Last day in Paris

After amazing day 1 & 2 in Paris, we were getting use to the things here like travel, food, walking etc.

Day 3 starts with visit to Notre Dame roof. We missed our timeslot due to the huge line to enter the cathedral and confusion, assuming the entry to roof will be from inside. But it was from outside.

Notre dame
View of Paris from top of Notre Dame

After we missed our first slot (check detail here) we booked it for the next day and made sure this time we are on time else our 10 ticket will be waste. We checked with the Paris tourism office from where we got the ticket that if we can exchange it with some other place, but they refused.

Notre Dame, Paris
One of the tower of Notre Dame view from the top

After seeing the city from Eiffel tower, you won’t be able to justify the view from here, it’s beautiful but can’t be compared to Eiffel. So, our conclusion is you can exclude this from your list, and you can invest the money purchasing ticket of someplace else or eating something good or enjoying French wine 😊.

Notre Dame, Paris
Mommy Baby enjoying there time

There are lot of stairs to climb and the space is very little. The stairs are in spiral shape and quite steep. After climbing all the stairs, we were feeling so hot that we had to remove our jackets. It windy on top.

Notre Dame, Paris
One of the bells of Note Dame

There are multiple levels here like Eiffel but in this case it’s only 2, Eiffel has 3. One can spend limited time on the roof as there are fixed number of people per slot and there are continues slots. So, they even ask you to hurry up and start your decent.

You will climb through the left tower (if you are facing the cathedral) and come down through right one.

View from Notre Dame, Paris
Beautiful sky & Eiffel at the back

After this we went to see one of the most beautiful Opera house in the world – Palais Garnier.

If you want to walk, then it’s around 3 Km from Notre Dame else you can take a metro station name is Opera.

Opera Garnier, Paris
Front Side of Opera, there are lot of sculptures made on this side

We were very exited to visit this place as we have heard a lot from our friends and family who have visited it. But our bad luck it was already closed for the day.

As it’s a working Opera so continues shows keep happening here. Before planning your visit here do check the schedule on their web site.

So, we just took some pics from the outside and left for lunch. We went to some falafel place which was suggested by one my husbands’ friend. And trust me it was simply amazing.

The falafel was so amazing and tasty and fulfilling. It’s a take away place and there is line in front to place order.

There staff will be on the street to help you decide with your order. It’s located on a small street with very less traffic.

Seine River, Paris
Climbing Back…

Then we just relaxed a bit strolling on the banks of Seine river. It was amazing, cold breeze, calm.

After some relaxation we wen to place which is one of the most famous and important thing to do in Paris. This place is even featured in some movies i.e.  Louvre Museum.

Louvre Museum, Paris
One of the part of Louvre after closing

This museum is one of the biggest and will take a lot of time and walking to explore. It’s located in Louvre Palace and the famous glass pyramid is right in the centre of the palace ground. This place contains antiques from all over the world and one of the most famous possession of this place is – Mona Lisa.

Louvre Museum, Paris
Famous Glass Pyramid

Ticket price starts from €15 and then we have skip the line, guided tours, audio guide tour. So, decide carefully which one you want.

Louvre Museum, Paris
Enjoying my time

It has all sorts of things in the display like art, paintings, sculptures, prints & drawings. If one has interest in museums & history then this place is like temple for them. So much of history and beauty to admire.

Louvre Museum, Paris
Louvre Palace

As this place took a lot of time, rest of the evening we spent just strolling on the banks of Seine, it’s nice just to walk on the banks, it’s in the middle of the city but still quiet.

This ends out 3rd day in Paris. Paris has a lot to see and one would at least need a weeks’ time to visit Paris alone. It should not be like this is on your bucket list, so you planned and spent just 1-2 nights and visit 2-3 places in a hurry.

We stayed here for 4 days and still it was not enough.On our final day we really want to see Opera, this was one of the top priorities. We have already checked the visiting hours on their web site.

As usual there are different kinds of tickets available starting from €12 which is an independent visit ticket. You can check the prices here, this is from where we bought ours.

Stroller can be taken inside, but you need to leave it just before you enter the main area as there are a lot of stairs. So, better take Baby carrier also with you if you have small kids.

