#1939 – Early Summer 2017 Weekend TripS (Part I: Lyon)

ENGLISH

Posts in the Early Summer 2017 Weekend TripS series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Lyon
3. Part II: Bremen
4. Part III: Thalys and Paris
5. Part IV: Roland Garros 2017

Getting to/from Lyon

Obviously, I chose not to fly direct to Lyon, haha. In fact, on both ways I had a transit at Paris-CDG. In general, all the flights were standard short-haul flights with Air France so I would not get to too much details here. There was only one “incident” on my way to Lyon that worth sharing, haha 😛 .

I had quite a tight connection at Paris-CDG, at only 50 minutes. So obviously I was not happy to find out that the departure of my flight AF1741 was delayed by 20 minutes! But it did not end there. Once all passengers boarded, the captain announced that Schiphol was very busy at the time and we only got a clearance for departure in another 20 minutes! The string of delays still did not finish here. When we finally left the terminal, it turned out we got a departure slot at:

Runway 36L aka the Polderbaan

Yes, the friggin’ Polderbaan So all in all, consequently we took off from Schiphol one hour (!) behind schedule.

But there was nothing I could do so I just tried to relax (and order some wine on board, lol). Though, I wasn’t all that worried. I already checked online and I found that Air France had a scheduled evening flight to Lyon from Paris-CDG later today. So even in the worst case scenario, I figured they would bump me into that flight. Sure it would cause some inconvenience in terms of my arrival time in Lyon, but I had been to Lyon before anyway so there would be not much that I would miss.

A small bottle of wine to enjoy the moment.

Anyway, 50 minutes later we landed at runway 09L of Paris-CDG. I walked briskly once I deboarded about 5 minutes before the scheduled departure of my connecting flight, on the slightest hope that my connecting flight would probably be delayed too. I checked the transit monitors and went to my gate.

And I found it surprising that my gate was the same gate that I just got off from. Yep, as it turned out, my connecting flight to Lyon would be operated with the same airplane (even with the same crew set)! This was the first time ever I took these kind of flights! Lol 😆 . So consequently the flight to Lyon was also delayed by around 45 minutes! Yep, at the end, everything worked out well (for me)! 😛

I took two different flights (AF1741 and AF7646) with this Air France’s Airbus A320-200 reg F-GKXA today!

Once all passengers to Lyon boarded, the captain apologized for the delay and explained this was due to late arrival from Amsterdam. Well, I could testify for that! Lol 😛 .

Lyon

Lion selfie in Lyon

It worths mentioning that this trip took place during a very warm weekend in Europe; and this was also true for Lyon. It was really warm when I was there, where the temperature came close to 30°C or so, haha. Despite this, though, obviously I still managed to get around the city, haha 😆 .

I bought a daily public transpotation card to get around Lyon. I stayed near Gare Part Dieu and that was quite some distance from Vieux Lyon (Old Lyon), the most attractive (and touristy) part of the city. Obviously I was not planning to walk there because of the temperature, lol 😆 . The Lyonese trams looked really cool, though. Here is one of them:

A Lyonese tram

Anyway, unsurprisingly it was a busy weekend in Lyon where the Vieux Port was full of people (read: tourists)! I crossed both the Rhone and Saone rivers and walked around the old town. After lunch, I took the funicular to the top of the Fourviere Hill here Lyon’s Notre Dame Basilica was located. The small park next to the basilica provided good bird’s eye view of the city too.

Notre Dame Fourviere in Lyon

I looked at the map and Theatre Gallo-Romains did not look very far away from the basilica. Fortunately this turned out to be true because I decided to walk there, haha 😆 . This Roman theatre appeared like how I remembered it from 2014, it was very well-preserved.

Theatre Gallo-Romains

From there, I took the other funicular line down back to Vieux Lyon. At this point, I felt like I had walked enough and it was really warm anyway, so I decided to: shop! Haha 😆 . Even at one point I decided to just go to the big mall near Gare Part Dieu because it had air-conditioner in it, haha 😆 .

The Food

Lyon is known as the gastronomy capital of France, so obviously food was one main element of this trip, haha, even though I did not go to any Michelin-starred restaurant, unlike the last time.

One dish which I did not have the chance to try the last time I was in Lyon was quenelle de brochet. And so I told myself to not miss it this time around (and gave it a go to miss the andouillette, another Lyon’s specialty, because I was traumatized by the mustard sauce the last time I had it (I hate French mustard)). Anyway, the quenelle tasted good. I would probably not call it my most favorite dish ever because I found the sauce to be really creamy and heavy, but it was definitely much better (for me) than andouillette, haha 😀 .

Quenelle de brochet

Another dish surprised me, btw, because (1) it was, obviously, really good and (2) I told myself why I never thought about it before. It was a “fillet de canard” (duck breast) steak. Really, it tasted very good!! In fact, maybe I will try to cook one myself soon! Hmm 🤔

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting dalam seri Early Summer 2017 Weekend TripS:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Lyon
3. Part II: Bremen
4. Part III: Thalys and Paris
5. Part IV: Roland Garros 2017

Pergi ke Lyon

Jelas dong aku tidak terbang langsung dari Amsterdam ke Lyon, haha. Di kedua arah, aku transit dulu di Paris-CDG. Secara umum, semua penerbangannya adalah penerbangan standar jarak dekat dengan Air France sehingga aku tidak akan merincinya di sini. Hanya saja, ada satu “insiden” di perjalanan keberangkatanku ke Lyon yang layak diceritakan 😛 .

Waktu transitku cukup ketat di Paris-CDG, hanya 50 menit saja. Jadi jelas aku merasa tidak terlalu senang ketika tahu bahwa penerbangan AF1741ku dijadwalkan berangkat terlambat 20 menit hari ini! Masalahnya lagi, ternyata berita buruknya belum berakhir. Setelah semua penumpang naik pesawat, pilot mengumumkan bahwa Bandara Schiphol sangat sibuk waktu itu sehingga kami baru mendapatkan giliran untuk berangkat 20 menit kemudian! Disini pun masalahnya masih belum berakhir pula. Setelah akhirnya pesawat bergerak, ternyata keberangkatan kami adalah dari:

Landasan pacu 36L alias Polderbaan

Iyaa, Polderbaan laknat itu Semua ini mengakibatkan kami lepas landas satu jam (!) di belakang jadwal.

Berhubung toh semuanya di luar kuasaku, ya sudah aku pasrah saja dan berusaha santai (dan memesan wine dong di pesawat, haha). Tapi aku memang tidak begitu khawatir sih. Aku sudah cek di internet bahwa hari itu Air France memiliki penerbangan malam ke Lyon dari Paris-CDG. Jadi andaikata skenario terburuk terjadi, aku cukup yakin Air France akan memindahkanku ke penerbangan itu. Memang sih ini akan mengakibatkan sedikit ketidak-nyamanan dalam hal waktu tibaku di Lyon, tetapi toh aku sudah pernah ke Lyon sebelumnya jadi tidak terlalu banyak lah yang akan kulewatkan.

Sebotol kecil wine untuk memasrahkan diri kepada situasi.

Anyway, sekitar 50 menit kemudian kami mendarat di landasan pacu 09L Bandara Paris-CDG. Aku berjalan cepat-cepat begitu keluar dari pesawat sekitar 5 menit sebelum jadwal keberangkatan penerbangan lanjutanku, dengan berbekal harapan amat kecil penerbanganku selanjutnya mungkin terlambat juga, haha. Aku kemudian mengecek layar monitor transit di bandara untuk mengetahui gerbang keberangkatannya.

Aku cukup kaget ketika melihat bahwa gerbangnya adalah gerbang yang sama dari mana aku baru saja keluar. Iya, ternyata, penerbanganku ke Lyon akan dioperasikan dengan pesawat yang sama (bahkan dengan set kru yang sama)! Ini adalah kali pertama aku mengalami kejadian begini nih! Haha 😆 . Jadilah akibatnya penerbangan ke Lyon juga kena delay selama 45 menit! Iya, pada akhirnya, semuanya baik-baik saja (untukku)! 😛

Aku menaiki dua penerbangan berbeda (AF1741 dan AF7646) dengan Airbus A320-200nya Air France dengan rego F-GKXA ini hari ini!

Setelah semua penumpang tujuan Lyon naik pesawat, pilotnya meminta-maaf atas keterlambatan ini dan menyebutkan ini disebabkan oleh keterlambatan penerbangan sebelumnya dari Amsterdam. Yah, aku bisa kok bersaksi untuk pernyataan ini! 😛

Lyon

Lion selfie di Lyon

Relevan untuk disebutkan bahwa perjalanan ini berlangsung di akhir pekan yang amat panas di Eropa; dan di Lyon juga demikian. Panas banget deh ketika aku di sana, dimana suhu udaranya mencapai 30°C, haha. Walaupun begini, toh aku masih sempat jalan-jalan di kotanya, haha 😆 .

Aku membeli tiket harian transportasi umum untuk berkeliling Lyon. Aku menginap di dekat Gare Part Dieu yang berjarak cukup jauh dari Vieux Lyon (Lyon Tua), bagian paling kece (dan paling penuh turis) dari Lyon. Jelas, aku ogah berjalan-kaki kesana apalagi lagi panas-panasnya begini, haha 😆 . Btw, disain tram di Lyon keren-keren loh. Berikut ini salah satunya:

Sebuah tramnya Lyon

Anyway, tidak mengherankan akhir pekan ini ramai banget di Lyon dimana Vieux Portnya penuh orang (baca: turis)! Aku menyebrangi kedua sungai Rhone dan Saone dan berjalan-kaki keliling kotanya. Setelah makan siang, aku naik funicular ke atas bukit Fourviere dimana Basilika Notre Dame-nya Lyon berada. Dari taman kecil di samping basilikanya kita bisa melihat pemandangan Lyon dari atas.

Notre Dame Fourviere di Lyon

Aku lihat di peta dan Teater Gallo-Romains nampak tidak jauh dari basilikanya. Untung ini benar karena aku memutuskan untuk berjalan-kaki kesana, haha 😆 . Teater Romawi ini masih seperti yang kuingat dari tahun 2014, sungguh terawat dengan amat baik.

Teater Gallo-Romains

Dari sana, aku menaiki funicular lain untuk turun kembali ke Vieux Lyon. Aku merasa sudah cukup jalan-jalannya dan toh udaranya panas banget, jadilah aku memutuskan untuk: shopping! Haha 😆 . Bahkan di satu waktu aku memutuskan untuk ngemall aja loh di sebuah mall besar di dekat Gare Part Dieu yang dilengkapi dengan AC, haha 😆 .

Makanannya

Lyon dikenal sebagai ibukota kulinernya Prancis, jadi jelas makanan adalah satu elemen penting dari perjalanan ini, haha, walaupun aku tidak pergi ke restoran berbintang Michelin sih kali ini, tidak seperti yang lalu.

Satu menu yang tidak sempat aku cobain ketika terakhir kali aku di Lyon adalah quenelle de brochet. Jadilah aku berencana untuk tidak melewatkannya kali ini (dan tidak berkeberatan untuk melewatkan andouillette, sebuah makanan khasnya Lyon yang satunya, karena aku trauma dengan saus mustard-nya waktu itu (aku tidak suka mustard Prancis!)). Anyway, quenelle-nya enak juga ternyata. Mungkin aku tidak akan mengklaimnya sebagai masakan terfavoritku karena aku merasa sausnya creamy dan “berat” banget, tetapi (untukku) tetap jauh lebih enak daripada andouillette, haha 😀 .

