Next destination: Brussels, Belgium

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Visiting Versailles Palace & Gardens

How to get there - Cum sa ajungi acolo
There is more than one means of transport for getting there and you will find all about them here on their website. It's important to check  there because they have all the information updated and they will write if a certain line is closed at the moment of your visit.
What we didn't know was that you need a special transport ticket just for Versailles. We bought plenty of t+ tickets to have during our stay in Paris which are valid for metro, RER trains, tramways, buses and Montmartre cable car. We thought that would be good for Versailles, too, and so thought all the people waiting in the huge line in front of the station where we were going to get the train. So it would be a better idea to get your special ticket for Versailles from any other metro station in Paris to avoid waiting in this line.

Sunt mai multe mijloace de transport pentru a ajunge la Versailles si puteti afla totul despre rutele disponibile aici pe site-ul lor. E important sa verificati acolo deoarece au toate informatiile actualizate si vor scrie daca o anumita linie nu functioneaza in momentul vizitei voastre. 
Ceea ce nu am stiut noi este ca ai nevoie de un bilet de transport special doar pentru Versailles. Noi am cumparat mai multe bilete t+ sa le avem in timpul vizitei noastre la Paris care sunt valabile pentru metro, trenurile RER, tramvaie, autobuze si telecabina spre Montmartre. Credeam ca vor fi bune si pentru Versailles si la fel au crezut si toti ceilalti oameni care asteptau la coada imensa din fata statiei de unde urma sa luam trenul. Cea mai buna idee ar fi sa luati biletele speciale pentru Versailles de la orice alta statie de metro din Paris pentru a evita aceasta coada.

If you are under 26 and a European Union resident you have free entry for the palace and the gardens. If you visit the palace on a day when there are Musical Fountain shows, you will have to buy just the ticket for the gardens.

Daca aveti sub 26 de ani si sunteti rezidenti ai Uniunii Europene, aveti intrarea gratuita. Daca vizitati palatul intr-o zi cand este spectacol cu fantani muzicale, va trebui sa platiti biletul pentru gradini.

Next challenge - Urmatoarea provocare
Be prepared to wait in line a lot before entering the palace. We bought our tickets online and had them printed to avoid a line, but ended up waiting for about 1 hour and 45 minutes for the security check. 

Fiti pregatiti sa asteptati mult la coada inainte de a intra in palat. Noi ne-am luat biletele online si le-am avut listate pentru a evita coada de la bilete, dar tot a trebuit sa asteptam in jur de o ora si 45 de minute pentru controlul de securitate.

Keep in mind that the palace is open every day except on Mondays, from 9:00 to 18:30. The gardens are open until 19:00.

Tineti minte ca palatul e deschis in fiecare zi, mai putin lunea, de la 9:00 la 18:30. Gradinile sunt deschise pana la 19:00.

The Versailles palace is a royal castle that was the residence of some important kings of france: Louis the XIVth, Louis the XVth and Louil the XVIth. At the begining it was just a mansion that Louis the  XIIIth used for hunting, but it was extended by his son. In the palace you will be able to see different objects of art, weapons and amazing upholstery while admiring the architecture and the beautiful walls and ceiling that are different in all rooms.

Palatul Versailles este un castel roial si a fost resedinta unor regi importanti ai frantei: Ludovic al XIV-lea, Ludovic al XV-lea și Ludovic al XVI-lea. La inceput era doar o vila unde Ludovic al XIII-lea statea cand mergea la vanatoare, dar a fost extinsa de fiul sau. In palat puteti vedea diferite obiecte de arta, arme si tapiterii incantatoare in timp ce admirati arhitectura si frumosii pereti si tavane care sunt diferiti in fiecare camera. 

There are 77 hectares of nicely maintained gardens in a park measuring not less than 850 hectares. They plant 300 000 fowers each year and use 4500 m3of  water/hour for the fountains. So the fountains are only funtional on days with musical shows, as follows: on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 April to 29 October, as well as on some additional dates (14 April, 25 May, 14 July, 15 August).

Sunt 7 de hectare de gradini frumos intretinute intr-un parc ce masoara nu mai putin de 850 de hectare. Se planteaza in fiecare an 300 000 de flori si se folosesc 4500 mde apa/ora pentru fantani. Prin urmare, fantanile sunt functionale doar in zilele cu spectacole muzicale, dupa cum urmeaza: Sambata si Duminica din 1 Aprilie pana in 29 Octombrie, dar si in niste date speciale (14 Aprilie, 25 Mai, 14 Iulie, 15 August).

