North America, Europe · 8 Days · 133 Moments · June 2017

Luke's adventure in the French Riviera

30 June 2017

We ended the day and the trip by eating McDonald's on the beach. The French system is weird. First order electronically, then pay in person, and finally receive the order after a while. I found the Mulan Szechuan Sauce, Morty. 9 more seasons, Morty.
We went to the beach on Nice. It's a Pebble Beach and is super windy.
We found a film crew in the middle of Nice. It seems to be an old time movie. I took a video of them doing a scene but it seems to be a failed shot.
These are the crests of Nice. Before Napoleon, the city emblem had an eagle. When Napoleon became emperor, he adopted the eagle as his symbol and made Nice change theirs to the lion. When Napoleon abdicated, Nice returned to the eagle emblem.
We returned to Nice and wandered around the area as a group. I think we all ate at least one I've cream everyday. They were all much better than American ice cream. Another note, I also took a sneak selfie with the gendarmes. There are two security forces in France. Police are armed and looked down upon. Gendarmes are armed with guns as well but are probably not outfitted with real ammunition. Gendarmes look really cool though. They travel around the city in triangle formation and look like they're ready for war.
Went to the Chocolate Shop of Monaco. It is a very prestigious chocolate shop. I bought a 99% dark chocolate here.
This is the Palace of the Monarchy of Monaco. They don't have a standing army but they still have soldiers to protect the palace and the royalty. France is supposed to protect Monaco with its army.
Lost Squad Adventure: Monaco Edition. Saw a fountain with Saint Nicholas. There's a cool story behind him and the three babies. He basically revived babies that were mercilessly murdered by a butcher.
We're here in Monaco and Monte Carlo. The view is beautiful. It's said that getting citizenship at Monaco is so hard that being a child of Monacans still can't guarantee you citizenship.
This bridge has an interesting story. A shepherd wanted to have a bridge to cross the ravine so he makes a deal with the devil. The devil says he will build it in exchange for the soul of the first thing that crosses the bridge. After the bridge was built, the shepherd threw a stick to the other side of the bridge and his dog chased after it. The dog's soul was taken by the devil and infuriated him. He vowed to never be tricked again.
At the top of the castle of Eze, or what was. Now it's just ruins because Luis XIV destroyed it to not let its strategic position to be taken by the enemy. The view here is gorgeous. We passed a willow tree so I created a wreath that I learned from Grandpa.
Climbing up the mountain in the village of Eze to see the castle at the top.
Before going to Eze, we went to the perfume factory, Fragonard. It's one of the main and ancient perfume factory in France. They don't allow us to take pictures inside the factory.
We will be going to Eze today. It's right on the Alps on the coast. In one of my pictures, I accidently took a photo of a painting. It was absolutely coincidental that I got that painting in my picture. It looks pretty good.

29 June 2017

Tiny tiny Statue of Liberty.
The nightview of Nice.
This is a war memorial monument for all wars that France was in. Didn't get to go closer though.
We bought some groceries and continued to walk along the beach.
Traveling back to the hotel at sunset. My group is deciding to travel around Nice at night.
This is foie gras, the fatty duck liver. You're supposed to eat it with bread. It's really strong and not meant for everyone unlike the escargot. I kind of like it, but not as much as the escargot. I probably won't try it again though. It's a little too expensive and something I can do without. But escargot? I want to eat some more.
I got a chance to enter the Gucci store. It's not as flamboyant as the Abercrombie & Fitch but it's still really chic. Couldn't buy the bags though.
Some luxurious stores. I walked into a caviar store and took a look at the price. It's extremely expensive!
This is the Carlton Hotel. It's extremely luxurious and is right on the shores.
Arrived in Cannes. It's where all the celebrities go in France. There's the Red Carpet here as well. There's also extremely expensive stores for wealthy people here, possibly more luxurious than Champs Elysée.
Now we're going to Cannes. These are nature scenery along the way.
Some more shorelines of Cassis.
This is a fjord near Marsaille. Cassis is extremely close to Marsaille.
Some more scenery of nearby Cassis shores.
The view from the boat of the shores. I have panoramic video of the scenery.
The harbor of Cassis
This is probably a world war one monument.
Village of Cassis.
Our tour chose to do a boat tour in the fishing village of Cassis today. Here is the country side that we passed as we traveled to Cassis.

