Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Day 6: Dan Brown's Big Lie

Walking. I can't remember walking as much as we walked today. I guarantee most tourists don't even try to attempt what we pulled off today.

We metroed to the Louvre first thing in the morning. Walking around the Louvre in and of itself can be a task. We covered all the super famous stuff and tried to enjoy some of the lesser known works that were mentioned on our audio guide. The Louvre however, like everything else we went to in Europe, was under construction. So exhibits were moved around and our audio guide was useless. No big deal. But so were the signs on the wall and the free map from the front check-in/ticketing area. That made our trip in the Louvre rather exciting.

Also, the Da Vinci Code becomes pretty lame when you see that the inverted pyramid is surrounded by a mall and 100s of tourists. I bet Parisians got a good laugh when they saw that and Hans Zimmer's music was blaring in the background and it was super dramatic.

Anyway, after the Louvre we then walked the 4.5km down the Champs Elysees. It was beautifully kept ground, but it was freezing so we blew through pretty quick. We ate a Brioche Diore (I think that's what it was) cafe and then went into and up on top of the Arc de Triomphe. The traffic circle that surrounds the Arc is the craziest driving loop I've ever seen. There is no rhyme or reason to who goes where and who stops when.

We finished the Arc and everything we had planned to do by about 1:30, so we decided to go to Versailles even though our tickets are for tomorrow. It's a little bit of a metro/train ride out there and then a decent walk from the station to the palace, but we were confident we'd be able to swtich our tickets despite the all caps at the bottom of our ticket print out that said "ABSOLUTELY NO SWITCHING TICKET DATES."

We got there, walked in, and after some very good acting by Jo using her best British accent (which is very good and because we thought they might hate the British less than they hate Americans), they let us in. And Versailles is an awesome spectacle. It is gaudy beyond the extreme, and I couldn't help but be amused at the fact that modern day peasants (like yours truly) fill the halls - and bed chamber - and stare and gawk and poke fun at how goofy and gaudy this wing-and-tights wearing king (who thought he was called by god) really was.

Nevertheless, it was remarkable. The gilded and golded and detailed everything. We ventured out to the grounds - which were no less impressive - and decided it'd be a good idea to walk to the Petit Trianon (Marie Antoinette's "little" hideaway). It must have been several miles from the palace. Especially since we walked down a beautiful tree-canopy road (see pic below) only to find out that the path dead-ended and we had to turn around and walk back around. If you haven't picked up on the theme of today yet, well you might be a little dense. But the theme is: we walked a lot.

After checking out the Trianon place we - mercifully - decided to take a little tram back to the palace. And then we walked back to the metro station, trained back to the Jourdain station (MJ's stop), walked back to the flat, and now I feel like our legs are going to fall off resting on this couch that smells like small French dogs. It's time to go to bed - having had our fill of freezing, smelly Paris.

Venus showing a lil crack

remember the end of the movie and laugh to yourself

the arc of crazy drivers

i said something very funny apparently

in the hall of mirrors. picture appropriate.

the grounds of versailles. about 10% of them.

most beautiful dead end in the world?

the "small" hideaway for Marie Antoinette

jo on a bench

1 comment:

suzie said...

I did remember the end of the movie and I did laugh to myself!