There's a schedule and during the day there will be shows on all fountains. You will receive a map and a timetable when you enter the gardens. The water displays are amazing - they were my favourite part of Versailles! Seeing water dancing in the rithm of instrumental music is relaxing and enchanting. Try to plan your visit to Versailles in one of the days with musical shows, you will not regret it.

Exista un orar si in timpul zilei vor fi spectacole la toate fantanile. Veti primi o harta si un orar la intrarea in gradini. Jocurile apei sunt incantatoare - au fost partea mea favorita la Versailles! Sa vezi apa dansand in ritmul muzicii instrumentale este relaxant si feeric. Incercati sa va planificati vizita la Versailles intr-una din zilele cu spectacole muzicale, nu veti regreta.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Paris in August

If there's something important you need to know about Paris in August is that it's the most crowded and the most expensive period. Go there armed with patience and be prepared to wait in line for about 50 minutes at any attraction. 
Secondly, if you are under 26 and a European Union citizen, you benefit from free entry or discounts at any landmark. 

Sunt cateva lucruri importante pe care trebuie sa le aveti in minte atunci cand va planificati o excursie in Paris in august: este cea mai aglomerata si cea mai scumpa perioada. Mergeti inarmati cu multa rabdare si fiti pregatiti sa asteptati la coada aproximativ 50 de minute la fiecare atractie turistica. 
In al doilea rand, daca aveti sub 26 de ani si sunteti cetateni ai Uniunii Europene, aveti intrare gratuita sau reduceri la orice obiectiv.

DAY 1 - ZIUA 1

We started our day is this beautiful city with a visit at the Louvre museum.  The tickets line was about 10 minutes long, but we had to wait for about 40 minutes for the security check. Before you plan your vizit, know that the museum is open daily except on Tuesdays from 9:00 to 18:00. On Wednesdays and Fridays it's open until 21:45. If you are under 26 and a EU citizen, you enter for free. There are 4 levels of museum and expositions (-1, 0, 1 and 2) and you will find here paintings, sculptures and objects both from our era and antiquities.
Spend some time before or after your visit to enjoy a walk in the inner courtyard. The pyramid is the main spot for taking pictures at Louvre. 

Ne-am inceput ziua in acest oras frumos cu o vizita la muzeul Louvre. Coada la bilete a durat cam 10 minute, dar a trebuit sa asteptam pentru controlul de securitate in jur de 40 de minute. Inainte de a va planifica vizita la muzeu, tineti minte ca muzeul este deschis in fiecare zi, mai putin martea, intre 9:00 si 18:00. Miercurea si vinerea, muzeul e deschis pana la 21:45. Daca aveti sub 26 de ani si sunteti cetatean UE, intrati gratis. Muzeul si expozitiile sunt asezate pe 4 etaje (-1, 0, 1 si 2) si veti gasi picturi, sculpturi si obiecte atat din era noastra, cat si din antichitate. 
Pastrati-va putin timp pentru o plimbare in curtea interioara. Piramida este unul din locurile unde toata lumea isi face poze la Louvre.


When the museum gets excessively crowded, know that you are close to two popular atractions at Louvre: the sculpture Winged Victory of Samothrace created in the 2nd century BC and Da Vinci's Gioconda or Mona Lisa. You can't possibly imagine how many people are almost running from all directions to see the famous painting Mona Lisa. You can't get very close to the painting because it is highly secured, but also because there's a big line to get in the front row to have a closer look and take some pictures.

Cand muzeul devine excesiv de aglomerat inseamna ca va aflati in apropierea a doua atractii populare din Louvre: sculptura Victoria din Samothrace creata in secolul 2 IC si Gioconda sau Mona Lisa a lui Da Vinci. Nu veti putea ajunge prea aproapte de pictura faimoasa deoarece este foarte securizata, dar si pentru ca este o coada imensa pentru a ajunge in primul rand sa o vedeti mai de aproape sau sa faceti niste poze. 
Winged Victory of Samothrace
Gioconda (Mona Lisa) - Leonardo da Vinci
 If you have good feet, I suggest that you go to the next landmarks on a walk instead of missing the whole beauty of the surrounding by taking the metro. It is also possible to visit the city by tour buses. Our next aim after visiting Louvre was the Champ-Elysees boulevard and the Arch of Triumph at the end of it. If you walk through the beautiful Tuileries gardens in straight line for about 2 km you get directly to the Champs-Elysees boulevard. Here you can go shopping or just window shopping in some of the most renowned shops, you can stop for a drink on one of the many terraces or simply enjoy the French atmosphere on the most popular street in France.

