Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Day 6

The weather gods were not playing the game today – a grey, rainy morning greeted us when we woke up.  We went down to breakfast in the cute little cellar of our hotel – a typical continental breakfast of croissants, pastries and baguette with jams, juice, coffee or hot chocolate and then, having filled the tummies, we headed out to catch a train to Versailles.  The trip took about 40 mins, it was quite nice to look out of the window and see the various areas of Paris passing by.

Once we arrived at the Rive Gauche station at Versailles we walked the short distance to the Palace.  By this time it was drizzling and quite cold, not ideal weather for the outing at all, anyway there wasn’t much we could do but grin and bear it, so that’s what we did.  The palace looks quite impressive even from a distance and in the rain! 

Inside it is quite simply OTT!  Gold wherever you looked, ornate carvings, patterned wall-paper, statues, paintings…. sensory overload like you will not believe!  I’m thinking their interior designer was given free reign and went a bit moggy….

Hall of Mirrors

Marie Antoinette's bedroom

The gardens of the estate on the other hand are gorgeous.  We caught the little train that goes around the grounds and it was really lovely.  Had the weather been more accommodating we would definitely have spent longer enjoying the gardens of the palace.


I'm not going to cause international discord by mentioning their country, but there were many people at Versailles of a particular nationality and every time they posed for a picture, for some reason they had to make the peace sign.... all of them.... every time..... We found this hilarious, so the girls and I decided to pose for our own peace sign photo:

 (It was at this point that Grant's camera broke...I'm serious!..... so from here on out, you will notice that some of the photos lack colour.... It's driving Grant INSANE!

We had a brief stop for a mug of hot chocolate (thick and dark – Rox and I liked it that way, the rest of the family, were horrified) at the Petit Trianon, stopped for photos (the cutest swan and her cygnets) at the Grand Canal and then continued on the circular route back to the palace; took the walk back to the station and Versailles was done and dusted.

After Versailles we headed to Montmartre.  I LOVED Montmartre the last time we were in Paris and this visit confirmed that it is indeed one of my favourite places in the whole world.  We got off the tube at Blanche station (lovely place for photos in front of the Moulin Rouge, complete with Marilyn Monroe-style fan thingy, just a pity (or perhaps not!) the girls weren’t wearing big white skirts…)  and caught the little train up to the Sacre Coeur(the church on the top of the hill) which is a short walk to Place du Tertre, where we had the girls’ portrait done last time.  This time we by-passed all the artists and continued along the street, stopping to have lunch at a pub – gorgeous mussels with chips (given a fancy French name, which made them seem much more posh..)  Paulz and I went to the loo at the restaurant and Paula had an encounter with a urinal – well it WAS where any right-minded person would expect the hand-basin to be…(you can always rely on me for a toilet story!) 

After lunch we took a wander around the lovely little shops and then made our way back to Sacre Coeur, for more photos of Paris from the top of the hill.  The views are simply unbelievable.

We took the funicular down to the Abbesses area and wandered over to the “I love you wall”  where Rox and Paula declared their undying love for Jono and Calvin.  Very cute!  We also took the opportunity to find the the geocache that is hidden there.

Back on the metro (the Paris metro is SO user-friendly) to our hotel where we had some much needed rest.  I had pre-booked an evening tour, so at 8pm our guide arrived and took us to the cruise boat on the Seine.  The cruise was absolutely gorgeous.  Our boat left from the Eiffel tower at 9pm, the cruise took an hour and, really, cruising along the Seine as the sun goes down is simply magical. 

Our tour guide was there to pick us up when the boat docked and he then took us on a tour of Paris by night in a mini-van.  We stopped at the Trocadero to take photos of the Eiffel tower – the view from the Trocadero is literally jaw-dropping! 

Our guide was really lovely - informative, without being dry and boring.  We got back to our hotel, realised we were starving and headed to….wait for it…… McDonalds…. for a midnight feast.  We finally got back to our hotel at about midnight and literally fell into bed!

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