Quenelle de brochet

Satu menu mengagetkanku, btw, karena (1) jelas, rasanya enak banget dan (2) Kok aku nggak kepikiran sebelumnya ya? Haha. Menu ini adalah steak “fillet de canard” (dada bebek). Beneran loh, rasanya enak banget!! Malahan, aku berpikir untuk sekali-sekali mencoba membuatnya sendiri nih! Hmm 🤔

#1892 – Post-PhD Trips (Part V: A Weekend in Marseille)

ENGLISH

Posts in the Post-PhD Trips series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Genova
3. Part II: Cinque Terre
4. Part III: Firenze
5. Part IV: Roma
6. Part V: A Weekend in Marseille

Off to Marseille

My flight to Marseille was on Friday evening. So from work, I headed directly to Schiphol, where I had my dinner at KLM Crown Lounge, haha.

A little bit uncharacteristically here, I will not write in a lot of details regarding my flight to Marseille, haha. In short, I was flying Air France’s flight AF1875 operated by their Airbus A319-100 reg F-GPMA. It was a regular pleasant flight with Air France; and at 22:16, we landed at runway 13L of Marseille – Provence Airport.

Air France's Airbus A319-100 reg F-GPMA

Air France’s Airbus A319-100 reg F-GPMA

Anyway, it had been quite a long Friday for me so understandably I was already so tired when arriving in Marseille. I knew I would want to take the bus service to the city center. I took a bus but without checking its destination, assuming any bus leaving the airport would go to Marseille.

About 30 minutes into the trip, I realized something strange. I did not recognize any similarity of the surrounding from my last trip to Marseille in 2014. I checked my gps and, indeed, instead of going east towards Marseille, I was going north 😣. Yep, it came to my realization that I took the WRONG bus! Then I just remembered my survey of Marseille from 2014 where, indeed, there were several bus destinations from Marseille Airport. Well, it was too late to remember that at this point.

The bus terminal of Aix-en-Provence

The bus terminal of Aix-en-Provence

It turned out that my bus was going to Aix-en-Provence, a small town to the north of Marseille. Upon arriving at the bus station, I asked the bus driver if there was still a bus to go to Marseille. Luckily, there was. There was one LAST bus departing at 23:35 which I could take. Phew!!

Long story short, I took the bus, arrived in Marseille just right after midnight, Whats-apped my brother to pick me up at the hotel lobby, then slept, haha 😛 .

Marseille

Palais Longchamp

Palais Longchamp

As before, Marseille was a nice city in Southern France and we did enjoy our time there. The weather there that weekend was not the best, though. It was very windy, despite definitely warmer than the Netherlands (where it was snowing 😆 ) even though not super warm as well.

We went to Palais Longchamp and Notre-Dame de la Garde at the top of the La Garde hill. I didn’t get the chance to enter both sites in my 2014 visit there (though I was at the gate of Longchamp), so it was nice to be able to do so this time.

Notre-Dame de La Garde

Notre-Dame de La Garde

On Sunday, we planned to go to Chateau D’If but it turned out it was closed. We were misinformed on Saturday, where we were told we could still go to the chateau on Sunday and we made our plan accordingly.

And so we had to come up with a back-up plan. We decided to go to a small beach near Vieux Port and to a small beautiful garden nearby to kill the time.

The Catalans Beach in Marseille

The Catalans Beach in Marseille

The Food

As usual, the food in Marseille was also really good. In fact, my brother said this was the best food he had during this European trip of his. Well, obviously I nodded along, since I love French cuisine as well!! Haha 😆

Escargot

Escargot

Once we ordered two portions of escargot. This was actually the third time ever I had it, with the first one being in Rennes and the second one in Marigot. And you know what? I can say that I LIKE escargot now!! 😱 The fact that escargot is snail does not bother me anymore, at all! Haha 😆

Back to the Netherlands

To go back to the Netherlands, we had an interesting routing. Instead of flying direct Marseille – Amsterdam, we flew Marseille – Strasbourg – Amsterdam. And to make things even more exciting, both legs would be operated with Embraer ERJ145 by HOP! Regional!!

HOP! Regional Logo
Flights: Air France flights AF5579 (MRS-SXB) and AF1436 (SXB-AMS) operated by HOP! Regional
Equipments: Embraer ERJ145 reg F-GUBE (MRS-SXB) and Embraer ERJ145 reg F-GRGJ (SXB-AMS)

However, the trip started with a mini drama with overbooking, again (see Part I). After solving this issue, there was a delay problem as well. Our first flight to Strasbourg was delayed by two hours. This was certainly a problem with our 1.5 hours of transit time in Strasbourg.

The lounge at Marseille Airport was small but the service was actually great

The lounge at Marseille Airport was small but the service was actually great

Because there were, in total, nine passengers with this issue (~20% of all passengers 😆 ), the agent in Marseille was able to convince the agent in Strasbourg to delay the Strasbourg – Amsterdam flight by 30 minutes to wait for us, haha.

Long story short, we finally boarded our flight to Strasbourg, which was with HOP! Regional’s Embraer ERJ145 reg F-GUBE. As before, I loved flying Embraer ERJ145!! It was a small plane but really smooth!! Oh, and obviously the mandatory ERJ145 selfie too:

The mandatory ERJ145 selfie

The mandatory ERJ145 selfie

😛

Before landing at Strasbourg, the FA mentioned that transit passengers to Amsterdam should deplane first, as the transit time was tight. After landing, we were greeted by a ground staff literally outside of the plane. He escorted all of us to the immigration check and after that we immediately boarded our connecting flight right away! Yes, it was the fastest transit experience EVER! Everything in literally less than ten minutes! Lol 😆

HOP! Regional's Embraer ERJ145 reg F-GRGJ

HOP! Regional’s Embraer ERJ145 reg F-GRGJ

The second flight to Amsterdam was operated by another ERJ145, this time F-GRGJ. I quickly took a picture of the plane, and afterwards I could see the pilot waved towards me asking me to move fast, lol 😆 . All other passengers had been waiting in the plane at that point, and they didn’t look exactly thrilled. Well, I didn’t blame them 😛 .

It was clear that the pilots were quite in a rush today. Upon departure, after the final-turn at the tip of runway 05 we immediately accelerate and take-off! Haha 😆 . As before, it was a smooth and pleasant flight towards Amsterdam. We landed at Schiphol at 20:10, just ten minutes behind our schedule. Quite impressive considering the initial delay, no?

A window AND aisle seat at the same time on board an ERJ145

A window AND aisle seat at the same time on board an ERJ145

From Schiphol, we went to Amsterdam. And here, my Post-PhD Trips officially ended.

THE END.

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting dalam seri Post-PhD Trips:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Genova
3. Part II: Cinque Terre
4. Part III: Firenze
5. Part IV: Roma
6.Part V: A Weekend in Marseille

Berangkat ke Marseille

Penerbanganku ke Marseille adalah di hari Jumat malam. Jadilah sepulang kerja, aku langsung menuju ke Schiphol, dimana aku makan malam di Crown Lounge-nya KLM, haha.

Agak tidak seperti biasanya nih, aku tidak akan banyak menuliskan detail penerbanganku ke Marseille, haha. Secara singkat, aku naik penerbangan AF1875nya Air France yang dioperasikan dengan pesawat Airbus A319-100 reg F-GPMA. Ini adalah penerbangan reguler dan nyaman dengan Air France; dan jam 22:16, pesawat mendarat di landasan pacu 13L Bandara Marseille – Provence.

Air France's Airbus A319-100 reg F-GPMA

Sebuah Airbus A319-100nya Air France dengan rego F-GPMA

Anyway, hari ini sudah menjadi hari cukup panjang sehingga jelas aku merasa lelah ketika tiba di Marseille. Aku tahu aku akan naik bus ke pusat kota. Nah, jadilah aku naik bus tanpa melihat tujuannya, dengan asumsi semua bus yang berangkat dari bandara pasti menuju ke Marseille.

Kira-kira setengah jam kemudian, aku menyadari sesuatu yang aneh. Aku tidak mengenali apa-apa dari pemandangannya dari perjalananku terakhir kali ke Marseille tahun 2014. Aku mengecek gps-ku dan ternyata, memang, bukannya bergerak ke arah timur ke Marseille, bus ini bergerak ke arah utara dong 😣. Yep, barulah aku sadar aku SALAH naik bus! Saat ini, barulah aku ingat riset yang kulakukan di perjalanan tahun 2014ku ke Marseille dimana memang ada beberapa tujuan yang dilayani dengan bus dari Bandara Marseille. Yah, sekarang sih sudah terlambat untuk ingat informasi ini lah ya.

The bus terminal of Aix-en-Provence

Terminal bus di Aix-en-Provence

Ternyata bus yang kunaiki adalah tujuan Aix-en-Provence, sebuah kota kecil di utaranya Marseille. Ketika tiba di terminal bus, aku bertanya ke sopir bus apakah masih ada bus tujuan Marseille. Untungnya masih ada. Masih ada satu bus TERAKHIR yang berangkat jam 23:35. Fiuh!!!

Singkat cerita, aku menaiki bus itu, dan tiba di Marseille selepas tengah malam, meng-Whatsapp adikku untuk menjemputku di lobby hotel, dan tidur deh, haha 😛 .

Marseille

Palais Longchamp

Palais Longchamp

Seeprti yang lalu, Marseille adalah kota yang oke di Prancis selatan dan kami menikmati waktu kami di sana. Sayangnya cuacanya sedang kurang oke sih. Berangin banget dan, walaupun lebih hangat sih dari Belanda (yang mana waktu itu sedang saljuan, haha), nggak hangat-hangat amat.

Kami pergi ke Palais Longchamp dan Notre-Dame de la Garde di puncah Bukit La Garde. Aku tidak sempat mengunjungi keduanya di tahun 2014 (walaupun waktu itu sempat foto dari luarnya Longchamp sih), jadi senang saja rasanya kali ini bisa mampir.

Notre-Dame de La Garde

Notre-Dame de La Garde

Di hari Minggu, kami berencana ke Chateau D’If, yang mana ternyata waktu itu sedang ditutup. Kami diberikan informasi yang salah di hari Sabtu nih, dimana katanya kami masih bisa kesana di hari Minggu. Jadilah kami membuat rencana berdasarkan informasi ini.

Sebagai penggantinya, kami jalan-jalan ke sebuah pantai kecil di dekat Vieux Port dan sebuah taman yang indah di dekat sana untuk menghabiskan waktu.

The Catalans Beach in Marseille

Pantai Catalans di Marseille

Makanannya

Seperti biasa, makanan di Marseille itu enak-enak. Bahkan, adikku bilang makanan paling enak yang ia makan di perjalanan ke Eropanya kali ini adalah di Prancis ini loh. Aku setuju banget sih, secara aku kan memang suka masakan Prancis!! Haha 😆

Escargot

Escargot

Sekali waktu kami memesan dua porsi escargot. Ini adalah kali ketiga aku makan masakan ini, dimana yang pertama adalah di Rennes dan yang kedua di Marigot. Dan tahu nggak? Sekarang aku bisa bilang aku SUKA escargot dong!! 😱 Fakta bahwa escargot adalah siput tidak lagi menggangguku sama sekali! Haha 😆

Kembali ke Belanda

Untuk kembali ke Belanda, kami memiliki rute yang unik. Bukannya terbang langsung Marseille – Amsterdam, kami terbang Marseille – Strasbourg – Amsterdam. Dan lebih serunya lagi, kedua penerbangan dioperasikan dengan pesawat Embraer ERJ145-nya HOP! Regional!!

HOP! Regional Logo
Penerbangan: Air France AF5579 (MRS-SXB) dan AF1436 (SXB-AMS) dioperasikan oleh HOP! Regional
Pesawat: Embraer ERJ145 reg F-GUBE (MRS-SXB) dan Embraer ERJ145 reg F-GRGJ (SXB-AMS)

Namun, perjalanannya dimulai dengan drama akibat overbooking lagi (lihat Bagian I). Setelah masalah ini beres, ada permasalahan dengan keterlambatan penerbangan pula. Ceritanya, penerbangan pertama kami ke Strasbourg akan terlambat dua jam. Ini jelas adalah masalah mengingat waktu transit kami di Strasbourg hanyalah 1,5 jam saja.