Paris
Random Click

This place is mesmerizing. It’s beautiful, you will be lost in its beauty. It is beautiful inside out. There are many sculptures on the out side on the Principle Facade.

One of the ramp through which King use to come

There are 2 pavillon one is on west side which has 2 ramps and it was the entrance for the king, now a day this is used to enter visitors. Second one is on the east side that was designed for rest of the public.

The interior has many corridors, stairwells and huge place for people to socialize. 3 main things to see inside –

  1. Grand Staircase
  2. Grand Foyer
  3. Auditorium
Opera Garnier, Paris
Stairs towards Grand Stairs
Grand Staircase Opera Garnier, Paris
Grand Staircase

Grand Staircase – as the name say these are grand, white marble staircase which divides into 2 & leads to the Grand Foyer. These staircase is decorated with female sculpture holding torches. Hence sudden royal feeling will come when you climb these staircase 😊.

Opera Garnier, Paris
Opera
Inside Grand Foyer

 Grand Foyer – this is a long hall with very high ceiling. This is 154 mtr long, 18 mtr high and 13 mtr wide.

Grand Foyer,Opera Garnier, Paris
Beautiful ceiling of Grand Foyer

The ceiling is painted and represent various historic moments in the field of music.

Amazing Art work

This place was used to socialize and enjoy some drinks.

Opera, Paris
Hall ceiling

Both the ends of the Foyer have halls with beautiful painted ceilings.

Auditorium, Opera Garnier, Paris
Main Auditorium

Auditorium – this is traditional horseshoe shape sitting with a capacity of nearly 2000 people.

Auditorium Opera Garnier, Paris
Beautiful Ceiling of Auditorium

The stage is largest in Europe. The main ceiling area which surrounds the chandelier is beautifully painted & it depicts scenes from opera of 14 different composers.

Mirror..Mirror on the wall…

The min chandelier was designed by Garnier him self and is very heavy and made from bronze and crystal.

Such a big seat to watch the show

Grand Vestibule, this is from where you will exit, it contains the statues of four composers: Rameau, Lulli, Gluck and Haendel.

Grand Vestibule Opera Garnier, Paris
Grand Vestibule

There is a small museum inside which displays stage sets, photographs, drawings & paintings. Besides that there is a library with huge number of books.

One of the beautiful hall

After spending some quality time, we went out had our lunch and then headed to Luxembourg Garden.

This was our final stop in Paris as after this we had to catch train to Italy😊

Luxembourg Garden, Paris
Our doll enjoying some time before the rain

Luxembourg Garden is huge spread in more than 20 hectares. It was constructed in 1612. The beautiful gardens are the part of Palace – Luxembourg Palace which is now owned by French Senate. Gardens are known for its lawns, flowerbeds & fountains.

Luxembourg Garden, Paris
She really enjoyed..

Again, it was our bad luck as soon as we reach and decided to relax for a bit it started to rain. We thought it will stop in some time and waited for it to stop under a shed, but it didn’t and finally we decided to leave as we have a train to catch.

This place has covered sitting area, metal chairs in front of the palace near to the pond. What ever time we spent here it was good and relaxing. You can spend some quality time with friends and family here.

Information about Paris Pass

Paris Pass, it’s a card where you pay one time and it gives you access to certain number of attractions as per the pass. You can buy pass starting from 2 days to 6 days.

This Pass includes travel card with which you can travel unlimited times in central Paris in metro, RER, bus and is valid as per your pass validity.

As per me it is useful and cost effective for those who want to cover maximum in the given period. We didn’t want to rush things get most out of the Pass.

There is a lot more to see like – Palace of Versailles which will take one full day, Disney Land again will take one full day, Montmartre to name which are not to be missed and many more museums if you are a museum fan.

Paris to Milan Bus
Good Bye Paris, beautiful final evening Of Paris

Our Paris trip ends with a twist which is related to our journey to Florence, Italy which I’ll tell in my next blog so stay tuned for it.

Coorg – Scotland Of India

Coorg is also known as Scotland of India due to its vast natural beauty, hills and cold climate.

Coorg was on our travel list from long time the time, the time when we came to know about Orange County Coorg, I remember it was in 2013.

