Thursday, May 5, 2011

Paris - Part Deux

Since we are having a slow week at Chateau Leveille due to EOG testing, I thought I would finish up the Paris trip.  First I will have to re-read what I have already posted!

OK, now that I am refreshed, let me continue!

On Saturday, we decided to drive to Versailles.  WOW.  What a palace.  The gates are made of gold (and many other things as well)!  We toured around the inside of the palace that was built by Louis the XIV We saw the hall of mirrors, the gardens, and a whole lot of expensive stuff.  Sorry I can't be more descriptive, I'll have to let the pictures do my talking for me.  After, we had lunch at a little Italian cafe and then headed back to the hotel.

We all needed a nap, due to the pace at which we went the day before.

We decided to head back into Paris that evening to see the one monument we had not yet been to, The Arc de Triomphe.  We took the subway, and even though I had done my research and knew we needed to get off at the Charles de Gaule station, I allowed myself to be doubted and John talked me into getting off at a stop further down the line.  We then had to walk about 8 blocks back to the the Arc.  The Champs E'Lysee was crowed with tourists, it was hot, and we wore ourselves out.  When we made it to the Arc, I looked to my right and directly next to it was the subway station we should have gotten off at.  At this point, I just laughed...We sat down on a bench and took a needed rest.  We were all extremely burnt out at this point.  We walked around a bit and tried to find a place to have dinner but all the restaurants were crowded.  We decided to head back to La Defense and have dinner there.

We had a lovely evening just strolling around our own little part of Paris.  I highly recommend staying a little outside the city.  It's less touristy and much quieter. 

Paris is a very busy place.  We had less crowds on Friday so a trip during the week is probably better if you don't like being stuck in lines and walking through lots of people.  If you would rather stay in Paris center, choose a small, family run hotel.  They really do give the best service and are very helpful.  We have stayed in two such hotels, the one in Paris and one in Venice.  They have been the most memorable.  They are usually older buildings that have been converted into hotels and are very charming.  You don't need to know too much of the language, many Parisiens speak some or very good English.  It is helpful to study the subway system before you go, we did not do this and it is more complicated than the one in London or even New York for that matter.

I will be returning to Paris at some point in my life.  I will take things a lot slower next time and soak in the atmosphere by sitting in sidewalk cafes and watching more than doing!

I hope you enjoy the pics
Cheers or should I say Au'revoir!

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