My Trip To Madrid and Paris
In February 2005, me and my cha-bo-lang went to Madrid, Spain and Paris, France.
Wa-piang, I tell you ah, we left Singapore and flew to Paris Airport and transferred another flight to Madrid Airport, a total flying time of 13 long hours.
We reached Paris Airport in the early morning 0625 hours and the temperature was about 5 degree Celsius.
After the transit to Madrid, Spain which we reached there at 1145 hrs. The Madrid Airport was rather rundown as compared to Paris Airport and when me and my cha-bo-lang walked out from the customs, we were not checked at all. (Of course la, we look so decent one).
The weather in Madrid was even colder than Paris, I reckoned it was about 2 degree Celsius at noon time. Can you imagine noon time was 2 degree celsius, how about early morning and at night?
After we took a cab to our hotel, which cost me Euro 25 dollars (equivalent to S$50) for a short distance trip of about 15 minutes, we left our luggages in our hotel room and out we left to explore Madrid and at the same time to grab for something to eat.
It was really cold and the portion of the food was very big and the best snacks in Madrid is none other than Calamari (fried squid). Until today, I have not come across anywhere which served Calamari as good as those I tasted in Madrid.
After we had our big portion of snacks, we continued to explore Madrid. It was snowing and gosh, how I loved snow. We saw a few children running and playing and screaming when the snow came down.
My cha-bo-lang told me it must be something not common to snow in Madrid since the children were overjoyed with the snow and true enough, we later learned that indeed Madrid had not snowed like that day for the past 10 - 12 years. So were we lucky or what?
During our stay in Madrid, we visited lots of beautiful parks, castles, churches but we missed the "Bull-fighting" as it was not the season for it. Thank goodness as we can't bear to watch the cruelty done onto the poor bull.
The biggest park in Madrid is none other that the "Parque del Retiro" which has 130 hectares of woodland which form a green, tree-clad (more than 15,000 trees) island in the middle of an asphalt sea.
Another place not to be missed is the Plaza Mayor and along that stretch, there are many many shops selling all types of items.
We also went to the famous Sunday Market in "Rastro" and spent a whole Sunday there. It was so packed but we had a good time bargaining on the items we liked.
One of the beautiful castle we visited in Spain. Me and my cha-bo-lang had a snowball war there.
We had our dinner in the oldest restaurant in Madrid, Botin Restaurant. The famous author of "The Old man and the Sea" Mr ErnestHemingway always had his meal there and at a specific table at the corner of the restaurant and commented that it was the best restaurant in the world. (海明威 --- 老人与海) .
The night scene in Madrid is the best in the world, no photo or picture can show its beauty, not even 50% of the actual beauty. I tell you ah, if you want a girl to fall for you, the night scene in Madrid so bo-beh-chow one, it's so romantic and just awesome.
The only set-back during our stay was the cold weather, at night it was below zero degrees.
A loving couple freezing in a cold night but still have to pose for photo taking. The cold temperature was worsen by the constant gust of wind.
Although we missed the bull-fighting (without regrets) but we did not miss the Spanish traditional dance - Flamenco dance.
At a substantial fees, we had a sumptuous dinner and got to watch the famous dance.
The dance was good but the cha-bo were not very chio though, the leading male dancer was more stylo than the female dancers.
Good Food, Nice Wine, With Loved One = A Very Happy Man.
After our 2 weeks stay in Madrid, we proceed to Paris. Paris, I presume is everybody's dream land for its romantic feeling.
We were there, and visited the main places of interests like Musee de Louvre (罗浮宫), The Eiffel Tower (巴黎铁塔), Arc de Triomphe (凯旋门), watch the famous cabarets "Moulin Rouge" and took a boat ride through the heart of Paris on the famous Bateaux Parisiens. Starting from the Eiffel Tower, the cruise follows the left bank of the Seine to the Finance Ministry at Bercy, then returns to the Eiffel Tower along the right bank, passing by most of the famous and beautiful buildings in Paris.
To be honest, both me and my cha-bo-lang prefer Madrid to Paris. Anyway, preference is always very subjective, ultimately it is not the "where" you go but the "who" you go with.
Inside Musee de Louvre Museum looking out of the Pyramid glass roof.
The famous portrait of Mona Lisa
The BIG face and Old Beng
Women's best pal - LV Bags (Anybody interested can carry them back, provided you have the strength)
Arc de Triomphe
The Eiffel Tower lights up and flickers at night in the interval of every hour for about 10 minutes. It is much more beautiful than the pic.
Eiffel Tower from far
The quality of the photo shots did not turn out very well cos both me and my cha-bo-lang are no pro photographers but the beautiful sceneries we have seen are always in our memories..... forever.
lim peh kong wan liao