Trip to Europe

In February, Joanne and I went to Europe! We went to Paris, Nice, Florence, and Milan.

Night Duomo
FIGURE 1 The quintessential view of the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, my favourite photo of the trip.

1 Friday, 2023-02-10: arrival in Paris

Upon arriving at Orly airport, we checked into the Victoria Palace Hotel.

Hotel view
FIGURE 2 View from the hotel balcony.
Rue de Rennes
FIGURE 3 The bustling Rue de Rennes in the evening.
Brasserie L'Horizon
FIGURE 4 The Brasserie L’Horizon lit up at night was quite nice.

Then we had dinner at L’Escargot Montorgueil. The food was alright.

2 Saturday, 2023-02-11

We went on a walk and then to the Louvre!

2.1 The morning walk

The Felix-Potin building
FIGURE 5 Right outside our hotel is the Felix-Potin building which looks quite cool. The Tour Montparnasse is in the background.
The Hotel Lutetia
FIGURE 6 The Hotel Lutetia.
The Orsay
FIGURE 7 The main entrance and ticket booth of the Musée d’Orsay. We would be going inside the museum several days later, but not now!

2.2 The Louvre

In general, I don’t take pictures of artworks because:

The Mona Lisa room
FIGURE 8 Well here is the obligatory picture of the Mona Lisa.
View of the pyramid
FIGURE 9 View of the pyramid under very terrible lighting conditions.
Statues room
FIGURE 10 The room of statues is really nice.

After that, we had dinner at the Michelin-starred Accents Table Bourse!

3 Sunday, 2023-02-12

We originally planned to go to the Musée d’Orsay on this day but it was closed for some reason. Don’t worry, our tickets were refunded. Instead, we ended up walking around Le Marais.

Cafe Blanchet
FIGURE 11 The very floral Café Blanchet.
FIGURE 12 A Fiat 500 on display outside the trendy design boutique Merci.
FIGURE 13 The diminutive Cordonnerie.

4 Monday, 2023-02-13

4.1 Montmartre

In the morning we went to Montmartre. We took the funicular rail thing up and then walked down. We didn’t go inside the Basilica Sacre Coeur but it looked quite nice outside.

Rue des Martyrs
FIGURE 14 The narrow Rue des Martyrs.
Vigipirate Land Rover
FIGURE 15 The Vigipirates help keep the tourist attractions safe. This Land Rover was parked next to the Sacre Coeur.
View from the hill
FIGURE 16 From the hill it was evident that the air quality was not too great.
View from the hill
FIGURE 17 Another smoggy cityscape.

4.2 Sightseeing in the city

For lunch we went to the Michelin-starred Restaurant Auguste. I thought it was very delicious but Joanne was a bit sick and couldn’t taste anything.

The Orsay from across the Seine
FIGURE 18 The Orsay again, but viewed from across the Seine. It used to be a train station.
Eiffel Tower
FIGURE 19 The Eiffel Tower is but a pale silhouette due to the air quality.
Arc de Triomphe
FIGURE 20 The Arc de Triomphe was partially occluded by all the bagnoles rolling around the city.

In the evening I took a boat ride on the Seine.

Passy metro
FIGURE 21 There were many sights to be seen on the boat ride but this shot of the Métro heading towards Passy station was my favourite.

For dinner we went to the Michelin-starred Jacques Faussat.

5 Tuesday, 2023-02-14: travelling to Nice

We took a TGV to Nice, and then checked into Le Riviera Collection hotel which is relatively cheap.

5.1 The train ride

TGV inOui
Some houses during the train ride
FIGURE 23 Some houses during the train ride. I wonder how much power those solar panels can generate? Pretty interesting to see a rhumerie there too. I wonder if their rum is any good.
View from the train
FIGURE 24 View of a highway viaduct and some distant mountains.

5.2 Walking to the beach

Nice-Ville Gare
FIGURE 25 The Nice-Ville station looks really cool. It’s really old or something.
A building in Nice
FIGURE 26 The pedestrian streets are very lively and pleasant.
An entertainer at the Opera
FIGURE 27 An entertainer across from the Theatre de l’Opera.
Quai des etats-unis
FIGURE 28 The Quai des États-Unis.

We looked at the sunset (not pictured) which was very nice.

5.3 Old Nice

Place Rosetti
FIGURE 29 The Place Rosetti at night.
Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate de Nice
FIGURE 30 The Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate de Nice.

For dinner we had some really delicious Peruvian food at Yose.

