Day 4 in Paris: Versailles
Saturday 17th March
The weather was cool and overcast this morning but we still headed out for our morning walk. The poor old banks of the Seine were heavily littered with rubbish from the previous nights celebrations. A mild Friday must spell misery for the poor street cleaners who were out early cleaning up all of the rubbish and broken bottles.
Our plan for the day was to head to Galleries Lafayette in the morning on a shopping expedition for Annabelle and then we had a 4 hr tour to the Palace of Versailles booked for 2pm that departed from over near the Louvre.
The trip to Galleries Lafayette was a bit of a failure as they didn’t have the colour of bag that Annabelle wanted. Mark took time out to look at some men’s shoes but we left empty handed wondering just how many of the locals had the cash to spare for shoes priced at 250+ Euros! Paris seems much more expensive compared to when we were here a few years ago. We find this surprising given that they have gone though the GFC during that time. Something is not quite right here; A coffee here generally costs about 4 euro or so ($5 AUD) which is much more than what you have to pay in Rome (1 euro) or other European cities.
We headed home for lunch and to sort some things out and then walked over to the Louvre area at about 1pm. We had a coffee before the tour and the waiter took a photo for us. He was the first French person we’d met since we’d been here to crack it for a joke or a smile. He joked saying that he’d cut Marks head out of the photo. He found this intensely amusing. If only he knew the history of such acts with Mark. Be warned: cut Marks head out of a photo at your peril! His good cheer was most welcome though.
The trip out to Versailles took about 40 minutes and once there we had to wait for quite some time whilst ticketing issues were sorted. The Palace was the home to three King Louis’: XIV, XV and XVI.
King Louis XIV lived for 77 years and reigned as King for 72 of those years. He was obsessed with power and much of the design of the Palace was to accommodate this preoccupation. King Louis XV was actually his great grandson. Louis XVI was actually the grandson of Louis XV.
The Palace ceased to be occupied after King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were captured and killed. Much of the furniture was sold off during the French Revolution and can be found in many private collections around the world today.
The bus departed the Palace promptly at 5pm and we were back in Paris by about 5.40 pm. We headed home for a few minutes but then we went straight back out and down to the Irish pub below our apartment with the aim of having a celebratory St Patrick’s Day drink. Unfortunately the pub was full so we headed to the bar/café on the other corner. This was a great little venue and we had a wine and beer with a cheese plate to share. We weren’t that hungry but headed back to Chez Caldez for dinner again. The food was great and it was a 100 m stroll back to our apartment. What more could you ask for? This time Mark had the French onion soup though! We were home by 8pm and ready for an early night in preparation for another tiring day!