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11th day of #KimGarethEurotrip

This was taken at our hotel balcony in Dijon.

# – Holding on to dear life.
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One piece dress from Sally Fashion. Scarf from don’t know where. Shoes from Onitsuka Tiger. Sunglasses from Bazzarro.

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We woke expecting to eat awesome food in Dijon. All the things we had read about Dijon was that it’s quite hard to eat bad food there. There’re over 20 Michelin-starred restaurants so no surprise there.

We had decided to eat at a 2-star Michelin restaurant by Chef William Fachot, located inside Hotel Chapeau Rouge. However, as it turned out, on the day we went, it was the last day of their holiday. And we were not staying another night just to eat there :(

# – Chapeau Rouge.
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# – What could have been!
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With our goal restaurant closed, off we wandered. Found a restaurant reasonably busy. It’s called Au Moulin Au Vent.

It has an attractive Bourguignon menu of the day, so we thought why not? We should eat burgundy food in Dijon.

# – Poached eggs in a bouiguignon sauce was mindblowingly good while the ham terrine was okay.

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Our mains were also okay only…

# – Me and beef bourguignon.
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# – Hubs and coq au vin.
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Desserts were so much better….

# – Raspberry & lemon sorbet with macarons.
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# – Tiramisu.
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So plans for fine dining out of the window.

Then, we bought loads of Dijon mustards. Haha.

# – Never seen so many variety of mustards in my life.
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After lunch and shopping, we made our way to Paris, a 2.5 hours drive away. We are staying in the Chaville area which is between Paris and Versailles.

For dinner, we decided to try Chartier in central Paris, a restaurant rated highly for its atmosphere, good but cheap food. The restaurant is more than a 100 years old and has been serving the same food for over 40 years, canteen style.

We were very excited. Reached there to find a queue extended all the way to the street.

# – Queuing up.
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# – Getting nearer…
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After about 30 minutes we were seated. Together with a different couple on the same table. The dining hall was full.

# – Hubs.
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# – Me.
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We were wondering why everybody looked slightly miserable. Maybe that’s how French people look like hahahha. Sorry.

Then we waited, and waited and waited. Our foie gras and escargots arrived. Nice snails, foie gras was just pate but okay.

Then we waited, and waited and waited and waited. Keep watching other people getting served their food.

# – So many plates but none ours.
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45 minutes later, dude came to tell me my duck confit has finished. /rage

I didn’t know what else to order. Most of the french wordings on the menu were indecipherable by Google Translate. So I decided to skip main course….mostly out of frustration too.

Then, Gareth’s head of calf came.

Hahahhahahahahhaha.

Basically blanched cow tongue and vaguely meat looking bits and a boiled potato with some sauce on the side.

# – Hahahahhahahahhahaha.
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Turned out the hubs couldn’t eat his main too. So I offered to eat his, afterall I do like my exotic food.

# – Nervous laugh.
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Well, I thought nothing fazes me in terms of food…I have eaten and enjoyed bugs, worms, raw meat of different species, that Japanese natto without flinching but this……this cooked head of calf made me want to puke.

There were also stuff resembling pubic hair sticking out from some meat. I don’t know if it was a disgruntled waiter or a feature of calf’s head.

# – Hairy.
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Waiter was nice and offered hubs steak and fries while I continued jabbing at the calf head.

His steak came, he was happy at first then he was not anymore because it was like eating pure gristle.

# – Pre-mature happiness.
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So we both crossed our fingers and hope that dessert would save our dinner.

Nope, our Mont Blanc was basically overly sweetened chestnut puree with whipped cream. Cannot make it.

What is this?

# – Fail.
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Now we know why everybody looked so pissed off. We have dubbed it the Chartier face.

Well, you queue for so long to get a seat, then you wait for so long to finally be served with such mediocre food. Pissed off or not?

Chartier is known for serving some of the cheapest food in Paris, but in my opinion it is severely overpriced for their quality of food.

While we’re glad we have visited a Parisian institution, I would never wish to eat there ever again. True, the atmosphere was quaint and perhaps authentic (I wouldn’t know as I am not a Parisian) but honestly the food needs to buck up. If you want to check it out, just go there for the atmosphere….do not believe any review of the food by young, broke people on TripAdvisor trolololol. I kid.

After “dinner”, we did a Paris drive-by tour.

# – The Louvre.
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# – The tiny Arc de Triomphe Carousel which I almost thought was the famous Arc de Triomphe. I was like, wtf this is not worth it to be world-famous #bimbo
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# – Eiffel Tower. Quite impressive in real. Well done, French people.
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We hung out a bit around Eiffel tower and then looked for kebab shops but everything was closed wtf.

Drove back to hotel, hungry, tired and slightly miffed.

Oh well.

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10th day of #KimGarethEurotrip

This was taken at Mer de Glace, the largest glacier in France. Dressed pragmatically heh.

# – Quite cold.
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Top trifted in Bangkok. Trousers from Bangkok. Jumper from Puma. Shoes from Onitsuka Tiger. Bag from Louis Vuitton. Sunglasses from Bazzarro.

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Chamonix wasn’t even in our initial itinerary but the hubs wanted for me to see a glacier for the first time so we decided to do one night there.

# – This is Glacier of Argentiere, visible from Chamonix. The mass of frozen water in the middle….spectacular in real! Pictures do no justice.
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The glacier used to extend all the way to town but in present day has receded to almost the top of the mountain :(

Anyway, what a wonderful town Chamonix is! It is surrounded by the French Alps, notably the famous Mont Blanc.