28 June 2017

This used to be a Roman temple dedicated to Emperor Augustus' grandchildren. It has never been renovated so whatever was there predated to the first century. There were actually two rows of pillars but the outside deteriorated. Still, you can see remenants or places where the pillars were.
Another episode of the lost squad. This time, we just navigated around the old city center of Nîme. There were many grand churches, for example, the Church of Saint Peter's that looks like a small Notre Dame.
Some more pictures of the Roman Colosseum. It's disappointing how it's also became a modern stage. It feels like we violated the once glorious arena and turned it into a casual place to be.
Now I'm standing on top of the Colosseum. There are no railings or rocks to stop you from falling of in some areas. I took some pictures and panoramas of the surrounding city. I tried to do it from a safe distance from the edge. Meanwhile, some of my group wanted to take pictures of them sitting on the edge and their feet dangling down.
These are the pictures inside the Roman Colosseum. Some places are extremely scary as they only have metal railings and nothing else to protect people on the higher areas.
Now we arrive at Nîme, a past Roman Colony. This used to be a great colony founded in the Southern Gaul region in the first century. We are going to explore the Colosseum of Nîme, the most well preserved Colosseum in the world.
The scenery around the Roman Aqueduct. We had to do some hiking to get a really good panoramic.
Our picnic at the bank of the Pont du Gard. This selection of food is something that Parisian do on a daily basis on the banks of the Seine.
These are pictures of the Roman Aqueduct. It was built to carry water hundreds of kilometers to a city currently called Nîme. We will be going there afterwards as well. There are some inscriptions in the rocks. Some can be predated to the Roman times as building instructions, medieval times as a heavy traffic bridge, or Post-Renaissance times as "I was here" messages from famous people.
Found an olive tree along the way. They are only ready around September. I picked two olives and they were tiny. Didn't eat them because they were extremely premature.
Today's main attraction is the Roman Aqueduct of Pont du Gard. We are going to have a picnic along the river with the Roman Aqueduct as our background.
This is a vineyard that we passed by.
Instead of shopping for food, the Lost Squad wandered around again.
Today, we begin the day by going to an open market to buy some food (I didn't buy any) for the picnic at the Pont du Gard, a Roman aqueduct. I saw some frozen snails in a bag. I guess people can just heat it up at home and eat it as well. No special cooking method needed.

27 June 2017

Photo of a random river.
Last few pictures of Avignon.
My OG Lost Squad.
Some more pictures of Avignon.
More pictures of Avignon.
This is the city of Avignon. I lead a personal group of kids to wander around the city without any aims. We called ourselves the Lost Squad because we intentionally try to get "lost". It's really the best way to see the city. Plus, ADVENTURE TIME!
Top of the Papal Fortress.
Inside the Papal Fortress.
This is the Papal Fortress. It was built in the 1400s in around 20 years.
Eating escargot for the second time. It's really good. I'm getting accustomed to using bread to wipe up any remaining sauce on my plate.
Avignon, the white city. I took it while we're on the road to eat lunch.
This is the Bridge of Avignon. There's a famous French nursery rhyme about it.
These are the walls of the fortress of the 14th Century Papal Capital, Avignon. Most streets in this city​ is limited to pedestrians. Everything is so close.
Some pictures of the French countryside. I have some scrolling videos of the scenery as it zooms past us. Really beautiful. It is exactly what you think of the word "rural".
One last photo of Paris and the train station. We will be heading to Southern France.
Last night at this hotel. I got two beds for myself because Soham didn't make it. Oh well, I used one as my couch and the other one I sleep in. You can see the map of Paris on the couch cause I spend my night visualizing a life in Paris. Oh yeah, there's a sock as well to throw around. Jk.

