Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Château de Versailles (Palace of Versailles) [part 1]

Versailles is a bit outside of Paris. To get there, just take the RER C5 train to the last stop (Versailles Rive Gauche). From there, it's a short walk to the palace.

Versailles is in Zone 4, so the t+ tickets that you use for inner Paris will not be valid. To get tickets, go to a station that RER C5 serves, and use to kiosk to select Versailles Rive Gauche. Alternatively, just go up to the ticket counter and say, "Château de Versailles" and hope the attendant speaks English (it's not guaranteed).

Also, be aware that it gets ridiculously crowded there. To avoid the crowd, it's best to get there before opening. However, if you're like us and not morning people, then I suggest going to the gardens first. There's no line for the gardens, and you can return to the palace later in the afternoon when the crowds begin to die down.

statue of Louis XIV

main gates

pretty sure this was already under construction last time I was here 14 years ago...

view of the gardens

The garden is quite large, so a lot of walking is required. There is a tram that can take you between points of interest, for a fee. There are also bicycle rentals, however the closest one is by the fountain, so you still have to walk there.

walking through the garden

Grand Trianon

Grand Trianon

Petit Trianon

artist restoring the walls

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

La Tour Eiffel (Eiffel Tower)

Even in April, there was a long line to enter. We waited for about an hour. The top level was closed due to high winds and the first floor was closed for renovations so we were only able to go to the second floor. But the view from the second floor is fine. Based on the last time I visited, it's pretty much the same as the summit, just a little lower so if you want to save a few euros, you can just go up to the second floor. Or if you really want to save some euros, you can also take the stairs (704 stairs, 115 meters). Note, the stairs only go up to the second floor.

going up in the elevator

view from the second floor

southwestern panoramic

northeastern panoramic


view to the east

view to the west

view from Trocadéro
prints available

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

London (part 3)

Random photos while walking around London

the Shard

London Waterloo Station

London Bridge

Monday, July 7, 2014

London Underground

The London Underground (or simply the Underground or the Tube) covers a good portion of London, but there were constant line and station closures (both announced and unannounced).

Oyster cards are used for ticketing. Fees are based on zones you travel between. Calculating fees can be confusing for out-of-towners, or you can just load up the Osyter card and not worry about it.

Oyster card

the Underground entrace

the Underground during rush hour