Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Palace at Versailles

Sunday was our last full day in Paris so we decided to start the day by taking the train out to the Palace at Versailles.

After seeing it, I rank it the #1 Palace in Europe followed in order by the Palaces in Vienna and Madrid.

By the way, Versailles is French for "FAT CATS" as near as I can tell. Can you say OPULENT?

But first we saw this herd of donkeys walking in front of our hotel.

On the train we sat next to a Spanish couple from Cordoba who have been married for one year. He was in his late 30's I'd guess and she was in her late 20's. He has run with the bulls four different years and has convinced me to do it next year! 

The Palace of Versailles

Guilding is BIG at the Palace 

The Palace itself is HUGE also covering over 2,630 acres!

King Louis XIV

Known as "The Sun King", he is Koreen FitzGerald's favorite European monarch of all time.

A naked make-up artist???

The Teams: Rio Mesa and Catania
The Colors: Red and Black
Next season's game day coaching attire?
We'll see...

Sister Mary Thomas Sadistic

She was my 8th grade teacher at St. Phillip the Apostle School in Pasadena, California.

Why don't more of us have urns like this in our homes?

This "lace" is carved out of marble!

Laurie wants these to be our new hallway doors.

With a lion's head helmet and a Medusa shield, what worries could a soldier have?

Vera Wang's first attempt at designing beds.

The Hall of Mirrors

Laurie continues to mutter something about remodeling, I do not know.

She also keeps mentioning new drapes for the living room.

The first French pole dancers?

Two beefy guys

Why don't more rooms have free standing pillars in America?

I wish all the Linebackers I coach in the next 5 years have the intensity of the guy on the left with the green turban!

The blur is caused by the old hand blown glass in Versailles' windows.

The gardens are in the distance.

What a cool globe!

The Turkish chair was big enough to hold three of me.

Where's the remote control?

A couple of guys just trying to have a little fun by the water.

A few weeks ago I met KISS' Paul Stanley at the Florence Airport, at Versailles it was the entire ZZ Top Band!

They were just as down to earth as Paul Stanley was.

I wish the fans would just leave them alone to enjoy the serenity and beauty of Versailles!

"Tube Steak Boogie" anyone?

"Now batting for the Versailles Royals, number..."

Lunch in the Bosquet du Dauphin

Somebody didn't listen to the warnings about getting too close to the lava flow...

The Bassin du Char d'Apollon

One of MANY great fountains on the grounds, the kings of France literally diverted an entire river to supply the water for all these fountains and lakes.
The Grand Canal, it's rental boats and picnickers.

Yesterday at the Orsay Museum I could not find Edouard Manet's "Luncheon on the Grass" painting. I am humbly substituting this picture from Versailles even though all the women are fully dressed!

The view of the entry courtyard from inside Marie Antoinette's Estate

The view from Marie Antoinette's bedroom with the Temple of Love in the distance.

Did you say...

I needed to get my Mojo working!

Popeye's love child stopped by the Temple to entertain us.

Let this be a lesson to us all...

Somehow a single swan swimming in a pond at Versailles seemed appropriate.

Louis loved his fountains!

How many great statues are in Europe?

For dinner we went to Restaurant Chartier

It was recommended by our world traveling friend, Mark Johnson from Seattle.

On the train back to Paris, we met a charming young girl from Kentucky who will be a freshman soccer player at Murray State University about a month from now. We also met a lovely lady from the south of France named Sylvie who invited to stay at her house next spring when we both return to the Continent.

As for Restaurant Chartier, I'd give their food a "C", maybe a "C+" due to their dessert and cafe'.

But their ambience got an "A+"!

Very interesting early 1900's feel to the decor with dressed up waiters running all over the place.

More New Friends

We were seated at this table and shared it with a couple just a little older than us. She is seated behind Laurie and is a Parisian by birth. He is taking the picture and was born in Morocco of French parents. They were fun and even shared their wine with us.

Some more friends drop by for dinner.

When the French couple left, they were replaced by sisters Sophie, left, and Birgit from Switzerland. O.K. maybe they were really mother and daughter but they sure fooled me for awhile. Again, they were outgoing, fun and made for a good experience.

I'd rate our four table mates an "A+" too!!!

Thus remember, a great dining experience is more than just the food.

We got back to the hotel and there she was in the distance yet again but this time with hundreds of blinking white lights.

Now here is something you don't see in Sicily.

The little produce market next to Laurie and our hotel is still open late into the night. Last night it was after midnight that we stopped in to buy some ice cold orange juice.

Overall I have to say that Paris is a GREAT, GREAT city! After four days of sightseeing, we have barely scratched the surface and will return next year to see more of the "City of Light."

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