Paris Day Seven – Versailles and a ‘flaneur’

This was the last day of our four-day museum pass. A trip to Versailles was the plan.

We got up early and took the RER train. We arrived just a few minutes past the opening at nine.

The chateau, built by ‘Sun King’ Louis XIV in the late 17th century, is magnificant. Unfortunately, around ten thousand other people arrived to soak in the magnificance with us. The crowds were overwhelming. In many of the rooms, we couldn’t even find the sign with the appropriate audioguide number because the camera toting tourists (like us?) were packed cheek to jowl.

When I complained about it to Mrs Poolman, she said it was just like a Florida football game. So when is the kickoff? Let’s start a wave! I don’t think all those Chinese tourists would understand.

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Mrs P in the fron courtyard

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This room is NOT crowded by comparison.

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Mrs P listening intently to the audioguide.

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The Hall of Mirrors

We made it through the chateau without causing an international incident. It was touch and go when one older guy roughly elbowed me aside so he could assist his wife who apparently had not a clue how to work her camera. I figured Hillary has enough on her hands,
without me adding to her troubles.

For all you hear about rude Parisians, for the second trip in a row the only jerks we have met were from abroad.

When we finished with the chateau, we found out that visiting the gardens and other buildings would run us another 15 euros apiece. We were pretty fed up with the experience, so we headed back to the train and Paris. 

After lunch, most of our merry band wanted to spend the rest of
the afternoon reading and napping. I didn’t want to waste an afternoon in Paris with a museum pass by hanging around the apartment. So I took off on my own again. I took the Metro back down to the historic city center. The line to Sainte Chapelle wasn’t as long and it was moving. The stained glass there lives up to it reputation.

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Just a sample of the stained glass.

Then I walked a block back to Notre Dame and went through the archaeological crypt. Not mind blowing, but pretty cool all the same.

Then I walked through the Latin Quarter tourist district. I turned right on Blvd Ste Gremaine and walked a few more blocks to a Metro station and back to the apartment.

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Blvd Ste Germaine

Earlier in the day I had made reservations for Mrs P and me at a restaurant recommended by Adrian Leeds in her Kindle book, “Top100 Cheap Insider Paris Restaurants”.

The Bistro  du Septieme on rue Tour Marbourg  was great. We had fantastic three-course “menu” meals. (That is French for “blue plate special.) I started with escargot, then steak and fries and finished with a creme brulee. Mrs P had a scallop pate for her entree, veal for the main dish and some frozen chocolate dish for dessert. Each meal was 25 euros or about $32. Not bad when you consider it covered three courses, tax and tip. We also shared a small bottle of wine.

As we were walking the few doors from the Metro station to the bistro, I saw  a Gator ball cap on a window table of another restaurant. I knocked on the window and gave the two couples  Gator chomp. A half minute later, one of the men chased us down on the sidewalk to talk. He is a pediatrician from Gainesville vacationing with his wife and another couple. He pulled us back to their restaurant to meet the rest of his group. We had a nice conversation. They will also be at Mont St Michel later this week, so we may see them again. Small world.

Altogether, it was a very nice evening. Tomorrow is Montmartre.

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