The lounge at Marseille Airport was small but the service was actually great

Eh, lounge-nya di Bandara Marseille walaupun kecil tetapi sajiannya oke-oke loh.

Karena totalnya ada sembilan penumpang dengan masalah ini (~20% dari semua penumpang, haha 😆 ), agen di Marseille berhasil meyakinkan agen di Strasbourg untuk menahan penerbangan Strasbourg – Amsterdam selama 30 menit untuk menunggu kami, haha.

Singkat cerita, akhirnya kami menaiki penerbangan ke Strasbourg kami. Penerbangan dioperasikan dengan Embraer ERJ145nya HOP! Regional dengan registrasi F-GUBE. Seperti yang lalu, aku suka banget terbang dengan ERJ145!! Pesawatnya kecil tetapi terbangnya mulus!! Oh, dan jelas dong foto selfie wajib ERJ145:

The mandatory ERJ145 selfie

Selfie wajib ketika terbang dengan ERJ145

😛

Sebelum mendarat di Strasbourt, pramugari meminta penumpang transit ke Amsterdam untuk turun terlebih dahulu, karena waktu transit kami yang sungguh singkat. Setelah mendarat, kami langsung disambut oleh petugas darat tepat di pintu pesawat. Ia langsung mengantarkan kami ke pemeriksaan imigrasi dan setelahnya langsung naik pesawat lanjutan kami! Iya, pengalaman transit paling cepat nih! Semuanya kurang dari 10 menit saja loh!! Huahaha 😆

HOP! Regional's Embraer ERJ145 reg F-GRGJ

Sebuah Embraer ERJ145nya HOP! Regional dengan rego F-GRGJ

Penerbangan kedua ke Amsterdam dioperasikan dengan ERJ145 yang lain, kali ini F-GRGJ. Aku cepat-cepat mengambil foto pesawatnya dulu dimana setelahnya aku lihat pilotnya melambaikan tangan kepadaku menyuruhku cepat naik, haha 😆 . Semua penumpang lain sudah menunggu di pesawat waktu itu, dan mereka tidak nampak senang, haha. Yah, aku paham sih 😛 .

Jelas pilotnya agak terburu-buru waktu hari ini. Ketika berangkat, setelah belok di ujung landasan pacu 05, pesawat langsung tancap gas untuk lepas landas tanpa pakai ancang-ancang dulu! Haha 😆 . Seperti sebelumnya, penerbangan ini adalah penerbangan yang mulus ke Amsterdam. Kami mendarat di Schiphol jam 20:10, hanya sepuluh menit terlambat dari jadwal. Cukup oke ya mengingat keterlambatan awal yang dua jam itu?

A window AND aisle seat at the same time on board an ERJ145

Kursi jendela SEKALIGUS lorong di dalam ERJ145

Dari Schiphol, kami pergi ke Amstedam. Dan di sini, Post-PhD Trips-ku resmi berakhir.

SELESAI.

#1823 – September 2016 Sabbatical Trip: The Caribbean (Part IV: Saint Martin)

ENGLISH

Posts in the September 2016 Sabbatical Trip: The Caribbean series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to Sint Maarten
3. Part II: Sint Maarten
4. Part III: The Maho Beach
5. Part IV: Saint Martin
6. Part V: Back to the Netherlands

***

Dutch-French border in the Caribbean

Dutch-French border in the Caribbean

As I mentioned in the Introduction, the island of St.Martin is governed by two countries: the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the south (the Sint Maarten area) and France in the north (the Saint Martin area). There is a free-movement right between the two parts and so obviously we explored both parts with our rental car. In Part II, I focused on the Dutch side. In this post, I focus on the French side.

***

If the Dutch side appeared more developed, the French side was, in general, more scenic to me. Hills, fields, coastlines (obviously) with beautiful view were there to enjoy.

A coastal road in the French side

A coastal road in the French side

Speaking of the coastline, we went to a few beaches and once drove on a coastal road in the eastern part of the island. The beaches were, of course, beautiful even though not that much different from the Dutch-side beaches (It was a small island anyway so why would we expect the two parts to be so different in nature? Lol 😆 ). However, I found that the beaches in the French part were slightly less clean than the Dutch counterpart. No, no, not like there was a lot of (human) trash nor the water was polluted, it was just that seaweed remain (I think?) that had turned dark lied there on the beaches.

The Orient Bay in the French side

The Orient Bay in the French side, the dark stuff I mention above is visible here.

Generally, the French side was less busy that the Dutch side. It appeared to me that the island’s economy center was the Dutch side, with more factories and, thus, trade. The French side was, probably, more for living as it felt much calmer. This was reflected by the location of some of the resorts, which were rather “secluded” and probably aimed to blend in more with the nature.

The capital of the French side was a town called Marigot, that was smaller than the Dutch’s Philipsburg (for the obvious reason). I liked Marigot; and, actually, I liked it more than Philipsburg. While in general the town was less busy than Philipsburg, at certain times traffic jams could occur too though. This was mainly due to the narrow streets 😛 .

Marigot

Marigot

Speaking of Marigot and the French side, the best food we had during our entire stay in Sint Maarten was found in Marigot! Well, come to think about it, it was not surprising at all, given that I love French food, haha 😆 . There were a lot of French restaurants, run by French people, in Marigot (and in the French side overall).

A delicious French meal in the French side

A serving of escargot, bavette with pasta, and cappuccino at L’Arhawak

Once we had lunch at L’Arhawak, a family restaurant run by a super friendly French family in Marigot. The guy thought I spoke French because apparently I pronounced “bonjour” perfectly, lol 😆 . Well, those frequent trips to France and flights with Air France paid off, I guess, lol 😆 . Anyway, I had a bavette for lunch and we shared a serving of escargot as a side dish. It was my second time ever eating escargot (my first time was this May in Rennes), and this escargot in Marigot was much better! 🙂

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting dalam seri September 2016 Sabbatical Trip: The Caribbean:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to Sint Maarten
3. Part II: Sint Maarten
4. Part III: The Maho Beach
5. Part IV: Saint Martin
6. Part V: Back to the Netherlands

***

Dutch-French border in the Caribbean

Perbatasan Belanda dan Prancis di Karibia

Seperti yang kusebutkan di posting Pendahuluan, pulau St. Martin diperintah oleh dua negara: Kerajaan Belanda di selatan (area Sint Maarten) dan Prancis di utara (area Saint Martin). Ada hak untuk bebas berpindah di antara dua bagian ini sehingga jelas dong kami memanfaatkannya untuk menjelajahi pulau dengan mobil sewaan kami. Di posting Bagian II, aku fokus di bagian Belandanya. Nah, di posting ini, aku akan menceritakan bagian Prancisnya.

***

Jika bagian Belanda nampak lebih maju, bagian Prancis, secara umum, nampak lebih permai bagiku. Ada bukit-bukit, padang-padang, dan (kelas) pantai-pantai yang pemandangannya kece untu dinikmati.

A coastal road in the French side

Sebuah jalan tepi pantai di sisi Prancis

Ngomongin garis pantai, kami mengunjungi beberapa pantai di sana dan sempat juga sekali menyusuri jalan tepian pantai di sisi timur pulaunya. Pantai-pantainya, jelas, cakep-cakep deh walaupun memang mirip-mirip sih dengan yang di sisi Belanda (Namanya aja pulau kecil, nggak mengherankan juga kan dua bagiannya mirip-mirip alamnya? Haha 😆 ). Namun, aku merasa pantai-pantai di sisi Prancis itu sedikit lebih kotor dibandingkan yang di sisi Belanda. Bukan, bukan kotor karena sampah (manusia) atau air lautnya terpolusi, tetapi kotor karena sisa-sisa rumput laut (kayaknya?) yang sudah menghitam yang banyak terlihat di pasir pantainya.

The Orient Bay in the French side

Pantai Orient di sisi Prancis, yang hitam-hitam yang kusebutkan di atas terlihat kan di foto ini.

Secara umum, sisi Prancis lebih tidak sibuk dibandingkan sisi Belanda. Nampaknya memang pusat perekonomian pulau ini tersentralisasi di sisi Belanda deh, dimana di sana juga banyak terdapat pabrik dan, akibatnya, perdagangan. Mungkin sisi Prancis lebih digunakan untuk hidup ya karena memang lebih tenang. Ini terefleksikan juga sih dari beberapa lokasi hotel-hotel resort yang mana cukup “terisolasi”; mungkin memang tujuannya adalah agar lebih menyatu dengan alam.

Ibukota sisi Prancis adalah kota Marigot, yang berukuran lebih kecil daripada Philipsburg di sisi Belanda (ya iya lah ya). Aku suka Marigot; dan, bahkan, aku lebih menyukainya daripada Philipsburg loh. Walaupun secara umum kotanya juga lebih tidak sibuk dibandingkan Philipsburg, tetapi di waktu-waktu tertentu di kotanya bisa ada kemacetan lalu-lintas juga, haha. Ini disebabkan jalanannya yang sempit-sempit 😛 .

Marigot

Marigot

Ngomongin Marigot dan sisi Prancis, makanan terenak yang kami makan sepanjang waktu kami di Sint Maarten kami temukan di Marigot! Yah, dipikir-pikir lagi mah memang tidak mengherankan sama sekali ya, apalagi aku kan memang suka makanan Prancis, haha 😆 . Ada banyak sekali restoran Prancis, yang dikelola oleh orang Prancis loh, di Marigot (dan juga di keseluruhan sisi Prancis secara umum).

A delicious French meal in the French side

Seporsi escargot, bavette dengan pasta, dan cappuccino di L’Arhawak

Suatu ketika kami makan siang di restoran L’Arhawak, sebuah restoran keluarga yang dikelola oleh sekeluarga Prancis yang super ramah banget. Bapak-bapaknya awalnya mengira aku bisa berbahasa Prancis karena ternyata aku mengucapkan “bonjour” dengan sempurna, huahaha 😆 . Yah, sering jalan-jalan ke Prancis dan terbang dengan Air France ternyata ada buahnya juga ya, haha 😆 . Anyway, aku memesan bavette untuk makan siang dan kami berbagi seporsi escargot untuk makanan sampingan. Ini adalah kali kedua seumur-hidup aku makan escargot (kali pertama adalah Mei ini di Rennes) dan escargot di Marigot ini rasanya lebih enak loh! 🙂

#1759 – My 2016 Roland Garros Trip (Part II: Paris)

ENGLISH

Posts in the My 2016 Roland Garros Trip series:

1. Introduction
2. Part I: Roland Garros (Saturday)
3. Part II: Paris
4. Part III: Roland Garros (Sunday)

***

Getting to/from Paris

Obviously I chose to fly to get to/from Paris, haha 😆 .

KL Logo

Flight: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines KL1233 and KL1234
Equipment: Boeing 737-800 reg PH-BXY and Boeing 737-700 reg PH-BGH

Both flights were regular Amsterdam – Paris vv flight with KLM. So actually there is not much to share about here, haha 😆 . Btw, upon arriving at Paris – Charles De Gaulle Airport, appropriately, I was greeted by Rafael Nadal, hahaha 😆

Arriving in Paris and I was greeted by Rafael Nadal

Arriving in Paris and I was greeted by Rafael Nadal

Paris

I was lucky that my trip to Paris was, at least, not during the Paris flood (you see, it was something serious as there is even a dedicated Wikipedia article of it!). So the situation there was already recovering and, while still being hindered a little bit, everything was already working quite well (including the metro, which was very important to me).

Paris was, well, Paris 🙂 . What more can I say 🙂 .

