Day 7, Paris, September 22, 2011

24 February, 2012 - Friday

(I forgot to post the rest of this series!!)

Today was the trip to the Palace at Versailles.  We were both a bit worn out, and the start time was rather early.  Jumped on the metro, got down to where we needed to go, and promptly built up some energy as we mixed with the morning crowd.

We met some interesting people — a mother and daughter (who Laurie promptly nick-named “Thelma & Louise, and who I called the “Anti Thelma & Louise).  Tour Bus Americans, basically.  The one I will call Thelma, poor thing, was in such agony wearing ballerina style shoes, with the band-aids (plasters), covering all portions of her skin.  Their idea of seeing Paris was taking daily pre-defined tours, jumping on and off of tour buses, with guides at every stop.  Not really either Laurie or my idea of how to explore.

We took the metro to the train and got to Versailles rather early.  A short walk to the palace, and there in front, Louis XIV, looking very large and stately.  A walk amongst the other 1000 people in front of us towards the golden gates, and into the palace we went.  We were equipped with a headset, so we could hear our guide describe everything.  The headset really was so necessary, as the group we were with had about 10 people…and there were 400+ other groups with guides of their own, all talking and in the same rooms as we were.  A bit of pushing wasn’t a surprise.  One room we entered had an area to walk maybe 2 meters wide, 5 meters long and 100 people trying to fit.

The tour was really quite amazing — having done so with the guide, I really am glad we did.  We learned a lot more than we would have on our own.

Our intentions were to go to Petit Trianon,  but our energy died out and our tickets were given over to two surprised (and grateful) BFF American women.  We made our way out, had some food (given French menus again), back to the train — a cab back to Montmartre, stopped at the market for the makings for dinner, walked uphill (we were dying by this point).  We walked into the apartment — Laurie to her bedroom, me to mine, and 3-4 hours later I woke from the BEST nap ever.  The un-screened windows were wide open, it was just the perfect temperature to nap.  I’m still not sure if I enjoyed Versailles nearly as much as I enjoyed that nap.

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The restored Golden Gates

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The Layout

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A view, over the 123 people in front of me, of the Cathedral inside the Palace

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Larger than life. Literally

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View from inside out

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Just amazing - 250 years old.

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The light in the Hall of Mirrors was so great

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130 years after the start of the Revolution, the world changing Treaty signed here, at this desk.

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The endless gardens. Petite Trianon is down there, about 400 miles away, on the right, down the hill, over the rise, and hidden. We skipped it. Wikipedia will have to do instead.

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So many people, to see such a beautiful palace

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Louis XIV surrounded by some odd sculpture that I learned about then..and have promptly forgotten about.

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