Alone in a foreign land

Been a long time since I last blogged. Contemplating to write my personal blog entries in this blog too instead of just writing travel entries here. Shall try writing about life objectively instead of just rambling negatively.

My brother just flew over to Shanghai yesterday morning for a semester of exchange programme at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Lucky him. I didn’t even get to send him off at the departure hall. No updates from him yet, which I have no right to complain. Just like the way i always travel overseas without even bothering to call my loved ones back at home. Guess we all just want to be free when we are overseas.

Come to think of it, why didn’t I go for an exchange programme when I was in university? It would have been such a memorable highlight of my university life. My friends happily went for theirs in North Carolina while I immediately shunned the idea after considering the huge sum of money needed even if it is just for a semester. Didn’t think my parents could afford it then, since we had already got a study loan just to pay my university fees.

Anyway, I’m just wondering when I will have the courage to travel alone in a foreign land. First got inspired after watching the Korean drama “Scent of a Woman” whereby the female lead character discovered that she had cancer and could only lived for another six months at most. Thus, she decided to just go ahead to spend all her money that she had painstakingly saved and flew alone to her dream destination, Okinawa, Japan for a luxury vacation. Will I even survive on my own for a short trip? Or will I be too bored on my own? Think I will still prefer to travel with my friends who never fail to make my travel adventures fun and interesting.

My next overseas trip should be to Shanghai during my June holidays with my mum to visit my brother. It’s still too early to start planning for it but never too early to start counting down to my June holidays. Just a few months to go. 😀

Not just any tower

Had been dreaming to go to visit this landmark one day ever since I was awestruck by my schoolmate, M’s boyfriend’s romantic proposal at this place ,which was shown on video years ago. Finally, my lovely dream was fulfilled in December 2010.

On the way to the Eiffel Tower. A beautiful walk down the streets of Paris where I walked slower than usual just to admire the lovely surroundings around me.

My first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. I can still recall the sheer excitement within me upon recognising the majestic tower that was slowly appearing clearly before me. Wow! 😀

A close up photo of the famous Eiffel Tower standing proudly in Paris for the past 122 years.

We had to buy tickets to take the lift up the tower and to our horror, the queue was extremely long. It didn’t help when it was freezing cold. The wind was extremely strong. We were shivering in the cold and fervently hoping that we could get the tickets quickly. Even buying some hot drinks and food from the nearby stall didn’t help at all. I think we queued for an hour or more. Meanwhile, the only thing that made us laugh were the police suddenly coming to chase away the large group of people who gathered at the bottom of the Eiffel Tower selling the souvenirs and how quickly they all dispersed to hide from the police. Actually there were already some sellers along the streets who were eagerly selling their souvenirs to the tourists even before we had reached Eiffel Tower.  Within minutes, they happily returned and began their illegal business all over again.

Up, up and up we went! So lucky to stand at the side of the elevator where we could admire the city as the lift ascended. The Eiffel Tower is about 81 storeys high and thank goodness they build an elevator to bring us to the second and third level of the tower. Yay!

At the second level of the Eiffel Tower. Behold the gorgeous view of the city below us. 🙂

Another view of the city at the 2nd level of the Eiffel Tower. Think that's the Seine River if I'm not wrong.

Ready to go all the way up to the 3rd level. Had to squeeze into the crowded elevator again.

Finally at the 3rd level of the Eiffel Tower. You can see the lovely Jardins du Trocadero and Palais de Chaillot.

Love how the streets in Paris intersect nicely as shown in this photo from the top. Brrrr. It got so cold as the net hardly sheltered us from the strong wind that we had no choice but to walk one round and quickly admire the panoramic view of Paris before going down again. Very memorable visit indeed.

The cruise along River Seine that we didn't get the chance to take.

Just as we thought we would say goodbye to the Eiffel Tower and move on to another place to have our lunch...

Love's all around in Paris. A romantic place indeed.

For those who have a dilemma deciding whether to visit the Eiffel Tower in the day or night, I would suggest going there around noon and then going for lunch in one of the nearby restaurants after the visit. As the day was short and passed by very quickly during winter, we walked around after lunch and to our surprise, we actually got to see the Eiffel Tower in the evening again. How mesmerising!

Eiffel Tower in the evening. We couldn't believe our eyes when we saw it. How lucky! 😀

There you see it up close. The Eiffel Tower shining and exuding its alluring charm in the evening. Lovely!