continue writing. Now, I wish that I remembered to continue writing.
I remember thinking that Paris Disneyland was one of the happiest days in my life. Back then life was so simple..Carefree and easy. I wanna be a student again. Whine whine whine.
I think that its time to go back to Disneyland. I want that feeling again. I have always loved those Disney characters and cartoons. That day in Disneyland was very unforgettable. I want to go back. I want a dose of that happiness again.
Reading on my past diary entries made me realize that I miss being a student. My three years stay in London was my own experience through a student's life. Even if I do go back there in the future, it won't be the same. We are not as carefree, not as young. When will I ever have the chance to just randomly decide to catch a train to Paris like that?
When and if I do go back to London, it will be different. I wish I could bring my parents or cs there, bring them to see the famous (haha) London and Tower Bridge, to McD to eat, Chinatown where I used to go when I craved chinese food and to stock up on instant noodles, and of course to try the famous Four Seasons duck. Show them around Camden town.
I just want to go to Disneyland again.