day 2136 – arc du triomphe

visiting one of my top paris attraction arc du triomphe. the intersection it stands on is crazy; twelve different routes merging into the roundabout. by now, i have grasped the concept of paris driving – drive aggressively and use all methods to get around obstructions. as i stood before the arc daringly close to the traffic, i never imagined it would tower over me like so. decided not to buy tickets to go up and that was the correct choice because the lineup to the lift is long. i think the point is to view the actual structure and not to look down on the surrounding things from the top

day 2133 – versailles palace

this place is so beautiful no wonder it’s a hot topic for all tourists. it was a huge palace full of historical paintings, monumental ceiling murals, fancy decor surrounded by a vast garden. i read online to go early to avoid line up outside and it was right – this was the crowd first thing in the morning. it was a hot day and the train ride was a brutal forty minutes there and back with a jam packed cargo and no ventilation

day 2129 – antwerp day

took the train early to another city and made an antwerp day trip. for the first couple hours, it was a lot of walking around looking at a combination of cathedrals, churches, canals and statues. just before rushing for the train back to brussels, we hit up the chocolate nation tour. it was a very neat place because there i learned about the origin of chocolate, its significance and differences, took a bunch of pretty pictures and even got a chance to taste test a few types. got back to brussels for a nice dinner out catching up with an ex-coworker. she took time to show us around the city and showed us that food trucks are where the best waffles are at

day 2128 – grand place

arrived in belgium by late afternoon on a eurostar train and made a very productive first day. started by going far out to atomium where i did my second flip. it was a little better than the first, but still not getting the height and rotation i’d like to see. also visited grand place, manneken pis and bruxelles stock exchange building. we were much more efficient than the original itinerary; i hope it’s not because we’re doing a hasty job of taking photos and not fully absorbing. we even went back to grand place and stayed until 10:30 before deciding this is as much light as we’ll get to see

day 2123 – london eye

immediately rushed out to meet up with the boys after landing and checking in my airbnb. by then it was pushing 4pm, where we finally had lunch near westminister district. the group of us walked around looking at westminister abbey, westminister bridge, london eye, big ben and trafalgar square. at the end of the day, i attempted a back tuck in front of london eye but i really wasn’t satisfied with the flip itself. i wanted to try again but at the same time i knew i was too tired and too full to make any better attempts. and this was only day one in london, but felt like i’ve been up for forty eight straight hours

day 1956 – researches

instead of going out on saturday night like every other week, i stayed home and got a lot done this evening. i felt obligated to carry out the bulk of europe research. i had to look for train schedules, prices, attractions and browse for a airbnb that works for our travels. paris and london are extremely expensive europeans cities; i didn’t expect this trip to be cheap so i better be strategic with what we choose to do. i did manage to find some good places that weren’t going to break our banks

day 1952 – macarons

as i’m researching for europe trip, i realize i’m going to a place where the best pastries and macarons exists. i’ve already got a full list of attractions to hit up. on top of the flight, there’s also lots of planning and coordination needed for trains, airbnb, food, and shopping amongst others. it’s not going to be a cheap trip for sure, but it’s something on my bucket list for a long, long time. i better start saving up for this big trip now