In the very little time I had outside of my visit to Roland Garros, I decided to go to the super famous Arc De Triomphe in Champs Elysees. Why? Well, because I felt like it, haha 😆 . I mean, I have been to Paris several times before so I have pretty much seen quite many of Paris’ main attractions 😛 .

2016 Arc De Triomphe selfie

2016 Arc De Triomphe selfie

Champs Elysees was, as always, one of a kind. Most people you would see there dressed themselves very well; you know, probably to live up to the expectation of being in the most famous shopping street in one of the fashion capitals of the world, haha 😆 . I was lured to enter one of the shops there, which obviously was just a spontaneous impulse because I had no shopping plan with only one backpack with me for the whole weekend, lol 😆 . And you know what, I almost bought one or two t-shirts there for my upcoming but still unrevealed big trip this September 😉 . But then luckily my sanity quickly gained control and I put those t-shirts back in the display 😛 .

The Food

Obviously my focus was not on the food at all and so I did not use the app Yelp during this trip. But I did have some expectation that I should have got, at least, good food in general considering that it was Paris, haha 😆 . While it was still, overall, good, indeed; somehow I felt a little bit underwhelmed. For instance, for my first dinner in Paris, as always I had my favorite Parisian dish: confit de canard (duck confit). And it looked like this:

A very basic confit de canard dish

A very basic confit de canard dish

Something was clearly missing from the dish, wasn’t it? Yeah, it was the side salad! Okay, even though the star of a confit de canard dish is always the duck, I do feel like the dish still needs its secondary elements to be complete. The duck leg itself was cooked really well; and the french fries and ketchup made the dish substantial enough for a dinner. But I did really miss the salad.

As a result, after returning to my hotel that evening, I decided to go to the restaurant and ordered a mini Parisian salad (which wasn’t mini at all in my opinion)! Haha 😆 .

A petit Parisian salad

A petit Parisian salad

I also went to the restaurant near Stade Roland Garros in which two years ago I had an amazing escalope de veau dish. Even though I was disappointed last year with the dish, I decided to give it another try this year. It turned out that the dish was okay this year. It was not super amazing (the veal was too well-done to me), but it was not as “disappointing” as last year, haha…

TO BE CONTINUED…

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting dalam seri the My 2016 Roland Garros Trip:

1. Introduction
2. Part I: Roland Garros (Saturday)
3. Part II: Paris
4. Part III: Roland Garros (Sunday)
***

Ke Paris

Jelas dong aku naik pesawat untuk pergi ke Paris, haha 😆

KL Logo

Penerbangan: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines KL1233 dan KL1234
Pesawat: Boeing 737-800 reg PH-BXY dan Boeing 737-700 reg PH-BGH

Kedua penerbangan adalah penerbangan regulernya KLM di rute Amsterdam – Paris pp. Jadilah aku merasa tidak perlu banyak menuliskannya lah ya, haha 😆 . Btw, ketika tiba di Bandara Paris – Charles De Gaulle, aku disambut dengan sangat amat pantas oleh Rafael Nadal loh, hahaha 😆

Arriving in Paris and I was greeted by Rafael Nadal

Tiba di Paris dan aku disambut oleh Rafael Nadal

Paris

Aku beruntung aku pergi ke Paris, setidaknya, tidak ketika banjir Paris terjadi (jelas kan banjirnya serius, sampai-sampai ada artikel Wikipedia khusus tentangnya!). Jadilah ketika itu situasinya sudah dalam masa pemulihan dan, walaupun masih ada sedikit gangguan di sana-sini, secara umum semua hal di Paris sudah bekerja dengan baik kok (termasuk metronya, yang mana krusial banget untukku).

Paris itu, yah, Paris 🙂 . Mau dideskripsikan bagaimana lagi ya 🙂 .

Di waktuku yang amat sedikit di luar kunjunganku ke Roland Garros, aku memutuskan untuk mampir di Arc De Triomphe yang super terkenal itu di Champs Elysees. Mengapa? Yaa, karena pengen aja, haha 😆 . Maksudku, aku sudah beberapa kali ke Paris sebelumnya sehingga rasanya aku sudah melihat sebagian besar atraksi-atraksi utamanya Paris 😛 .

2016 Arc De Triomphe selfie

2016 Arc De Triomphe selfie

Champs Elysees itu, seperti biasa, memang unik banget ya. Kebanyakan orang yang kita lihat di sana itu modis-modis; ya tahu lah ya, mungkin agar cocok dengan ekspektasi jalan-jalan di sebuah jalanan pertokoan paling terkenal di salah satu ibukota fashion dunia, haha 😆 . Oh iya, aku terbujuk untuk masuk ke sebuah toko di sana, yang mana jelas adalah tindakan spontan karena aku sama sekali tidak ada rencana belanja di Paris dengan hanya satu tas ransel saja yang kubawa untuk keseluruhan perjalanan ini, haha 😆 . Dan tahu nggak, aku nyaris membeli satu atau dua kaus loh untuk perjalanan besarku bulan September nanti yang memang belum aku umumkan 😉 . Tetapi untung akal sehatku segera mengambil alih situasi dan aku nggak jadi belanja 😛 .

Makanannya

Jelas fokusku bukanlah makanan di perjalanan kali ini dan jadilah aku tidak menggunakan app Yelp sama sekali. Tetapi aku sedikit memiliki ekspektasi akan apa yang aku harapkan sih, yaitu setidaknya makanan yang secara umum enak lah ya di Paris, haha 😆 . Walaupun secara umum memang makanannya beneran enak, tetapi aku kok sedikit merasa kecewa ya. Misalnya saja, di makan malam pertamaku di sana, aku memesan masakan Paris favoritku: confit de canard. Dan penampakannya seperti ini:

A very basic confit de canard dish

Confit de canard yang amat dasar

Masakan ini jelas kekurangan sesuatu kan? Iya, kekurangan salad! Oke, memang sih yang namanya bintang dari sebuah masakan confit de canard adalah selalu daging bebeknya. Namun, aku rasa masakannya masih memerlukan elemen sekundernya agar bisa dibilang komplit. Memang sih daging bebeknya ini dimasak dengan enak; dan kentang gorengnya juga membuat menunya mengenyangkan kok. Hanya saja, aku masih merasa kekurangan saladnya!

Sebagai akibatnya, setelah kembali ke hotel malamnya, aku mampir di restorannya hotel untuk memesan salad Paris ukuran kecil loh (yang mana menurutku ukurannya sih nggak kecil ya)! Haha 😆 .

A petit Parisian salad

Sebuah salad Paris ukuran kecil

Aku juga memutuskan mampir di restoran di dekat Stade Roland Garros yang mana dua tahun lalu aku makan menu escalope de veau yang enak banget di sana. Walaupun tahun lalu aku sedikit kecewa dengan menunya, aku memutuskan untuk mampir lagi tahun ini. Walaupun memang masakannya nggak enak-enak banget yang gimana (dagingnya terlalu matang untukku), tetapi bukannya “mengecewakan” juga seperti tahun lalu sih, haha…

BERSAMBUNG…

#1746 – A Weekend in Rennes (Part III: The French Food)

ENGLISH

Posts in the A Weekend in Rennes series:

1. Introduction
2. Part I: Rennes
3. Part II: Le Mont Saint-Michel
4. Part III: The French Food

***

The duration of the long weekend trip (from Thursday afternoon to Sunday morning) allowed me to have several takings of one of my favorite cuisines in the world: the French food. And so for this reason, this topic clearly deserves a self-standing post, haha 😆 . Anyway, here we go…

Crepes

When I was collecting information of Rennes prior to the trip, one food that kept popping up in my search was crepes. Apparently crepes, indeed, originated from Brittany, a French region where Rennes was in. And I liked crepes so while in Rennes, obviously I needed to have one, haha 😆 .

A crepe for breakfast

A crepe for breakfast

Unsurprisingly it was not difficult to find a creperie, as there were creperies pretty much everywhere I went to in Rennes. Luckily, there was a nice-looking creperie near my hotel so in one morning, I decided to have my breakfast there. Obviously, I ordered a serving of warm chocolate crepe served with vanilla ice cream and coconut spread. I can tell you now, it was SO delicious! 😋In fact, (real) crepe is now my favorite French breakfast (it used to be croissant for so long before but now the title must change hands 😛 ).

Magret De Canard

In my first evening in Rennes, I already chose a restaurant in Yelp where I would want to have my dinner. However, since that day was a public holiday, it turned out the restaurant was closed 😦 . So I went to a nice-looking restaurant just accross the street (which turned out to be recommended to me in Yelp as well but wasn’t in the top five or so). It was, indeed, a nice restaurant and after looking at their menu, I decided to order their magret de canard dish, which looked like this:

French food never fails to satisfy my taste bud!!

Magret de Canard with orange and carrot puree

And just as it looked, it was very yummy!! The duck meat was cooked perfectly and all element of the dish worked well together and “made sense”. This dish made me realize I was back in France and I knew it was the start of a delicious trip to me 😛 .

The black sauce was the worchestershire sauce. At the time, I found it surprising that worchestershire sauce was involved in a French dish; but it worked well so obviously I wasn’t complaining. When I was back at my hotel, I checked the restauant at Yelp and it turned out that it was a French restaurant with an Asian fusion! Ah, it made sense now! Not only the sauce, but the vegetables in that dish was cooked in Asian style, the name of the restaurant (Le Moon), and the decoration! Yeah, I get it now! 🙂

A Three Course Meal

The next evening, I was back at the restaurant recommended by Yelp that was closed on my first evening in Rennes. Luckily, they opened on Friday and I did not need a reservation to get a seat (it was quite busy though). After looking at the menu, I decided to go with their three course menu for €31 (the cheapest one, there were other options) and ordered my choices from the list that I was given.

L’escargot

Finally after all these years, I was able to summon enough gut to order an exotic French dish which I had been wanting to try but “afraid” (of the “grossness”) at the same time to have one, haha 😆 . It was an escargot (snails) dish.

Finally losing my escargot "virginity" :P

Finally losing my escargot “virginity” 😛

It was actually okay. The snails were a little bit chewy and, in a way, tasted like mussels. However, the most difficult part was, indeed, my brain that kept telling me “You literally have snails in your mouth right now“, lol 😆 .

Black Angus Bavette

As my main course, I ordered a more “inside the box” black angus bavette, which was basically like a steak though not really. I forgot to request to change the mashed potatoes with some fries or something else, but nonetheless it was still a good dish. The meat was cooked to medium-rare, just what I requested and the sauce was delicious!

A Black Angus bavette

A Black Angus bavette

Dessert

For dessert, I ordered an ice cream nougat with a praline cracker and dark chocolate mousse. And it was very delicious!!

A dessert

A dessert

Overall, I was very impressed by this three course meal and I did find it so worthed the €31. I am glad I followed what Yelp suggested me because I felt like it helped me reach an optimal cost-benefit spending on my meal in Rennes, haha 😆 .

The Rest

Serena Williams

In one afternoon in Rennes, I decided to go to a cafe to take some rest. It turned out that the cafe didn’t serve tea (I didn’t expect that, lol) so I had to look through their drink menu. At first I wasn’t sure what I wanted given the many options available there, but then I spotted a drink with a really unique name under the mocktail section: “Serena Williams”. And so suddently I wasn’t unsure anymore and, as a big fans of Serena, I immediately ordered the drink, lol 😆 .

A glass of Serena Williams

A glass of Serena Williams

It was good and refreshing, even though I found it to be too sweet 😛 .

Entrecote and Creme Brulee

For my last dinner in Rennes I decided to order a menu which I always love: an entrecote. It was good! And really big! I mean, the smallest one was like 300 gram or so! 😲

A 300 gr entrecot

A 300 gr entrecote

And also to follow my Magret de Canard dish above, I ordered a creme brulee for dessert. It was good as well.

