Monday, September 30, 2013

Sunday + {Day Thirteen: Paris}

On our last day in Paris, we went to Versailles. It is really far away from Paris (around an hour on the train, at least), but completely worth it! It is one of Gooligan’s favorite places ever. We got there right as it opened.

We snapped a few photos inside, and then Gooligan went to get a free audioguide, while the rest of us headed into the gardens to look for coffee. Just as we stepped outside, a torrential downpour started. It rained and rained and rained. We ducked inside this covering to wait it out and wait for Gooligan.

I even went out into the rain to find Gooligan, but no luck. It turns out that when we leave the main part of the palace, and go into the gardens, we cannot get back inside. Gooligan had to surrender her audioguide to join us outside in the rain.

Miserably we made our way to a nearby café outside of Versailles and ate some breakfast, then regrouped and headed back to Versailles. It had stopped raining by now, but unfortunately a long line had formed. Our passes, unfortunately, did nothing to let us skip the security line.

Luckily the security guard took pity on us and let us cut the line. Personally, I feel like the exit should be marked a little more clearly. If we hadn’t had our passes, and had only bought day tickets, then we would have been out of luck.

Anyway, this time around, we decided to split up. Sarah and Shannon headed to the Hall of Mirrors and then chilled in the café, while Gooligan and I both picked up audioguides and took a long tour around almost the entire palace. I took a million photos of Gooligan and all the rooms.

Then we tracked down Sarah and Shannon and we headed out into the gardens for real this time. It was raining very lightly and we were all tired by this point, so we decided to hop on Le Petit Train, which tours the gardens and lets you off at five different points to explore if you want. Then you just hop on the next train whenever you’re ready and continue.

Since Gooligan really wanted to see Marie Antoinette’s hamlet in the gardens, we disembarked the train there and walked about fifteen minutes out to the absolutely stunning hamlet! It was beautiful. There were several little hamlets, since it was park of a working farm, and she frequently had visitors. After we explored, we headed back to Le Petit Train, since we wanted to see Notre Dame.

We made it back to the city with over an hour to spare, but the guy working the Tower entrance said the stairs had already reached their max capacity for the day so we were out of luck. Disappointing to be sure, but the cathedral was beautiful both inside and outside. We walked around the inside twice, then left to get crepes.

While eating our delicious nutella crepes in the park by the cathedral, we accessed enough free wifi to get a scoop on a good bakery nearby. On our way home, we stopped to pick up a baguette for dinner and croissants for breakfast—accomplishing our goal of having both a croissant and a crepe while in France!

At home, we ate dinner and packed up our bags for our early morning taxi! Booking the taxi itself was a bit of a struggle, since the first taxi tried to charge us about three times the going rate. Finally we connected with the English-speaking operator for a reliable taxi, though, which meant it was time for bed.

We definitely squeezed every ounce out of our time in France, although to tell you the truth, it was not exactly one of my favorite food stops so far.


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