Daca aveti picioare bune, va sugerez sa mergeti la urmatoarele obiective pe jos in schimbul metroului, pentru ca astfel veti pierde toate frumusetile din jur. Orasul poate fi vizitat si cu autobuze ce fac turul Parisului. Urmatoarea noastra destinatie a fost bulevardul Champs-Elysees si Arcul de Triumf de la finalul acestuia. Daca mergeti prin gradinile Tuileries in linie dreapta aproximativ 2 km ajungeti direct pe Champs-Elysees. Aici puteti face cumparaturi sau doar sa admirati vitrinele unor magazine renumite, va puteti opri la una din multele terase sau puteti pur si simplu sa va bucurati de atmosfera franceza pe cea mai populara strada din Franta. 

At the end of this long boulevard you will find the Triumphal Arch, another spot for taking great pictures. You can go up and they say it has the second best view of the city after the Eiffel tower. They say that it is even more beautiful at night.

La sfarsitul acestui bulevard lung veti gasi Arcul de Triumf, alt loc pentru poze. Puteti ajunge si in varful acestuia, unde se spune ca veti gasi al doilea cel mai bun view al orasului dupa turnul Eiffel. Se spune ca noaptea este si mai frumos. 

Then we went back on the Champ-Elysees and deviated from the road to the right to find the Petit Palais and the Grand Palais, whcih are both art museums. We only saw them from outside, but the Petit Palais is free for everyone to enter.

Apoi am mers inapoi pe Champ-Elysees si am luat-o la dreapta spre le Petit Palais si le Grand Palais, amandoua muzee de arta. Le-am vazut doar de afara, dar le Petit Palais poate fi vizitat gratuit de toata lumea.

We continued our way to Bridge Alma (Pont de l'Alma), from where we started our cruise on the Seine. The one hour cruise is another option of seeing all the important spots from the outside. I will post some pictures with some of them below. 

 Ne-am continuat drumul spre podul Alma (Pont de l'Alma), de unde am inceput croaziera pe Sena. Dureaza o ora si este o alegere buna pentru a vedea cele mai importante atractii din exterior. O sa va las cateva poze mai jos.
Bridge Alexandre the third (Pont Alexandre-III)
Musee d'Orsay

Notre-Dame Cathedral
Eiffel Tower
 Then we went to see the Eiffel tower closer through the park Champ de Mars, one of the popular places for taking good pictures with the tower.

Apoi am mers sa vede turnul Eiffel de aproape prin parcul Champ de Mars, unul din cele mai populare locuri de facut poze cu turnul. 

If you decide to go to the top, there are some things you should know. You firstly have to wait in a line and buy tickes to get at the second floor and then you have to to this again to get to the top. You can get at the second floor both with an elevator or by climbing about 650 stairs. The line for the stairs was smaller and the ticket was cheaper, but we still had to wait for about 40 minutes.  At the second level, we waited for another 40 minutes in line for the elevator to the top. Ignoring the big lines, the view was mesmerizing and it was totally worth it. We caght a gorgeous sunset at the top and I think that the afternoon is the perfect time of the day you can go up in the Eiffel tower.

Daca decideti sa urcati, trebuie sa stiti cateva lucruri. Prima data asteptati la o coada pentru a lua bilete pentru etajul al doilea, iar acolo trebuie sa asteptati din nou la coada pentru a lua bilete spre varf. Puteti ajunge la etajul 2 si urcand cele aproximativ 650 de scari. Coada la scari era mai mica si biletul a fost mai ieftin, dar tot a trebui sa asteptam cam 40 de minute pentru liftul spre varf. Ignorand cozile mari, privelistea a fost fermecatoare si a meritat in totalitate. Am prins un apus superb in varf si cred ca dupamasa e momentul perfect al zilei in care sa urcati in turn.   
View from the different levels of the Eiffel tower

After coming down from the Eiffel tower, we had dinner on one of the terraces of the Port de Suffren. Sunset near the Seine is magnetizing.

Dupa ce am coborat din turn, am luat cina la una dintre terasele din Portul Suffren. Apusul langa Sena este magnetizant. 

