21 June 2009


Yes, that car really is about to hit me. Yes, that car really did hit me. Consider it a triumph at the Arc for the French.
I decided to stick it to them with my Hawai'i shirt, showing Europe that we too have beautiful things! They just aren't as old.
Thomas and Kristine and the Gardens of Versailles.

The second day in Paris we left Paris, for Versailles. She was a little jealous at first, but was able to get over it fairly quickly. It was a bright and lively day in Versailles as we marched to the palace. Unfortunatley China decided to take a fieldtrip to Versailles on the same day we were there, so the queue to purchase tickets virtually started at the train station 1/2 mile down the road. I think it may have even extended into the train, which was nice because it was drastically reduced once the train left. We took shifts in the 1.5 hour sunbathing experience called a line before we had to sell our kidneys to pay for the limited access entrance fee. With tickets in hand we traipsed to the security queue, and further on to the palace entrance to begin the self guided tour through the Hall of Mirrors, the King and Queen's chambers, the Chapel, the dining room, and some other magnificently gilded rooms. In the palace was everything you would imagine the Sun King would need, except for a flush toilet and a toothbrush. Enormous paintings relaxed proudly on the walls of the Palace and drew the peons' gaze vertically and horizontally, due to their ambitious capaciousness. The most impressive of these rooms was the oversized war room, which was filled from head to foot with artwork depicting great French conquests dating as far back as the 14 century. In the The Hall of Mirrors hung halycon chandelliers whose illuminations were "shamed as daylight doth a lamp" by the effulgence of the sunlight stroking the mirrors through the opposing wall cavities. One side of the hall was all mirrors, and juxtaposed to every collection of mirrors was a corresponding window. A very effective strategy and a sight to behold. It was so bright even a blind man (or woman) could have seen and enjoyed the spectacle. When we saw all that our left kidneys would buy us, we peeked at the gardens and strolled into town for sandwiches and a nap. We found a comfortable cobblestone street outside a church to nap on, and dreamt of swimming in moats and wearing gym shorts while skinning rabbits. After Versailles we went back to Paris, just as she knew we would, and saw the Arc de Triumph, the Eiffel Tower from far- and up close, and ate dinner on Champs Elysees. They were all enjoyable and fantastic things to do in Paris. The Arc de Triumph has a dizzying five lane highway rotating around it. I was very glad I did not have to navigate five lanes of French drivers to get to the Arc (there was an underground tunnel, as most tunnels are, to the hub of the road) and that I didn't need to participate in the highway via automobile. Champs Elysees was artistic and busy and interesting due to its diversity and fancy shops.

1 comment:

Emily said...

China takes field trips EVERYWHERE everyday! Crazy. In typical French fashion, Versaille was on strike the week I was in Paris.