Not using Yelp

In my afternoon in Rennes, I decided to do a small experiment: “What would happen if I just choose a restaurant without the help of Yelp?“. So in the Old Town (see Part I), I went to a restaurant with a good deal for lunch. I ordered a chicken with mushroom sauce as my main course and a chocolate mousse for dessert. They turned out to just be okay. They weren’t bad, but were not that special either. But at least it was a good deal as well, so in a sense actually I got what I paid for 😛 .

THE END.

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting dalam seri A Weekend in Rennes:

1. Introduction
2. Part I: Rennes
3. Part II: Le Mont Saint-Michel
4. Part III: The French Food

***

Durasi perjalanan long weekend ini (dari Kamis siang hingga Minggu pagi) memungkinkanku untuk beberapa kali makan salah satu makanan favoritku di dunia: makanan Prancis. Dan karena ini lah topik ini berhak menjadi satu posting tersendiri, haha 😆 . Anyway, berikut ini ceritanya…

Crepes

Ketika mengumpulkan informasi mengenai Rennes sebelum perjalanan ini, satu nama makanan yang selalu muncul adalah crepes. Ternyata, crepes itu asalnya dari Brittany loh, sebuah daerah di Prancis yang memang dimana Rennes berlokasi. Dan karena toh aku suka crepes, jadilah ketika di Rennes aku harus mencoba makanan tradisional mereka ini kan ya, haha 😆

A crepe for breakfast

Crepe untuk sarapan

Tidak mengherankan, tidak sulit kok untuk mencari sebuah creperie, karena ada banyak creperie dimana-mana di Rennes. Bahkan ada satu yang nampak menarik di dekat hotelku sehingga di suatu pagi, aku memutuskan untuk sarapan disana saja. Jelas, aku memesan sebuah crepe hangat berisi coklat yang disajikan dengan es krim vanilla dan taburan kelapa. Dan bisa kubilang bahwa rasanya enaaak BANGET! 😋Malahan, crepe (yang beneran) sekarang adalah menu sarapan Prancis favoritku deh (sebelumnya, gelar ini dipegang oleh croissant tetapi sekarang harus berpindah tangan 😛 ).

Magret De Canard

Di malam pertamaku di Rennes, aku sudah memilih satu restoran dengan Yelp untuk makan malam. Namun, karena hari itu tanggal merah, ternyata restorannya tutup 😦 . Jadilah aku pergi ke sebuah restoran yang penampakannya menarik di seberang jalan (yang mana ternyata juga direkomendasikan Yelp tetapi tidak termasuk peringkat lima teratas gitu). Ternyata ini adalah restoran yang memang oke dan setelah mempelajari menunya, aku memesan magret de canard yang penampilannya seperti ini:

French food never fails to satisfy my taste bud!!

Magret de Canard dengan puree jeruk dan wortel

Dan seperti penampakannya, makanannya beneran enaak!! Daging bebeknya dimasak sempurna dan semua elemen yang terlibat juga nyambung dan “masuk akal”. Masakan ini membuatku menyadari bahwa aku berada di Prancis dan aku tahu ini adalah awal dari perjalanan yang nikmat untukku 😛 .

Saus berwarna hitamnya adalah saus inggris. Waktu itu, aku cukup kaget bahwa saus inggris digunakan di sebuah masakan Prancis; ah tetapi nyatanya enak juga kok jadi aku tidak protes. Ketika aku kembali di hotel, aku mengecek restorannya di Yelp. Ternyata restorannya adalah restoran Prancis dengan fusion Asia! Ah, sekarang semuanya masuk akal! Tidak hanya sausnya kan, tetapi sayur di masakannya itu juga dimasak ala Asia (mirip seperti cap cay gitu), nama restorannya (Le Moon), dan juga dekorasi interiornya! Ah, aku paham banget sekarang! 🙂

Sebuah Menu Three Course

Keesokan malamnya, aku kembali ke restoran yang direkomendasikan Yelp malam sebelumnya tetapi tutup itu. Untungnya kali ini mereka buka dan aku tidak perlu reservasi dulu untuk mendapatkan kursi (restorannya lumayan ramai sih waktu itu). Setelah melihat-lihat menunya, aku memutuskan untuk makan paket menu three course seharga €31 (sekitar Rp 465 ribu, menu yang termurah tetapi ada pilihan lain kok) dan memilih dari daftar yang mereka berikan.

L’escargot

Akhirnya setelah bertahun-tahun ini, aku berhasil mengumpulkan cukup keberanian untuk makan sebuah masakan Prancis yang eksotis yang sudah lama banget ingin aku cobain tetapi juga “takur” (lebih ke “jijik” sih) pada saat yang sama, haha 😆 . Ini adalah sebuah masakan escargot (bekicot).

Finally losing my escargot "virginity" :P

Finally losing my escargot “virginity” 😛

Ternyata rasanya oke-oke aja kok. Bekicotnya agak kenyal dan, sedikit banyak, terasa seperti kerang gitu. Namun, bagian yang tersulit adalah otakku yang terus-terusan ngomong “Eh ada bekicot loh di dalam mulutmu“, huahaha 😆 .

Black Angus Bavette

Sebagai makanan utama, aku memutuskan menu yang mainstream aja, black angus bavette, yang mana pada dasarnya mirip seperti steak tetapi bukan juga sih. Aku lupa untuk meminta menukar mashed potatoes-nya dengan french fries atau apa gitu, tetapi toh rasanya enak kok. Dagingnya dimasak ke level medium-rare, sesuai dengan pesananku, dan sausnya juga enaak!

A Black Angus bavette

Black Angus bavette

Pencuci Mulut

Untuk pencuci mulut, aku memesan es krim nougat dengan praline cracker dan mousse coklat hitam. Enaaak!!

A dessert

Sebuah pencuci mulut

Sevara keseluruhan, aku sungguh terkesan dengan menu three course ini dan aku merasa puas dengan €31 yang harus kubayarkan itu. Aku lega aku mengikuti yang disarankan Yelp karena aku merasa app ini telah membantuku mengoptimalisasi pengeluaranku dalam hal cost-benefit di Rennes, haha 😆 .

Sisanya

Serena Williams

Di suatu sore di Rennes, aku ingin duduk-duduk di kafe untuk beristirahat. Eh ternyata kafenya tidak menyediakan teh loh (tidak kusangka nih) sehingga aku melihat-lihat daftar menu yang mereka miliki. Awalnya aku nggak yakin aku ingin apa karena pilihannya ada banyak banget, tetapi kemudian sebuah menu menarik perhatianku yang mana merupakan sebuah minuman dengan nama unik di bagian mocktail: “Serena Williams”. Dan jadilah aku langsung tahu apa yang ingin kupesan, sebagai fans-nya Serena, jelas dong ya aku memesan minuman ini, huahaha 😆 .

A glass of Serena Williams

Segelas Serena Williams

Rasanya enak dan memang menyegarkan, walaupun untukku agak kemanisan sih 😛 .

Entrecote dan Creme Brulee

Makan malam terakhirku di Rennes, aku memutuskan untuk memesan menu yang aku tahu aku suka: entrecote. Dan rasanya enaak! Dan besaar! Maksudku, masa yang paling kecil berukuran 300 gram loh! 😲

A 300 gr entrecot

Sebuah entrecote 300 gram

Dan aku juga memesan creme brulee untuk menemani menu Magret de Canard di atas. Rasanya juga enak.

Tidak menggunakan Yelp

Di suatu siang di Rennes, aku memutuskan untuk melakukan sebuah percobaan kecil: “Apa yang terjadi andaikata aku tidak menggunakan bantuan Yelp?“. Jadilah di Kota Tua (baca Bagian I), aku memutuskan untuk makan siang di sebuah restoran dengan deal yang oke untuk makan siang. Aku memesan ayam dengan saus jamur dan mousse coklat. Ternyata rasanya biasa-biasa aja. Bukannya nggak enak sih, hanya saja nggak spesial aja. Ah, tetapi seenggaknya harganya memang murah sih, jadilah aku mendapatkan apa yang kubayarkan kan ya 😛 .

SELESAI.

#1745 – A Weekend in Rennes (Part II: Le Mont Saint-Michel)

ENGLISH

Posts in the A Weekend in Rennes series:

1. Introduction
2. Part I: Rennes
3. Part II: Le Mont Saint-Michel
4. Part III: The French Food

***

Getting to Mont Saint-Michel

A map of Mont Saint-Michel with respect to Rennes. A screenshot from Google Map

A map of Mont Saint-Michel with respect to Rennes. A screenshot from Google Map

Mont Saint-Michel was located around 70 km north of Rennes. From Rennes, the only way to get to Mont Saint-Michel was by bus (okay, or by driving on your own 😛 ). There were two bus options and I chose to go with the more comfortable regional bus service which went all the way from Rennes to Mont Saint-Michel non-stop which cost €15 one way (with a 25% discount for people under 26 or over 60. Damn I am over 26 but still well below 60 now 😦 ). Apparently there was another cheaper alternative where you took a cheaper bus service to Pontorson (about 9 km away from Mont Saint-Michel) from where you could hitch hike (lol) or take another local bus service to Mont Saint-Michel. However, the other local bus service schedule was not designed to align with the Rennes-Pontorson bus service so there was a good chance you would get stuck at Pontorson for hours. Umm, this was a big no no to me.

The bus ticket for the regional service could be bought in the Rennes Bus Terminal just in the morning of your departure. I tried to buy the ticket one day earlier but the ticketing lady said the tickets for tomorrow still had not been sold yet and she assured me to just come the next morning (and I would, for sure, still get the return ticket). So on the D-day, I arrived a bit earlier to secure a return bus tickets that day. The bus was a comfortable coach-type bus that was equipped with decent free wifi connection. So the 1 hour ride (one way) between Rennes and Mont Saint-Michel was really pleasant. There were about four services between Rennes and Mont Saint-Michel. I maximized my time in Mont Saint-Michel by taking the first service out of Rennes (departing at 09:40) and the last service out of Mont Saint-Michel (departing at 17:30), haha 😆 .

The regional coach between Rennes and Mont Saint-Michel

The regional coach between Rennes and Mont Saint-Michel

Le Mont Saint-Michel

Just recently, they changed the location where the regional bus stopped in Mont Saint-Michel. Apparently before, the regional bus stopped literally at the gate of Mont Saint-Michel. This time, however, the bus stopped nearby the tourist information center about 2.5 km away from the gate of Mont Saint-Michel. However, there was free shuttle bus service between the tourist information center and the Mont Saint-Michel.

And so considering the free facility of a shuttle bus service, I decided to walk the 2.5 km distance to Mont Saint-Michel from the tourist information center!! Hahahaha 😆 . I just saw this as a good opportunity to do a bit of exercise (after all the delicious food I have had this weekend, story to follow in the next post). I also wanted to get a good picture of Mont Saint-Michel from afar; something which I would not get had I been dropped at the gate with the shuttle bus 😛 .

Le Mont Saint-Michel

Le Mont Saint-Michel from afar (about 2 km away?)

The weather was also nice today so it was actually a very pleasant walk from the tourist information center to Le Mont Saint-Michel. And I was not the only one thinking this way as there were actually plenty of other people who decided to take this path as well 😉 . When I got close enough to Mont Saint-Michel, of course I decided to stop and took a selfie, haha 😆 .

