Wednesday, August 1.
On the underground to catch up with Rich Hayes, and Rowan and Yasmin Sali. Paris invaded by Sheppartonians today. Rowan actually works in the same department at Shepparton City Council as Tim Russell. Small world. We are then off by train to Versailles to show Linda how they build houses.
Arrive at Versailles, and the temp is already in the mid thirties, and the heat reflected off the cobbles only adds to the discomfort. Already a queue, but thanks to some delicate side stepping by Rich, we seemed to appear a lot further up the snaking queue, than we should have been.
Didn’t seem to affect Rich and Rowan, who pulled out a Friday and commenced to have fun until they were asked to desist.
Finally inside, but no respite from the heat. Obviously the French have not heard about French doors, they are supposed to be open in hot weather.
Here stands one of the primary reasons why the French rebellion occurred. Louis was taxing the butts off the people and using the monies to fund his armies and building programmes. A great many would have been forced to struggle to survive because of this building, and its surrounding gardens.
Tired already , and we haven’t been inside.
Now this is over the top. Where you see gold, that’s what it is.
This is just the chapel.
Moving on, it only gets better. The King’s apartment. A bit underdone I thought. A room for waiting to see the king, another room for waiting, then a room for meeting the king and then a private room for those who were close, followed by bedroom, dressing room and private dining room. All with magnificent ceilings.
A couple of views out his windows.
That’s his grand canal about a mile away.
Moving on to his reception rooms.
The hall of mirrors, because he liked to look at himself.
Morning and afternoon meals taken here. Note the lack of chairs.
The royal bed.
The royal dinner table where he would eat dinner at 10.30 pm, with maybe two close family members while everyone else stood and watched him eat. Commenting to each other as he ate.
Liked the floor pattern. Su said she could do that in a quilt.
Just a set of stairs going down to where his illegitimate daughters lived. Interesting that after the revolution they moved to Portugal and lived out the remainder of their lives in poverty.
Next few shots are of those daughters apartments. An apartment containing five rooms, on a similar format to the Kings.
Obviously this daughter had many more visitors given the condition of the carpet.
Sample pieces of all the marble used in the construction of the palace.
Now for a trip around the grounds. Aussie ingenuity, too far and too hot to walk. The palace sits on nearly 2,000 acres.
Just one of the small ponds which dot the place.
And another one.
Can’t even see to the end.
They pop up everywhere.
Lovely shaded lane.
Row boats on the grand canal.
Front gates outside Maria Antoinette’s summer house, which she used to get away from the world.
Gives an idea of how big this place is.
Summer garden house for those daughters.
Looking back towards the palace about a mile away.
Neptune on his chariot rising out of the waters surrounded by Seraphs.
This is the grand canal, two miles long.
More of the shaded lanes.
Pretty garden beds. Surprisingly everything looked dry, due to the lack of rain. It has been the hottest summer on record, not just for Paris, but Europe in general.
Oops, another pond. Normally the fountains in all water features are operating, but due to low water levels and algae, they have been turned off.
Team Shepp, Yasmin, Rowan, Rich, Gaz, Su and Linda.
Looking back up to the palace.
A couple of garden ornaments.
More of that palace.
Louis XVIII. The cause of all the problems, which led to the rebellion.
Municipal building with the French motto across the front.
Stopped of at a refreshment place to satiate our thirst before catching the train back to Montparnasse where we farewelled Rich, Yasmin and Rowan who were off to a gallery on the other side of Paris. We continued onto Gare du Nord where we grabbed a bite to eat and rested for a while.
Different type of frog sculpture outside the Gare du Nord.
Su and Linda jumped on the underground up to Sacre Cur for a look over the city and gift buying while Gaz looked after the bags, which we had been carrying all day. Thankfully we had left Linda’s BIG BAG in storage at Kings Cross in London. Will collect that tonight.
Proof girls went to Sacre Cur.
Catch the Eurostar at 21.13 tonight.
Sunset on the west coast of France.
Arrived back at St Pancreas, London. Across the road to our hotel. Tired but happy campers.