After we move to Bangalore it was our top most priority to visit Coorg but again delayed as I was pregnant 😊. So, after delivery and baby is big enough to travel long distances & buying our first car it was time to visit Coorg.

Done some research online, trying to find some nice home stays and luckily, we found one in our budget on MMT(MakeMyTrip). It was Silver Brooks Estate; this home stay is run by a couple Revathi & Yogesh. Yogesh was in hospitality business for long, so these guys knows what all things are required and how to manage and maintain a property effectively.

Route we took was – via Mysore highway till a round about from where we need to take exit on KSR Road then Belagola – Yelwala – Mallinathpura – Hunsur – then on Mysure – Medikeri Road till Kushalnagar. Continue on same road via Suntikoppa – Kedakal – Boikeri.

Bangalore Coorg

It was around 250 Km from our home and took us 5.30 – 6 hours with 2 stops. Our first stop was at Kamat Lokaruchi – Ramanagara, it’s around 50-55 Km 1 hour drive, nice clean toilets and very good food.

Kamat Lokaruchi
Kamat Lokaruchi

Kamat Lokaruchi
Food, first time saw idly made inside leaf

Parking is on the road side. Second stop was Café County which is around 125 km from Kamat Lokaruchi and 70-75 Km from out stay. It’s café cum restaurant here you have snacks coffee or full lunch/dinner as per the time.

Service and cleanliness is not good, less staff and until you call them they won’t bother to come to your table, so better find some other place if you want a second stop.

We had one of the cakes with coffee (don’t remember the name) but it was delicious. Small but clean toilets 2 type of sitting options i.e. inside and outside.Other than these 2 stops we stopped at 2 attractions before Coorg.

    1. Namdroling Monastery:

Namdroling Monastery is center of Tibetan Buddhism, it’s very calm and peace full place. There is a parking facility outside the monastery behind the shopping complex. Entry is free, there is large beautiful Buddha temple in the center of the complex. It is surrounded by beautiful gardens. 

Namdroling Monastery
Main temple top

Namdroling Monastery
Inside the temple

2. Nisargadhama:

Nisargadhama is an island formed by river Kaveri. This place is situated near Kushalnagar. There is ticket to enter the island, you have to cross an hanging bridge built over Kaveri.

Nisargadhama
Kaveri and view of old bridge from new one

Nisargadhama
Sitting place inside bamboo forest

The island has lots of bamboo trees and some activities like zip line, place to sit, small tree house kind of. The place is not maintained very well. There is boating facility as well but when we went the current in Kaveri was strong due to which boating was suspended for some time.

Nisargadhama
Art on wood log

There are lots of shops here, all kind of shops like Gov. Silk shop, food shops, toys etc. The main entrance is little hard to find as it’s a small way b/w the shops which leads to the place to buy ticket.

After all the stops and soaking all the natural beauty on the way we reach out home stay Silver Brooks. Believe me it was amazing, exactly what was shown in the pics and the hospitality was just great. Revathi guided us very well and was available all the time for help.

Silver Brooks
Porch

The house is created from scratch inside their estate, look and feel was of old housed. Revathi informed us that they have used reused the old materials like the pillars, doors, swing, chairs. Means they bought the things from some old home and restored it to give more traditional and old age feeling.

Silver Brooks
Room

This home stay has 5 rooms I think 2 in the main building 1 on the right side which has its own private entrance and site out area, room is also little big and 2 at the start near the parking which are smaller than the other 3.

Silver Brooks
Bonfire area and main building

Cost of room includes B/F and dinner which is home made by 2 talented cooks. Food was delicious, it was a buffet with authentic flavors. There is an open kitchen which means guests have access and can cook their food or snack.

Silver Brooks
Dinning area with small library

It’s kids friendly place even for infants, the cooks cooked special food for our daughter, the staff is very friendly and help full.

For more detailed review please check my TripAdvisor.

Silver Brooks
Enjoying on swing

We stayed for 2N/3D and felt that we could have stayed one more day. Most of the time we have spent in home stay relaxing, interacting with other guests. But we also went for some sightseeing to the places like Abbey falls, Raja’s seat & Madikeri Fort.

Coorg
On the way to some place

Abbey Falls:

Is around 14 km from the home stay and you have to pass the Madikeri city, but don’t worry there is not much of traffic like what we have in Bangalore 😉. Route is beautiful as it’s a ghat/mountain road 2 lane.