Le Mont Saint Michel

A Le Mont Saint-Michel selfie

Entering Le Mont Saint-Michel was absolutely free of charge except if you wanted to enter the “Abbey” (the castle-like structure you see above) as well. Surrounding the castle was a small medieval fortificated village which was also very interesting on its own. Btw, Mont Saint-Michel is actually an island commune so people actually still do live there (50 as of 2015 according to Wikipedia). Surrounding the island was very big and flat field of (wet) sand which looked, strangely, cool. However, it was quite dangerous to walk on as well because you might get trapped into some quicksands😱😱😱😱😱. It was also very unsafe to go there during high tide or bad stormy weather because you could literally get struck by some lightning there 😑😑😑. I believe there were quided tours to the sand area and it was actually recommended to use this tour if you wanted to do so. Of course I did not join because, well, I did not want to get my feet dirty as it was gross!! Hahaha 😆

Today was a Saturday and it was probably not the best time to visit Le Mont Saint-Michel as it was so full of people! I think the combination of good weather and that particular weekend being a long weekend contributed a lot into this, haha 😆 . I was planning to go to the Abbey but the queue was extremely long. I left, waited for about 1.5 hours, and came back only to find out that the queue was still long. Well, I did not feel like queuing for too long at that point so I decided to quit the idea.

The very crowded Le Mont Saint-Michel on a Saturday

The very crowded Le Mont Saint-Michel on a Saturday

Around Le Mont Saint-Michel

In the area near the tourist information center, there were also a few restaurants, cafes, shops, and hotels. So if you have some time to kill before your departing bus service from the area, you could do that in this area. Aside from that, however, I literally saw nothing. It was just plain field everywhere I saw, haha 😆

The Food

The local specialty of Le Mont Saint-Michel was a dish, I am sure, most people were familiar of: omelette, haha 😆 . So while I was there I decided to go to a restaurant to try one. Btw, it was certainly not easy at all to get a seat in a restaurant there during a busy day like today. I was lucky I was curious and asked an availability in a restaurant which I saw so the waiter could waitlist me for an empty seat if I came back an hour later. So a reservation was definitely recommended.

Mont Saint-Michel's signature dish: l'omelette

Mont Saint-Michel’s signature dish: l’omelette

Anyway, I found the omelette to be quite pricey though. The cheapest one offered by the restaurant I went to was €35 and it was actually the vegetarian one! Haha 😆 . I decided to order the salmon omelette for €39 but the waitress misunderstood my order and took it as the vegetarian one 😦 . When it was delivered, I was already too hungry that I decided to just accept it (I “saved” €4 nonetheless 😛 ). What made the omelette special was how they made it. It was cooked in a traditional Mont Saint-Michel-way where they used a brick fireplace and put the frying pans with the omelettes into it.

The omelette also tasted rather unique and unlike any other kind: “foamy” (similar to the texture of a souffle). So, yeah, it was rather interesting. However, I am not sure if I could say that omelette as my favorite omelette ever because, while certainly unique, I found the foamy structure to be a little bit “weird”. I think it is safe to say that for the moment I like “more solid” omelette better 😉 .

TO BE CONTINUED…

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting dalam seri A Weekend in Rennes:

1. Introduction
2. Part I: Rennes
3. Part II: Le Mont Saint-Michel
4. Part III: The French Food

***

Menuju ke Mont Saint-Michel

A map of Mont Saint-Michel with respect to Rennes. A screenshot from Google Map

Peta lokasi Mont Saint-Michel dari Rennes. Sebuah screenshot dari Google Map

Mont Saint-Michel berlokasi sekitar 70 km di utara Rennes. Dari Rennes, satu-satunya cara untuk pergi ke Mont Saint-Michel adalah dengan bus (oke, atau menyetir sendiri ke sana sih 😛 ). Ada dua pilihan layanan bus dan aku memilih layanan bus regional yang lebih nyaman yang langsung mengantarku dari Rennes ke Mont Saint-Michel tanpa berhenti dengan harga tiket €15 (sekitar Rp 225 ribu) satu arah (dengan diskon 25% untuk penumpang di bawah 26 atau di atas 60 tahun. Sial, aku kan sudah lewat 26 tetapi masih jauuh di bawah 60 ya 😦 ). Sebenarnya ada alternatif bus lain yang lebih murah ke desa Pontorson (sekitar 9 km dari Mont Saint-Michel) yang mana dari sana kita bisa mencari tebengan (lol) atau menunggu servis bus lokal lainnya ke Mont Saint-Michel. Namun, jadwal bus lokal ini tidak didisain untuk tersambung dengan bus Rennes – Pontorson sehingga ada kemungkinan besar untuk terjebak di Pontorson berjam-jam hanya untuk menunggu busnya. Ummm, aku ogah deh kalau begitu.

Tiket bus regionalnya bisa dibeli di Terminal Bus Rennes di pagi hari keberangkatan. Aku mencoba membeli tiketnya sehari sebelumnya (takut kehabisan) tetapi petugas tiketnya bilang bahwa tiket untuk keesokan harinya masih belum dijual dan aku bisa datang besok paginya saja (dan pasti masih mendapatkan tiket kok, katanya). Jadilah di hari-H aku datang agak pagian untuk mengamankan tiket bus pp itu. Busnya adalah bus pariwisata yang nyaman dan dilengkapi dengan wifi gratisan yang koneksinya lumayan cepat. Jadilah perjalanan sekitar 1 jam (satu arah) antara Rennes dan Mont Saint-Michel juga tidak begitu terasa. Ada empat layanan bus per hari di antara Rennes dan Mont Saint-Michel. Aku memaksimalkan waktuku di Mont Saint-Michel dengan naik layanan bus pertama yang berangkat dari Rennes (berangkat jam 09:40 pagi) dan pulang dengan layanan bus terakhir dari Mont Saint-Michel (berangkat jam 05:30 sore), haha 😆 .

The regional coach between Rennes and Mont Saint-Michel

Bus regional antara Rennes dan Mont Saint-Michel.

Le Mont Saint-Michel

Baru-baru ini, lokasi pemberhentian bus regional di Mont Saint-Michel diubah. Sebelumnya, busnya berhenti tepat di gerbang masuknya Mont Saint-Michel. Sekarang, busnya berhenti di dekat pusat informasi turis sekitar 2,5 km dari gerbangnya Mont Saint-Michel. Eh, tetapi ini bukan lah sebuah masalah kok karena disediakan layanan shuttle bus gratis antara pusat informasi turis dan Mont Saint-Michel.

Dan karena ada layanan shuttle bus gratisan ini, aku jelas memutuskan untuk jalan kaki aja sejauh 2,5 kilometer itu ke Mont Saint-Michel lah ya dari pusat informasi turisnya! Huahahaha 😆 . Lho, kok? Yaaa, soalnya aku merasa ini adalah kesempatan baik untuk sekalian berolahraga lah (apalagi setelah semua makanan enak yang sudah kunikmati di perjalanan ini, cerita menyusul di posting selanjutnya). Toh aku juga ingin mengambil foto Mont Saint-Michel dari kejauhan; ini adalah sesuatu yang tidak akan bisa kulakukan andaikata aku langsung diantar ke gerbangya kan 😛 .

Le Mont Saint-Michel

Le Mont Saint-Michel dari kejauhan (sekitar 2 km?)

Kebetulan cuaca hari ini juga sedang oke sehingga asyik banget loh berjalan-kaki dari pusat informasi turis ke Mont Saint-Michel. Dan bukan aku saja yang memiliki ide ini karena ada banyak banget pengunjung lain yang juga memilih untuk berjalan kaki 😉 . Ketika aku sudah cukup dekat dengan Mont Saint-Michel, jelas lah aku berhenti dan foto-foto selfie dulu, hahaha 😆 .

Le Mont Saint Michel

Sebuah selfie Le Mont Saint-Michel

Masuk Le Mont Saint-Michel tidak dipungut biaya apa pun kecuali kalau mau masuk “Abbey”-nya (bangunan seperti kastil di foto di atas). Kastilnya dikelilingi oleh sebuah desa kecil bernuansa abad pertengahan yang dipagari benteng yang juga menarik untuk dijelajahi. Btw, Mont Saint-Michel adalah sebuah komunitas pulau sehingga memang beneran ada orang yang tinggal disana (50 orang di tahun 2015 menurut Wikipedia). Pulaunya dikelilingi oleh suatu pantai berpasir basah (lumpur?) yang sungguh amat luas dan rata yang, anehnya, nampak kereen. Eh, tetapi berbahaya loh kalau jalan sendiri di area lumpurnya karena salah-salah bisa terhisap pasir penghisap😱😱😱😱😱. Juga sangat nggak aman pergi kesana di saat pasang atau ketika cuaca sedang buruk karena ada risiko disambar petir 😑😑😑. Aku cukup yakin bahwa ada tur dengan pemandu untuk menjelajahi area pasir lumpurnya itu dan, sebenarnya, pengunjung yang ingin berjalan-jalan di sana memang direkomendasikan untuk ikut tur ini. Untukku, jelas aku nggak ikut karena, yaa, aku males banget mengotori kakiku dengan lumpur gitu. Kan jijik gitu ya!! Hahaha 😆

Hari ini adalah hari Sabtu sehingga mungkin ini bukanlah hari terbaik untuk mengunjungi Le Mont Saint-Michel karena rame banget! Aku rasa kombinasi antara cuaca yang ok dan akhir pekan ini adalah long weekend menyebabkan ramainya ini deh!! Aku berencana untuk pergi ke Abbey-nya tetapi antriannya sungguh sangat panjang. Aku kemudian pergi, menunggu lagi selama 1,5 jam, dan kembali hanya untuk melihat antriannya masih panjang. Karena aku sedang nggak ingin mengantri, jadilah aku memutuskan untuk tidak jadi masuk deh.

The very crowded Le Mont Saint-Michel on a Saturday

Le Mont Saint-Michel yang sangat ramai di hari Sabtu

Di sekitar Le Mont Saint-Michel

Di area sekitar pusat informasi turis terdapat beberapa restoran, kafe, toko, dan hotel. Jadi jika memiliki waktu yang perlu dihabiskan, misalnya ketika menunggu jadwal keberangkatan bus, area ini bisa dimanfaatkan. Di samping itu, aku sama sekali tidak melihat apa-apa. Hanya sebuah pemandangan hamparan yang rata kosong gitu deh, haha 😆

Makanannya

Makanan lokal Le Mont Saint-Michel adalah sebuah masakan yang, aku yakin, pasti banyak yang familier: omelet, haha 😆 . Karena aku sudah disana, jelas aku mencoba satu lah ya. Btw, nggak mudah loh mendapatkan kursi di sebuah restoran di sana di hari yang sibuk seperti ini. Aku beruntung awalnya aku penasaran sehingga iseng bertanya ketersediaan kursi sehingga pelayannya bisa memasukanku ke daftar tunggu dan berkata aku bisa masuk satu jam kemudian. Kesimpulannya, menurutku reservasi itu penting banget untuk dibuat di sebuah restoran di Mont Saint-Michel ketika ramai.

Mont Saint-Michel's signature dish: l'omelette

Menu khas Mont Saint-Michel: l’omelette

Anyway, menurutku sih omeletnya mahal. Yang paling murah di restoran yang kusinggahi itu seharga €35 loh (sekitar Rp 530 ribu) dan itu pun omelet vegetarian! Haha 😆 . Aku memutuskan untuk memesan omelet salmon seharga €39 (sekitar Rp 590 ribu) tetapi pelayannya salah mengerti maksudku dan malah memesankan omelet vegetarian 😦 . Ketika omeletnya disajikan, aku sudah terlalu lapar banget sehingga omeletnya aku terima saja (toh aku jadi “hemat” €4 kan 😛 ). Yang membuat omeletnya spesial adalah cara masak omeletnya. Omeletnya dimasak dengan cara tradisionalnya ala Mont Saint-Michel yaitu dengan menggunakan sebuah perapian batu bata kuno dimana wajan berisi telur omeletnya dimasukkan ke dalamnya.

Rasa omeletnya juga unik dan tidak seperti yang lainnya: “berbuih” (seperti tekstur souffle gitu). Jadi, ya, menarik memang. Namun, aku tidak yakin bisa membuat pernyataan bahwa omelet ini adalah omelet favoritku karena, walaupun memang unik, aku merasa struktur berbuihnya terasa agak “aneh”. Aku rasa aku bisa bilang sekarang bahwa aku lebih suka omelet yang berstruktur “lebih solid” gitu deh 😉 .