6 Wednesday, 2023-02-15: a Nice hill

On this day we went to the Cathédrale Saint-Nicolas de Nice and then climbed the hill, the Colline du Château.

View from the hotel
FIGURE 31 View from the hotel.
View from the hill
FIGURE 32 The Port de Nice Lympia viewed from the hill.
View from the hill
FIGURE 33 And here it is, the beach!
Old Nice
FIGURE 34 We explored Old Nice further because it is just so nice.

6.1 Travelling to Florence

We took the train to Florence. Well, we’ve got to maximize usage of the EU Rail Pass, right? But there was no direct high speed rail so we had to take several slow trains before gtting on the Frecciarossa.

En Voyage
FIGURE 35 I didn’t take this train but it looks very cool.
View from the train
FIGURE 36 View from the train.
View from the train
FIGURE 37 View from the train.

At night we checked into the Casa Howard Firenze - Residenza d’Epoca.

7 Thursday, 2023-02-16: Florence

In the morning we walked around the city, checked out the Duomo, ate some steak, and did some shopping. Too bad it was overcast so it didn’t make for any good photos.

In the afternoon we went to the Uffizi museum. I had never known there were so many ways to paint baby Jesus and it was really eye opening.

Uffizi museum
FIGURE 38 Uffizi museum.
FIGURE 39 Renaissance-era structures are now used to sell cheap trinkets to tourists.

In the evening we climbed the dome of the cathedral. It was quite a workout but the view was amazing.

View from the dome
FIGURE 40 View from the dome!

8 Friday, 2023-02-17

Ponte Vecchio
FIGURE 41 The Ponte Vecchio on a misty morning.
River arno bank
FIGURE 42 Some houses along the River Arno.

We climbed up the bell tower, the Campanile di Giotto! In my opinion, a better view than from the dome.

Basilica di Santa Croce di Firenze
FIGURE 43 The Basilica di Santa Croce di Firenze as seen from the bell tower.

8.1 The Piazzale Michelangelo

Ponte Vecchio
FIGURE 44 The Ponte Vecchio as seen from the Piazzale Michelangelo.
Dusk Duomo
FIGURE 45 The quintessential view of the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore.
Night Duomo
FIGURE 46 The quintessential view of the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore.

Right after taking those pictures I dropped my NISI Natural Night filter on the ground and it smashed into millions of pieces. Oh well.

For dinner we had a delicious Florentine Bistecca at L’Ortone.

9 Saturday, 2023-02-18: travelling to Milan

On this day we travelled from Florence to Milan by train. Unfortunately we were sick so we just slept once we got there.

Milano Centrale
FIGURE 47 The Milano Centrale train station is very beautiful but due to being sick I couldn’t take a photo with my real camera.

10 Sunday, 2023-02-19: Milan sightseeing

Galleria Vitorrio Emanuele II
FIGURE 48 Entrance of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.
Duomo di Milano
FIGURE 49 Obligatory Duomo di Milano. Unfortunately we didn’t get to go inside, and it was rather overcast anyway.
Galleria Vitorrio Emanuele II
FIGURE 50 Interior of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Apparently, the staff in the Louis Vuitton store were very rude.
Arco della Pace
FIGURE 51 Acro della Pace. Somewhat smaller than the Arc de Triomphe but less crowded and fewer cars.
Bosco Verticale
FIGURE 52 The Bosco Verticale. Look closely and you’ll see some cherry blossoms but it is rather barren otherwise due to the time of year.

11 Monday, 2023-02-20: Back to Paris

First we bought some Chinese food. Who knew there was so much delicious Chinese food in Milan?

FIGURE 53 Tram
FIGURE 54 Tram
TGV Sud-Est
FIGURE 55 Here is the TGV Sud-Est that we took back to Paris. A little dilapidated but still very fast.

Then we checked into the Hotel Parisianer which is very close to the train station.

12 Tuesday, 2023-02-21

A mall
FIGURE 56 A random mall.
Intersection of Rue Reaumur and Rue de Ciery
FIGURE 57 Intersection of Rue Réaumur and Rue de Cléry.

We finally went to the Orsay. It was amazing! However, the huge crowds of people in front of the Van Gogh self-portrait was a bit annoying. Overall just a little bit too crowded.

FIGURE 58 Orsay.

13 Wednesday, 2023-02-22

In the morning I took some line scan pictures of trains while Joanne went shopping, then we had lunch at EnYaa, then we went home!

Japanese food
FIGURE 59 Japanese food to wrap it up.