Abbey Falls
Abbey Falls

There is a parking little ahead of the main entrance to the falls. There is toilet facility as well in the parking area. To reach to the main falls you have to decent some steps and slope.

Abbey falls
Way to area close to falls

The area in front of falls is quite small and in tourist season when the falls are at there peak it will be difficult to find a spot to click some good pics. Spent less time there as it was over crowded, took few pics and came back.

One main issue there is due to some stupid people which park their cars on the road side which leads to traffic jam, so be prepare for that.

Madikeri Fort:

It is around 8 Km from home stay and it is near to Raja’s seat. So, you can cover both the place in one go. You can either park your car in the parking area in front of Raja’s seat or inside fort and walk to one of the places. Distance b/w these places is around 1 Km.

Madikeri Fort
Way to fort

Fort is old and now kind of Gov. office, there is one small museum inside the fort on the right side just after entering the fort. One can stroll on the fort walls, but there is nothing much to do here.

Madikeri Fort
Inside Fort near Museum

This place lacks proper sign boar, or any kind of guide like some printed material or some guided tour. Due to these reasons it’s very less time consuming.

Raja’s Seat:

Is a kind of valley view point or sunset point.

Raja's Seat
Fun time at Raja’s Seat

Raja's Seat
Garden in Raja’s Seat

Kings of Kodagu use to sit here to relax and watch the mesmerizing sunset with beautiful valley view that’s why it is called as Raja’s seat. It has beautiful garden at the start with fountains. Safety measures are good with railing on stairs and on the edges.

Raja's Seat
Valley view from Raja’s Seat

There is bon fire facility available in the home stay but went there in after rainy season, but it still rained so couldn’t do it.

To shop from Coorg is special Coorg wine, which comes in different flavors like ginger, chilly, mixed fruit, dates and many more, price range from Rs 500-1000 also spices. There is one government shop on the road which leads to Raja’s seat.

On the way back to Bangalore

We really enjoyed our stay in Silver Brooks and Coorg tourist spots and the long drive from Bangalore.

Visit Month – August

Note - All pics are from our trip and clicked by us.

Drive-in Beach Kannur

Kannur has one of the most beautiful beaches we have visited till date. It’s also known as ‘Crown of Kerala’ due to various reason and its geographic location.

After we bought our first car it was my husbands wish to drive the car on a beach and splash the sea water while driving through the waves (just like what we use to see in movies). So, while planning our holiday he came across Kannur and immediately it was his first preference to visit this place.

Drive in beach Kannur
Drive in Beach

After doing some research for route & stay, we finalized one home stay through Airbnb. Our home stay was located right on the beach, well not exactly right on the beach but stone throw distance.

It was around 310 Km from our home, we started early but not that early around 5.30 AM. With kid it’s hard to leave very early, you keep thinking if you have kept all the required things for your kid or not till you sit in the car and leave.

What we have started doing is we pack all the luggage a night before and arrange it in the car, only thing we leave for the morning is the food item and ourselves 😉.

This leads to less hassle in the morning to arrange the stuff, less sweating which leads to fresh mind and body to start the long drive. We took 2 stops one for B/F and another a loo/tea break, also it helps in relaxing the legs which is required if only one person is there to drive.

Coorg Gate Karnataka
Coorg Gate, stop just before entering Kerala

The route was quite straight forward till we reach Kerala, then some ghat section comes through the beautiful jungle. Our second stop was just before the ghat/jungle section at Coorg gate, that’s the only restaurant on the right side. It has ample of parking, nice clean toilets (w/o health faucet).

The route we took was –

Mysore highway till Krishnarajasagara road, then from there Bilikere – Hunsur – Gonikoppal – Vayathur – Iritty – Mattanur – Kannur

Bangalore Kannur
Route we followed

Most of the road is in good shape till we reach kannur but just before kannur there is road and new airport construction going on so there are some diversions, mud road etc. otherwise no issue at all.

Kannur
Beautiful scenery on the way

With all the stops and road condition it took us 7-7.30 hours to reach our home stay, by lunch we were at our home stay.

