Last Tango in Paris for Favorite Daughter and Friend

29 07 2009

en route

“Overheard on the Train from Versailles to Paris”
Posted by Favorite Daughter (penguindust)

12-year-old girl: Ugh. I could have done that tour. Everything they told us about the French Revolution, I already knew. We learned it in school.

Me: (raised eyebrows)

12-Year-Old Girl’s Father: What I don’t understand, is, why didn’t Marie Antoinette’s father send an army over?

12-Year-Old Girl: He did, he did. But they got defeated, by Napoléon.

Me: (crying due to silent laughter)

**************

“Last Tango in Paris”
Posted by kiki under France, Paris

Today was our last day in Paris, and we didn’t even spend the day in the city. We took the train to Versailles and saw the magnificent château.

Versailles, the city, was delightful and clean. It was a welcome change from the hoards of tourists crowding the streets and sites of Paris. We walked from the train station to the château and proceeded to wait in line for about an hour while being continually accosted by the voice of a woman who desperately wanted us to know that we could get in for free if we were EU citizens under 26, and that if we wanted to see the SUPER SECRET PRIVATE apartments of a couple of the Louis-es and Marie Antoinette then we would need to book a guided tour.

But finally we got our audio guides and started to walk our way around the ornate palace. We started out at the intricate and grandiose chapel built by Louis XIV. It is the highest part of Versailles Château because Louis believed that he needed to do that to honour God. Pretty nice gesture in my book.

We then saw a bunch of paintings that were kind of boring that led up to the Hall of Mirrors and I started having flashbacks to the Vatican museum in which you have to walk through miles and miles of exhibits before you get to the Sistine Chapel which is the only reason you really went to the Vatican museum in the first place. But anyway.

The Hall of Mirrors was even more spectacular and GILDED than I had ever imagined. The view from the floor to ceiling french door/windows onto the Gardens of Versailles was nothing less than breath-taking. We also got to see the chambers of the King and Queen which really just made me think of the Kirsten Dunst movie Marie Antoinette.

Except one little factoid they forgot to put in: traditionally the Queens had to give birth in public, to avoid the old switcheroo, I suppose.

Afterward we stopped in for some refreshment at a small café before getting back on the train to Paris. I put myself outside a glorious sandwich of foie gras and a nice crusty baguette. Something that probably causes involuntary vomiting Stateside.

I am going to miss the Woodstock Hostel which we leave tomorrow. We have met so many brilliant people who weren’t idiots. And a lot of Aussies, who tend to provoke my Sympathetic Accent Disease more so than any other nationality. It’s truly been the hosteling experience that you think is cliché: it’s not.

And for all my skeptics: Let them eat cake.

UNSCHOOLING EUROPE tag

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One response

6 08 2009
lori

“my Sympathetic Accent Disease” lol! I have that too, but I never had a name for it. Thank you for the diagnosis!

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