Probably anyone will agree that Trocadero is the best place for taking pictures with the Eiffel tower. People come here in the evening to watch the tower sparkling for exactly 5 minutes, from 22:00 to 22:05. Also, the atmosphere at Trocadero is definitely genuine. There are people playing instruments and couples dancing on their music. Simply magical.

Probabil ca oricine va fi de acord ca Trocadero este cel mai bun loc pentru a face poze cu turnul Eiffel. Oamenii vin aici seara pentru a vedea turnul sclipind pentru exact 5 minute, intre 22:00 si 22:05. De asemenea, atmosfera la Trocadero este cu siguranta autentica. Sunt oameni care canta la instrumente si cupluri care danseaza pe muzica lor. Pur si simplu magic. 

DAY 2 - ZIUA 2

We started our day with the Basilica of the Sacred Heart (Sacre Coeur), located on the hill Montmartre. From here, you have a panoramic view of the city on sunny days. Unfortunately, it was raining when we got there so we didn't see much of the city. The basilica is open every day and you don't have to pay to enter it. However, you will have to pay 5 euro if you decide to go up in its tower.
After visiting it, stop in Place du Tertre, a square full of life where you can have a drink at a terrace  or get painted by one of the many street artists.

Ne-am inceput ziua cu Bazilica Sacre Coeur. situata pe colina Montmartre. De aici, aveti o vedere panoramica a orasului in zilele insorite. Din pacate, ploua cand am ajuns noi, deci nu am vazut prea bine orasul.  Bazilica e deschisa in fiecare zi si nu trebuie sa platiti pentru a intre, Totusi, va trebui sa platiti 5 euro daca veti dori sa urcati in turnul ei. 
Dupa ce o vizitati, opriti-va in Place du Tertre, o piata plina de viata unde va puteti opri pentru o bautura sau puteti fi pictati de unul din artistii de pe strada.

On the way down back to the city, you will find the famous Moulin Rouge. Take some time to admire the beautiful neighbourhood of Montmartre, authentically French. You will find here a lot of beautifully coloured buildings, plenty of alluring confectioneries, fish shops, cheese shops and almost any kind of shop you can imagine. 

Pe drumul inapoi spre oras, veti gasi faimosul Moulin Rouge. Admirati frumusetea cartierului Montmartre, autentic francez. Aici veti gasi cladiri frumos colorate, cofetarii ademenitoare, magaizine pescaresti, magazine cu bramzeturi si aproape orice alt tip de magazin la care va puteti gandi. 

At the hill base is the Moulin Rouge, a cabaret dating from 1889. There are three shows every night and prices start from 77 euro.

La baza colinei sta Moulin Rouge, un cabaret ce dateaza din anul 1889. Sunt spectacole in fiecare seara si preturile incep de la 77 euro.

Then we went to the Notre-Dame Cathedral, situated on Île de la Cité and where you can get by metro or crossing the bridges to the island. This cathedral is fascinatingly tall and remarkable from any other Gothic cathedrals I've seen. The very dark interiour creates a solemn atmosphere.There is only a little light that gets in through the coloured stained glass. Everything is breathtaking. This cathedral is undoubtely one of the symbols of the city.

Apoi am mers la Catedrala Notre-Dame, situata pe  Île de la Cité, unde puteti ajunge cu metroul sau traversant unul din podurile ce duc spre insula. Aceasta catedrala este fascinant de inalta si se remarca de orice alta catedrala gotica pe care am mai vazut-o. Interiorul foarte intunecat creeaza o atmosfera solemna. Putina lumina intra doar prin vitraliile colorate. Totul aici iti taie respiratia. Aceasta catedrala este fara doar si poate unul dintre simbolurile orasului.
Wooden representation of Notre-Dame from Paris which is found inside the cathedral
 In the evening, we went back to the Eiffel tower to catch one last glance at the symbol of Paris.
Would I go back? Yes, anytime! Was all the agglomeration worth it? For sure, I wouldn't change a thing!

Seara am mers inapoi la turnul Eiffel pentru a-l admira pentru ultima data. Daca as merge inapoi? Da, oricand! A meritat toata aglomeratia? Cu siguranta, nu as schimba nimic!

If you'd like to see the manicure I wore in my trip to Paris, click here. I posted more about it on my other blog - Konad Addict.

Daca doriti sa vedeti manichiura mea din timpul excursiei la Paris, dati click aici. Am postat mai multe despre ea pe celalalt blog al meu - Konad Addict.