We booked Ivorycoast’e home stay through Airbnb and believe me it was simply awesome experience with our host. Our host is simple, humble, polite and friendly guy who will help you in every manner.

Ivorycoast'e Kannur
Balcony of our room

They serve fresh, homemade Kerala style food at very reasonable rates. We didn’t go anywhere else for any of our meal. If we are out somewhere then we finish that site and came back to have the lunch and then after some rest head back to another place.

Ivorycoast'e Kannur
Backyard of Home stay

Another benefit of our home stay is distances from the places to visit, it was like in the middle of Muzhappilangad Beach and Kannur Light house & St. Angelo’s fort. Ivorycoast’e has 6 rooms, 3 on ground and 3 on first with porch, balcony, garden area with table chairs kept.

(For more detailed review of the property visit my TripAdvisor)

Here you have your B/F, Lunch/Dinner served which you can enjoy with cold breeze coming from the sea and magical sound of sea waves.

Ivorycoast'e Kannur
Relaxing under palm tree

Thottada Beach is just 50 mtr away from the Ivorycoast’e, it’s beautiful, clean, calm beach. It’s located behind the residential area so not many people come here. In the morning we saw only 4-5 people doing there morning walk or exercise. You can easily enjoy your time with family and loved one’s w/o worrying about any kind of disturbance.

Ivorycoast'e Kannur
Thottada Beach near Home stay

Ivorycoast’e is mostly popular with foreigners which come here to relax for 10-15 days and explore the local culture. When we were there Theyyam festival was being celebrated in a near by temple. Our host was kind enough to take us to witness the festival.

Theyyam
Theyyam celebration

Believe me it was amazing experience.

Theyyam
Theyyam celebration at near by temple

Other than relaxing at our home stay we have visited Kannur light house, and St. Angelo’s fort and the most important place for which my husband had planned the holiday i.e. Muzhappilangad Drive in beach.

Muzhappilangad Drive in beach is one of the largest in Asia. There is entry fee of I think Rs 30, it’s around 5 Km in length so you have enough space to drive your car or find some place away from crowd. The beach is very clean, its awesome experience driving your car on the beach (as per my husband 😊).

Muzhappilangad Kannur
Beautiful sunset

We have visited in the evening to witness sun set and it was amazing experience. It was special as it was my daughters first beach holiday. She was initially afraid of water as it was too much of water coming and going also it was her first time on beach. After some time, she was enjoying her time playing with sand.

Muzhappilangad Kannur
She enjoyed her first sea & sand experience

There is one thing one must be cautious about i.e. washing the under body after driving the car in sea water.

Second day of our visit we went to see Kannur light house and St. Angelo’s fort. There is also a museum below the light house which has a collection of different types of lights used in different types of light house etc. there is ticket to enter the light house and museum which is reasonably priced.

Kannur Light house
View from top of the light house

The view from the top is quite magnificent you can see sea at one end and greenery at other. Even in sunny day it was very pleasant on the top due to cold breeze. There is separate ticket to go to the front of the compound sort of walking space with garden at one end, it’s good for morning/evening walk beside the sea. Parking is available on the premises which is free.

Kannur Light house
Enjoying with some photo session 🙂

Timings are – 10 to 6

Kannur light house
Spiral staircase to the top

There is documentary played inside the museum, in local language and English which gives more information about the history of light house and types of light houses.

Kannur light house
Huge retired Light used in one of the light house Kept inside museum

For St. Angelo’s we have to first pay the entry fee as it is located in cantonment area, then there is parking that one has to pay. Entry is free. It’s a Portuguese fort built in 1505.

St. Angelo's Fort Kannur
View of Arabian sea from fort

There is ample space inside the fort and has a cliff like end of the fort. There are watch towers on the walls and a chapel in the premises.

St. Angelo's Fort Kannur
Inside the fort

From one the walls of the fort we can see the port where the fisherman park their boats. Fort has some beautiful trees inside it’s an ideal place to relax, watch sunset and enjoy the breeze. School children comes here for picnic or visit to learn more about history.

St. Angelo's Fort Kannur
Inside Fort

We have really enjoyed out stay here, it was amazing experience in the home stay with amazing homemade Kerala style food and in the town with amazing long drive from Bangalore.

Visit Month – January

Note - All pics are from our trip and clicked by us.