BERSAMBUNG…

#1576 – 2015 French Open Trip (Part II: Roland Garros)

ENGLISH

Previously on 2015 French Open Trip: Zilko went to Paris to watch the second grandslam tournament of the year: the 2015 French Open. Now, it is time for the story from the tournament itself.

***

Lucky Boy

I got a ticket for Saturday, which was for the women’s singles final and men’s doubles final. I was happy with the result of these two events so far, because both matches would involve my favorite players: Serena Williams in the women’s singles final and the Bryan brothers in the men’s doubles final.

But then, on Friday evening, the day where the men’s singles semifinals were played, the second match of the day between the male tennis player world number 1, Novak Djokovic, and the world no.3, Andy Murray, had to be suspended at 6–3, 6–3, 5–7, 3–3, because of darkness. As a result, they had to resume the match the day after, which was Saturday, the day I got a ticket! Yes, so that Saturday I got a bonus of a semifinal match between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray as well! HELL YEAH!!!

The Experience

Because of this bonus match, I decided to come early to Roland Garros. The women’s singles final was scheduled at 3 PM but the resumption of the men’s singles semifinals was scheduled at 1 PM. So I arrived at the grounds at around 9 AM, haha. The gate was still closed at that time so we had to wait for a bit before they opened the gate at around 10 AM.

I have to say that that morning in Stade Roland Garros was much more lively than I expected. I mean, it was the finals day, so only a few players (who reached the finals) were still alive in the draw. So I expected it to be much less crowded than the first week (all my previous visits to Roland Garros were in the first week). But then, even though indeed it was not as crowded, it was still quite lively with a lot of junior players and some retired players (who competed in the Legend’s event) were there as well!

Juan Carlos Ferrero

For instance, I saw Juan Carlos Ferrero in the morning

So it was quite nice.

The Matches

I watched four matches today:

  1. Women’s legend’s final between Martina Navratilova (USA)/Kim Clijsters (BEL) vs Lindsay Davenport (USA)/Mary Joe Fernandez (USA).
  2. Men’s singles semifinals between [1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) and [3] Andy Murray (GBR)
  3. Women’s singles final between [1] Serena Williams (USA) vs [13] Lucie Šafářová (CZE)
  4. Men’s doubles final between [1] Bob Bryan (USA)/Mike Bryan (USA) vs [3] Ivan Dodig (CRO)/Marcelo Melo (BRA)

The first one was held in Court Suzanne Lenglen (my first time in Suzanne Lenglen actually) and the next three were in Court Philippe Chatrier.

Women’s legend’s final between Martina Navratilova (USA)/Kim Clijsters (BEL) vs Lindsay Davenport (USA)/Mary Joe Fernandez (USA)

The legend’s event at a grandslam tournament is always interesting for tennis fans because it always brings out the nostalgia atmosphere. For instance, here, I could see the 58 year old Martina Navratilova playing a tennis match. She was playing with the 32 year old Kim Clijsters who retired in 2012. Against them were the three-time grandslam champion, Lindsay Davenport, and a former top 4 player in the 1990s, Mary Joe Fernandez.

Kim Clijsters and Martina Navratilova won the Woman's Legend event

Kim Clijsters and Martina Navratilova won the Woman’s Legend event

The four players still played good tennis. Obviously the level was not as high as the professional players. But here, I can see that two things do not get away with age or rust: champion mentality and technique. In the super-tiebreak, Navratilova/Clijsters were down two match points at 7–9. But then, Martina Navratilova saved both points with her legendary touch at the net!! In the end, Navratilova/Clijsters won 2–6, 6–2, [11–9].

Men’s singles semifinal between [1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) and [3] Andy Murray (GBR)

Andy Murray is my favorite male tennis player now. But honestly, I did not expect a lot from him today because he was facing a tough opponent, Novak Djokovic, on Murray’s historically weakest surface, clay. So I was just hoping him to make it a closer contest. The match being 2–1 in sets for Djokovic and it was tied at 3–3 in the fourth set, there was a chance it could be over in just three games, lol 😆 .

Novak Djokovic preparing to hit a serve

Novak Djokovic preparing to hit a serve

Andy Murray returning a Novak Djokovic's serve

Andy Murray returning a Novak Djokovic’s serve

But luckily, Murray was able to win the fourth set 7–5 and so he forced a fifth set to be played. Djokovic, however, was playing amazingly in the fifth set, especially at the crucial points. Murray did not play bad, but Djokovic just outclassed him and won 6–1, even though the score did not justify the fifth set.

Men’s doubles final between [1] Bob Bryan (USA)/Mike Bryan (USA) vs [3] Ivan Dodig (CRO)/Marcelo Melo (BRA)

I have watched the Bryans brothers played in Roland Garros before in 2012. But it was in the first round so it was nice that I could watch their match in the final now. Against them were a team who were in their second grandslam final (they lost to the Bryans in Wimbledon in 2013), Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo. Btw, this match made me realize there were so many Brazilians there today. They were supporting Melo who was Brazilian, haha.

The Bryan brothers strategizing

The Bryan brothers strategizing

The match turned out to be a very good and close match. Both teams held their serve in the first set where the Bryans sneaked it out in the tiebreak. In the second set, the Bryans were able to gain an early break advantage. But at some point, Dodig/Melo squandered it back on Mike Bryan’s serve and the Croatian/Brazilian team took the second set in the tiebreak. The third set was very neck to neck where now both teams played good doubles tennis. At 5 all on Mike Bryan’s serve, however, Dodig/Melo were able to sneak out a break advantage and eventually closed the match out 7–5. It was their first grandslam title.

Women’s singles final between [1] Serena Williams (USA) vs [13] Lucie Šafářová (CZE)

And here is the match which was the reason I felt so blessed for getting a ticket for the final. As a fan of Serena Williams, it was a blessing that I was able to witness her playing in a grandslam final. I mean, it was my opportunity to see her in the best tennis stage! Realistically, she is 33 years of age now, so who knows how many more years she will be playing, right? So while she is still playing, I want to enjoy watching her playing as much as possible, and now I gotta watch her play a grandslam final! 😀

The coint toss for the women's singles final

The coint toss for the women’s singles final

Anyway, as we all could see, the match was all Serena’s. She appeared to have passed the worst stage of the flu which clearly hampered her in her semifinal match (she could not even practice the day before the final because of it). She started the match really strongly, building a 6–3, 4–1 (40–15) lead. To this moment I was feeling normal because it looked like it would be a routine win for Serena.

But then she started to look a little bit nervous and tight, starting to make uncharacteristic errors. Sensing this, Lucie took an advantage and imposed her game more. Somehow, she was able to bring the second set back to level and forced a tiebreak, which she won. She carried this momentum to the third set, building a 2–0 lead immediately. And here, I have started to feel more nervous and was mentally so into the match, haha 😆 . But then, being a champion that she was, Serena unleashed her champion mentality, regrouped, and won the next six games. Thus, winning the match 6–3, 6–7(2), 6–2 and her 20th grandslam singles title!

Lucie Šafářová hitting a backhand

Lucie Šafářová hitting a backhand

Serena Williams hitting a forehand

Serena Williams hitting a forehand

During the match though, I was annoyed with an old man who was sitting behind me who kept yelling “Allez Lucie!!” on pretty much every single point, including when Serena made some errors, haha 😆 . As to me? Well, I tried to keep calm and keep everything within myself even though deep down I was nervous and at the same time annoyed with that old man (and some other ladies who were also cheering for Šafářová, haha). But when Serena finally got her first match point, I could not hold it anymore and screamed “Come on Serena!!!“, hahaha 😆 . And when Serena won, I screamed “Yeeesssssss!!!!” really loudly, haha 😛 . I was so happy that I was shaking! Really!!

Serena Williams expressing her emotiong after winning the title

I pretty much shared the same emotion with Serena Williams here: “Yeaaaaah!!!”

This “drama” of Serena somehow losing grounds for a bit and Lucie taking an advantage of it made the match more “exciting” actually and made me get into the match more and become involved mentally. Seriously, this match had a lot of interesting stuffs: from Serena being forced to hit a left-handed forehand (Serena is a right-hander), like this:

Serena Williams hitting a left-handed forehand in the final. Photo credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe

Serena Williams hitting a left-handed forehand in the final. Photo credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe

Btw, at that moment, I was like “Did I just see that? That Serena just hit a left-handed forehand? And it went in? Wow!“. Lol, I could not believe what I just saw. And then in the heat of the moment, apparently Serena cursed a few times (“apparently” as I did not hear iy myself but indeed she got a warning from the umpire). Yeah, the match turned out to be a quite dramatic one, haha 😆 .

Serena Williams and Le Coupe Suzanne Lenglen

Serena Williams and Le Coupe Suzanne Lenglen

The Experience (continued)

So yeah, now I can say that a grandslam final is the best tennis match we can ever see as tennis fans. This is because everyone cares about this match, because there is no other match that is more important than a grandslam final. Everyone is involved. The players. The officials. The spectators. So the atmosphere in the stadium is really amazing.

Me with Serena Williams, haha

It was so great that I got a photo with Serena Williams, haha

The Food

Anyway, so let’s talk about the food here. Being there for just one day, I only had a breakfast and a late lunch during my stay there. For breakfast, I went with the normal tuna sandwich.

Beef steak with ratatouille

Beef steak with ratatouille, my favorite dish at Roland Garros

For lunch, I ordered my favorite dish for lunch at Roland Garros: a beef steak with ratatouille. It is not the most delicious steak in the entire planet indeed; but somehow I just love this dish! Every year when I go to Roland Garros, I always order one! 😀

THE END.

BAHASA INDONESIA

Sebelumnya dalam 2015 French Open Trip: Zilko pergi ke Paris untuk menonton turnamen grandslam kedua tahun ini: French Open 2015. Sekarang adalah saatnya untuk cerita dari turnamen bergengsi ini.

***

Beruntung

Aku memiliki tiket untuk hari Sabtu, yang mana jadwalnya adalah final tunggal putri dan final ganda putra. Aku cukup senang dengan hasil dari turnamen ini sejauh ini, karena kedua pertandingannya akan melibatkan petenis favoritku: Serena Williams di final tunggal putri dan Bryan bersaudara di final ganda putra.

Tetapi kemudian, Jumat malam, hari dimana semifinal tunggal putra dimainkan, pertandingan semifinal kedua antara petenis putra peringkat 1 dunia, Novak Djokovic, dan peringkat 3 dunia, Andy Murray, harus dihentikan di posisi 6–3, 6–3, 5–7, 3–3 karena sudah gelap. Pertandingannya baru bisa dilanjutkan sehari setelahnya, yaitu hari Sabtu, hari dimana aku memiliki sebuah tiket! Iya, sebagai akibatnya, di hari Sabtu aku mendapatkan bonus pertandingan semifinal antara Novak Djokovic dan Andy Murray dong! ASYIK BANGETTTT!!!

Pengalamannya

Karena pertandingan bonus ini, aku memutuskan untuk datang awal deh ke Roland Garros. Final tunggal putri dijadwalkan mulai jam 3 sore tetapi semifinal tunggal putranya dijadwalkan jam 1 siang. Jadilah aku tiba di arenanya sekitar jam 9 pagi, haha. Gerbangnya masih ditutup waktu itu jadi aku harus menunggu sebentar sampai mereka membukanya sekitar jam 10 pagi.