Am sure we saw Mont Blanc but didn’t know which peak it was hahaha.

# – We did have a view of Aiguille Verte from our window :)
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From our hotel, we walked to Montenvers Railway to catch a train to Montenvers where we could see the Mer de Glace glacier up close.

It was a pleasant 20 minute ride up (almost 2000 metres above sea level) a steep mountain overlooking the Chamonix valley.

Then, it was a short cable car ride.

# – You can see the glacier path. Imagine, it used to be filled with glacier! It has receded greatly due to global environmental issues.
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After the cable car ride, it was another 430 steps of stairs to descend to the mouth of the glacier cave.

# – A lot of signs to tell you there are 430 steps to reach the glacier.
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Going down the stairs were not too bad. The worst was just some parts of the stairs that were see-through, looking down not that fun.

Finally we reached the entrance of the cave. It is a man-made cave, of course.

# – The entrance into the glacier Mer de Glace.
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I couldn’t believe it, I was seeing glacier for the first time! All those time watching Discovery Channel and BBC Earth and looking at black & white illustrations of glacier in my high school geography textbook.

# – Glacier… though greatly receded. See the grey part of the wall? Used to be that high. Now the top of the glacier looks like some dirt road :(
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This is the real McCoy.

# – My hand touching glacier.
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# – Obligatory I was there.
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# – Beautiful.
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After that, we climbed 430 steps back up. It was torturous T-T but it’s all worth it!

I was so knackered I fell asleep in the train back to Chamonix haha.

Our breakfast had completely burnt off by the time we reached Chamonix so we fueled up at a restaurant by the Montenvers Railway station.

Had beef tartare.. again.

# – Delicious with piping hot fries.
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# – Dessert was mad mad awesome. Tarte tartin and Grand Marnier crepe.

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Then we made our way to Geneva, Switzerland for a quick jaunt. About an hour drive.

Geneva is stunning! Beautiful, posh buildings and look of money everywhere.

# – Geneva.
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We headed straight to the lake. I thought Lake Como was beautiful but honestly Lake Geneva was much more breathtaking to me.

The water was a deep blue green colour and the entire lake was choppy, which made it looked really unusual. And it was a really windy place!

# – Obligatory I was there.
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# – Hubs.
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Then we continued our journey to Dijon. Yeap, where the mustard comes from.

It is about 2.5 hours drive from Geneva. We had a hard time finding hotel cause the city was closed to vehicles. Garmin went apeshit cause as all the roads we needed to go pass were closed for pedestrians.

In the end, after a somewhat illegal driving maneuver and much walking, we managed to find the place….. and doors were locked and reception was closed. Wah I was quite pissed off.

Luckily there was a number which I called and the Frenchman spoke perfect English.

He came down to open the door for us and then he told me that hotel parking was full and we had to find our own parking space.

That was when my bitch fit was triggered lol

Told him if I had known his hotel was technically not accessible by car and his 4-car parking space, I would not have booked it. That they were not very clear with their descriptions online.

He was like, “It is not my fault!”. I gave him dirty looks.

Poor guy. He was a bit pissed off too but he recovered quickly and told us he will show us the way to a public parking area nearby. And I apologised to him for my tone.

I said “merci beucoup” a lot haha.

The hotel turned out very nice. It is on a prime location, at the city’s high street.

Our room is above H&M. Very spacious and near to eateries.

# – Our room is right above H&M.
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# – Our view of the high street from our balcony.
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# – Nice spacious room.
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Did you know that Dijon has over 20 michelin starred restaurants? That’s mad.

We are still thinking whether to splurge on a 2 star because we have busted our budget as it is hahahaha

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9th day of #KimGarethEurotrip

This was hastily taken at the carpark of Seravelle Designer Outlet.

# – One leg forward.

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Dress from H&M. Scarf from don’t know where. Shoes from Bangkok. Bag from Louis Vuitton. Sunglasses from Bazzarro.

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We woke up, rather eager to leave Milan and head towards the cold and calm of Chamonix-Mont Blanc, a town at the French Alps.

However, there’s one more place I really wanted to see in Milan; a cemetery.

The Cimetero Monumantale is apparently the most beautiful cemetery on the planet. I tend to agree.

# – The central building at the cemetery.

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# – Some of the tombs.

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# – A nice park-like place.

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# – More tombs.

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After the cemetery, we decided to have a quick visit at Serravalle Designer Outlet, which is 60km from Milan, before making our way to France.

# – Seravelle Designer Outlet.

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Our “quick visit” turned into 5 hours of shopping. Our plans to reach Chamonix-Mont Blanc while there’s still light so we could see the French Alps completely went into the crapper.

# – Hubs & our loot.

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Finally we had to peel ourselves off the gounds of the outlet and made our way to see the French Alps and glacier from the town of Chamonix-Mont Blanc.

We reached after 2.5 hours drive and sure enough, it was already dark. I was starving but most places were already closed.

Finally we found a place that opens till 2am. It is in a basement of a really old building. Was skeptical but had no choice.

# – Hubs and booze at La Caveau.
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Well, as it turned out the food definitely was one of the best meals we had on this trip!!

# Escargot, frog legs, tartiflette and creme brulee.
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So, so yums. Especially the frog legs….I could lick the plate clean!

We are back at the hotel now. A little too excited to fall asleep because we can’t wait for daylight to break cause we want to see the French Alps!

Mont Blanc pen I saw before lah but the actual Mont Blanc? First time leh!

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