26 June 2017

Just arrived home. Happy Birthday, sis. I got a Macaron cake for you. Wait, where did it go? The lemon Macaron is also gone! There's just one pistachio Macaron left. I'll eat it tomorrow, I mean, I'll save it for you, sis.
Just met a famous French Singer, Eric Vincent! He sings all over the world and lives on a boat on La Seine. We actually got to talk with him all evening. I practiced my French but it's already a little rusty. At least I understand most of the conversation I hear here.
The BEST Macaron Shop in the world, La Duree! Get jelly, sis!
On Les Champs Elysée! The gate is the entrance to Abercrombie & Fitch. Inside is so chic and flamboyant. I couldn't go in the Luis Vuitton because the line is super long. I also found a Five Guys, lol.
We're on Les Champs Elysée! These are the surrounding gardens and roads. One road leading to Les Invalides intersects this long road. On the intersection, we can see a statue of Charles De-Gaulle and La Grand Palais.
La Place de La Concorde. We are heading to Les Champs Elysée.
The surroundings of the Tuileries Garden.
This is the Tuileries Garden. We actually went to a fair inside it and rode a Ferris Wheel. The scenery is beautiful.
This is the famous upside down pyramid. Not too exciting for me now. They're just pyramids.
A few more art pieces.
A few art pieces in the Louvre.
Here it is! La Jacond! It's extremely crowded here. Honestly, I prefer the gigantic painting on the opposite wall. It's a much better painting of the last supper than the generic one.
Entering the Louvre, the pyramid is pretty simplistic. Just glass triangles stacked on each other. There are rooms filled with paintings and sculptures. It is said that one cannot truly see every art in the museum. However, the main objective is the Jacond, or the Mona Lisa.
The other side of the pyramid, or the opening of the palace, there is the Tuilerie Garden with the Arc of Napoleon. The Arc of Napoleon is made by Napoleon dedicated to one of his battles modeling the Arc of Triomphe.
Our next stop is the Louvre. It is the largest art museum in the world. The Louvre used to be a large palace for the French king which was later renovated to be a museum​. We are currently in the square with the large pyramid. There are N's and double L's engraved everywhere which is supposed to represent Napoleon and Luis XIV. These engravings confuse me about the time that this building was constructed.
The statue of Joan D'Arc in the Notre Dame.
There are two walls with these two long sculptures. They depict the important scenes within the Bible.
These are the side windows of Notre Dame.
Here are some of the displays on the sides of the Notre Dame.
The center aisle of Notre Dame.
Today morning, we will be entering the Notre Dame. Turns out that the 30 Kings are not French kings, but biblical kings. The French tore down the original statues during the revolution and they had to reconstruct it. However, it's supposed to be authentic. They actually found the original statues which was used by a merchant to build his mansion on. The originals are now in a museum dedicated to medieval France.