Harus aku bilang bahwa pagi itu, Stade Roland Garros lebih ramai daripada bayanganku. Maksudku, ini kan sudah final ya jadi hanya sedikit pemain saja (yang mencapai babak final) yang masih hidup di turnamennya kan. Jadi aku kira suasananya bakalan jauh lebih sepi daripada minggu pertama turnamen (sebelum ini, semua kunjunganku ke Roland Garros adalah di minggu pertama). Tetapi kemudian, walaupun memang tidak seramai minggu pertama, tetapi masih cukup ramai juga kok dimana banyak petenis junior dan beberapa eks-pemain (yang berkompetisi di event legenda) hadir juga!

Juan Carlos Ferrero

Misalnya, pagi itu aku melihat Juan Carlos Ferrero

Jadi asyik lah.

Pertandingan Tenis

Aku menonton empat pertandingan tenis hari ini:

  1. Final legenda putri antara Martina Navratilova (USA)/Kim Clijsters (BEL) vs Lindsay Davenport (USA)/Mary Joe Fernandez (USA).
  2. Semifinal tunggal putra antara [1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs [3] Andy Murray (GBR)
  3. Final tunggal putri antara [1] Serena Williams (USA) vs [13] Lucie Šafářová (CZE)
  4. Final ganda putra antara [1] Bob Bryan (USA)/Mike Bryan (USA) vs [3] Ivan Dodig (CRO)/Marcelo Melo (BRA)

Pertandingan pertama diadakan di Lapangan Suzanne Lenglen (kali pertama aku memasuki Lapangan Suzanne Lenglen loh ini) dan ketiga selanjutnya di Lapangan Philippe Chatrier.

Final legenda putri antara Martina Navratilova (USA)/Kim Clijsters (BEL) vs Lindsay Davenport (USA)/Mary Joe Fernandez (USA)

Event legenda di sebuah grandslam selalu menarik untuk ditonton bagi penggemar tenis karena membawa banyak memori nostalgia dengannya. Misalnya saja, kali ini, aku bisa menyaksikan Martina Navratilova yang berumur 58 tahun bermain sebuah pertandingan tenis loh. Ia berpasangan dengan Kim Clijsters yang berusia 32 tahun yang pensiun di tahun 2012. Lawan mereka hari itu adalah juara grandslam tiga kali, Lindsay Davenport, dan mantan pemain 4 besar di tahun 1990an, Mary Joe Fernandez.

Kim Clijsters and Martina Navratilova won the Woman's Legend event

Kim Clijsters dan Martina Navratilova memenangi gelar legenda putri

Keempat pemain ini masih memainkan tenis dengan baik. Jelas lah ya levelnya sudah tidak setinggi level pemain profesional lagi. Tetapi disini, aku amati ada dua hal yang tidak bisa hilang dengan waktu dan usia: mental juara dan teknik. Di super-tiebreak, Navratilova/Clijsters menghadapi dua match point untuk lawan di posisi 7–9. Tetapi kemudian, Martina Navratilova menyelamatkan kedua poin itu dengan touch legendarisnya di net!! Dan pada akhirnya Navratilova/Clijsters menang 2–6, 6–2, [11–9].

Semifinal tunggal putra antara [1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs [3] Andy Murray (GBR)

Andy Murray adalah petenis putra favoritku sekarang. Tetapi jujur saja, aku tidak berharap banyak darinya hari ini karena ia menghadapi lawan yang amat berat, Novak Djokovic, di permukaan terlemahnya Murray, tanah liat. Jadi aku hanya berharap mudah-mudahan Murray bisa membuat ini menjadi pertandingan yang menarik. Dan karena pertandingannya berada di posisi 2–1 dalam hal set untuk Djokovic dan sedang imbang 3–3 di set keempat, ada kemungkinan pertandingan ini bisa beres dalam tiga games saja kan ya, haha 😆 .

Novak Djokovic preparing to hit a serve

Novak Djokovic akan memukul sebuah serve

Andy Murray returning a Novak Djokovic's serve

Andy Murray mengembalikan serve-nya Djokovic

Tetapi untungnya, Murray berhasil memenangi set keempat 7–5 dan memaksa set kelima untuk dimainkan. Djokovic, tapinya, kemudian bermain dengan brilian di set kelima, terutama di poin-poin penting. Murray tidak bermain buruk, tetapi Djokovic yang terlalu bagus sehingga menang 6–1, walaupun skor ini tidak mengindikasikan ketatnya set kelima sih.

Final ganda putra antara [1] Bob Bryan (USA)/Mike Bryan (USA) vs [3] Ivan Dodig (CRO)/Marcelo Melo (BRA)

Aku sudah pernah menonton Bryan bersaudara di Roland Garros sebelumnya di tahun 2012. Tetapi waktu itu hanyalah babak pertama sehingga tetap seru dong ya sekarang aku bisa menonton mereka di final. Lawan mereka adalah tim yang baru memasuki final grandslam keduanya (mereka kalah dari si kembar Bryan di Wimbledon tahun 2013), Ivan Dodig dan Marcelo Melo. Btw, pertandingan ini membuatku menyadari bahwa hari itu ada banyak banget orang Brazil disana loh. Mereka semua mendukung Melo yang mana memang berasal dari Brazil, haha.

The Bryan brothers strategizing

Bryan bersaudara mendiskusikan strategi

Pertandingannya ternyata adalah pertandingan yang amat seru dan ketat. Kedua tim mempertahankan servisnya di set pertama dimana Bryan bersaudara memenanginya di tiebreak. Di set kedua, Bryan bersaudara mendapatkan keuntungan satu break. Tetapi kemudian, Dodig/Melo merebutnya kembali di servisnya Mike Bryan dan tim dari Kroasia/Brazil ini memenangi set kedua di tiebreak. Set ketiga berlangsung amat ketat dimana kedua tim memainkan tenis ganda berlevel tinggi. Di posisi 5 sama, servisnya Mike Bryan terpatahkan lagi. Kemudian Dodig/Melo berhasil menutup pertandingan dengan skor 7–5. Ini adalah gelar grandslam pertama mereka.

Final tunggal putri antara [1] Serena Williams (USA) vs [13] Lucie Šafářová (CZE)

Dan inilah pertandingan yang paling aku tunggu-tunggu dan membuatku senang sekali aku memiliki tiket untuk finalnya. Sebagai fans-nya Serena Williams, jelas aku bersyukur banget dong ya aku bisa menyaksikannya memainkan sebuah final grandslam. Maksudku, ini adalah kesempatan untuk menontonnya bermain di panggung tenis terbaik di dunia! Realistis saja, di usianya yang sudah 33 tahun, tidak ada yang tahu berapa lama lagi ia akan bermain kan? Jadi mumpung ia masih bermain, aku ingin menikmati permainannya semaksimal mungkin, dan sekarang aku bisa menontonnya di final grandslam! 😀

The coint toss for the women's singles final

Coin toss untuk final tunggal putri

Seperti yang bisa kita lihat, pertandingannya secara keseluruhan tergantung dari Serena. Ia nampak sudah melewati fase terburuk dari sakit flunya yang jelas mempengaruhi performanya di semifinal (ia bahkan tidak bisa berlatih sehari sebelum final karena ini). Ia memulai pertandingan dengan baik dan langsung unggul 6–3, 4–1 (40–15). Sampai saat ini aku merasa biasa saja (tetapi senang) karena pertandingannya nampak akan menjadi sebuah kemenangan rutin bagi Serena.

Tetapi kemudian, ia mulai nampak grogi dan tegang sehingga mulai membuat kesalahan-kesalahan sendiri yang tidak biasa. Merasakan ini, Lucie memanfaatkannya dan mulai masuk ke pertandingannya. Entah bagaimana, ia bisa menyamakan kembali kedudukan di set kedua dan memaksa tiebreak untuk dimainkan, yang mana ia menangi. Ia membawa momentum ini ke set ketiga dan langsung membangun keunggulan 2–0. Dan disini, aku mulai merasa tegang dan deg-degan nih dan secara mental aku mulai masuk juga ke pertandingannya, haha 😆 . Tetapi kemudian, disini lah Serena mengeluarkan mental juaranya. Ia menenangkan dirinya kembali dan langsung memenangi enam game selanjutnya. Pada akhirnya, Serena Williams menang 6–3, 6–7(2), 6–2 dan juga gelar grandslam ke-20nya!

Lucie Šafářová hitting a backhand

Lucie Šafářová memukul backhand

Serena Williams hitting a forehand

Serena Williams memukul forehand

Di sepanjang pertandingan ini, aku merasa sebal sama bapak-bapak tua di belakangku yang selalu berteriak “Allez Lucie!!” (“Ayo, Lucie!!” dalam bahasa Prancis) di setiap poin, termasuk ketika Serena membuat kesalahan, haha 😆 . Untukku sendiri? Ya, aku berusaha untuk tetap kalem dan menyimpan semua gejolak emosi di dalam diriku deh walaupun pada saat yang sama sebenarnya aku deg-degan dan emosi banget sama bapak-bapak itu (dan beberapa ibu-ibu di depan yang mendukung Šafářová, haha). Tetapi ketika akhirnya Serena mencapai match point pertamanya, aku tidak bisa membendungnya lagi dan berteriak “Come on Serena!!!“, hahaha 😆 . Dan ketika akhirnya Serena menang, aku berteriak “Yeeesssssss!!!!” dengan keras, haha 😛 . Saking senangnya, aku sampai gemetaran loh. Beneran! Haha 😆

Serena Williams expressing her emotiong after winning the title

Kurang lebih emosiku mirip seperti emosinya Serena Williams di foto ini deh: “Yeaaaaah!!!”

“Drama” akibat kegrogiannya Serena yang dimanfaatkan Lucie ini sebenarnya membuat pertandingannya menjadi lebih “seru” dan membuatku terlibat secara emosional lebih dalam. Beneran loh, pertandingan ini memiliki banyak kejadian menarik: mulai dari Serena dipaksa memukul sebuah forehand kidal (Serena tidak kidal), seperti ini:

Serena Williams hitting a left-handed forehand in the final. Photo credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe

Serena Williams memukul forehand kidal di final. Photo credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe

Btw, waktu ini terjadi, reaksiku adalah “Eh, apa yang barusan aku lihat? Serena memukul forehand kidal? Dan bolanya masuk? Wow!“. Haha, aku memang tidak bisa mempercayai apa yang baru saja aku saksikan. Dan saking tegangnya, ternyata Serena juga bersumpah-serapah beberapa kali (“ternyata” karena aku sih tidak mendengarnya dari kursiku tetapi ia memang mendapatkan teguran dari wasit). Ya, pertandingannya memang menjadi sebuah pertandingan yang dramatis, haha 😆 .

Serena Williams and Le Coupe Suzanne Lenglen

Serena Williams dan Le Coupe Suzanne Lenglen

Pengalamannya (lanjutan)

Begitulah, sekarang aku bisa bilang bahwa final grandslam adalah pertandingan tenis terbaik yang bisa kita lihat sebagai fans. Ini adalah karena semua orang peduli dengan pertandingan ini, tidak ada pertandingan lain yang lebih penting. Semuanya terlibat. Pemainnya. Panitianya. Penontonnya. Sebagai akibatnya, atmosfer di stadionnya juga amatlah seru.

Me with Serena Williams, haha

Seru banget dimana aku mendapatkan sebuah foto bersama Serena Williams, haha

Makanannya

Anyway, mari kita membicarakan makanan. Karena disana hanya sehari, aku hanya sarapan dan makan siang telat disana. Untuk sarapan, aku memesan tuna sandwich.

Beef steak with ratatouille

Steak sapi dan ratatouille, makanan favoritku di Roland Garros

Untuk makan siang, aku memesan menu favoritku di Roland Garros: steak sapi dengan ratatouille. Ini memang bukanlah steak paling enak di seluruh dunia ya; tetapi aku suka saja gitu! Setiap tahun setiap kali ke Roland Garros, aku selalu memesan satu! 😀

SELESAI.