25 June 2017

Today has been extremely tiring. My tendons in my legs have started to hurt. Probably because I sprinted to get a under-the-Eiffel-Tower image. However, looking at that final Eiffel Tower scenery with the sun setting really shows how beautiful Paris is. Surprising how today can come around full circle back to the Eiffel Tower.
In Paris, people would gather on the shores to play music and dance together. It's so multicultural and diverse that these photos have three dance scenes with three completely different dance styles and music - slow dance / tango music, old 1920s music, and modern music (left to right).
LOOK AT THAT GARDEN AT THE TOP OF THE BUILDING! My dream house is now an apartment in Paris with large gardens on my roof. It has to also be on the river with a view of Les Invalides. That golden dome and decorous surrounding is currently my favorite among the Parisian monuments.
Notre Dame from La Seine. Still shockingly beautiful. I love gothic architecture.
Le Louvre from the Seine River. I will be going there tomorrow. It's not just one building. However, the main building is already gigantic. It used to be a palace but was the first to become a museum.
La Musee D'Orsay, an exposition building that is really grand. It's currently exhibiting Cezanne. Unfortunately, I won't have time to visit. :'(
These are the bridges and shores in the perspective of the boat cruise. The beautiful white and gold bridge is the bridge that leads to Les Invalides, a military hospital for the invalid until Napoleon Bonaparte was entombed there.
At the Trocadéro. It's also a great place to see the Eiffel Tower.
We are on the road to a boat cruise along the Seine River. The Seine is like the blood line of the city. Everything important or cultural is around there. On the way to the boat ride, I took many 360 pictures of the beautiful scenery
Random pictures from the tram of the River Seine. Paris has straight metros unlike NYC's circuit styled metros.
The view from Montparnasse. It's the tallest building in Paris and you can almost see everything from the top.
On the road to eat crepes for dinner near Montparnasse. Saw some cool statues and took an upward shot of Montparnasse. Side note, Montparnasse is the tallest building in Paris.
Here's the second portion of the pictures. By the way, the last picture has a crow that just flew in front of me with some bread crumbs.
Here are some pictures from the gardens of Versailles. We didn't have time for even a quarter of it. It's that huge.
This is inside the Palace of Versailles. I have more 360 pictures of this place. Almost every wall is a masterpiece. This is why the French Monarchy went bankrupt.
L'Arc de Triomphe. I actually stood on a white section in the middle of the road to take two of the pictures. There were so many tourists there as well. It was impossibly crowded.
This is outside of the Palace of Versailles. There's gold painted fencing and roofs. It is truly beautiful, fit for a king. I wish you can experience what I see with my 360 pictures.
More scenes of daily life and architecture.
Some stores on Les Champs Elysée. Tomorrow we'll go shopping! I don't know if I'll be able to get into the Luis Vuitton though. There's a line to get in. I'll probably buy something from Sephora.
La Musée D'Orsay. We won't be able to go though...
Place de La Concorde. It's where everything important happened in France.
The Pantheon. It's where famous French are buried.
This is an ancient Opera house. I think it was built before Luis XIV.
I think this is La Place Vendôme. Not too sure what the significance is anymore. It is really beautiful square though.
A statue of Joan of Arc, the patron saint of the country of France.
Notre Dame and Saint Peter's Church (?). Plus a cathedral that was all torn down except for one tower during the French Revolution.
A column dedicated to the Fall of the Bastille.
Some miscellaneous pictures. It's the season for bazaars. There's a picture of a French Bazaar where they're selling clothes and stuff.
The old wall of France. As you see from the plaque, it was from the 7th Century. It's similar to Wall Street of NYC, but there's actually some remenant from a millennia ago.
Le Jardin du Luxembourg. It's an Italian styled garden. There's people doing yoga, jogging and kids playing everywhere. It's basically a place to be if you're a college student or living nearby.
The Harvard of France - Sorbonne.
The National Assembly. It's under construction for some reason.
Les Invalides. This is where Napoleon is buried. The reason it's called the Invalides (invalid) is because this used to be a nationally funded military hospital that had the best equipment and staff in the nation. People would pretend to be sick so they made it only applicable by handicapped, or invalid.
LA TOUR EIFFEL! I had to sprint to the bottom of the tower to get some pictures. We don't have enough time to truly appreciate these monuments.
Look at some of these buildings. The architecture is just so beautiful.

24 June 2017

We walked around the other sides of the Notre Dame. Unfortunately, the line to enter Notre Dame wrapped around the cathedral itself so we couldn't enter or climb it.
We're still just walking around Paris, eating and looking at the scenery. We toured the two mini islands along the Seine River. One of them was the island of ice cream. It was REALLY GOOD.
Different views of the Notre Dame.
Plaza of the Fountain de Saint Michel.
Ate some Häagen Daz.
Hôtel Mercure
Streets of Paris
Didn't know Microsoft built an insanely huge headquarter in Paris.
Just realized that I did take a photo of Paris on the plane. I thought it was a huge nearby city but there are none around Paris.
Just crossed the English Channel. Now we're in France.

23 June 2017

One hour into the flight. I looked out the window to find the world of clouds.
Got the window seat.
On the airplane. Leaving for Charles-DeGaulle Airport. I'm going to sleep for the 6 hour trip.
On the road to JFK Airport.