Sunday, March 5, 2017

Cousins in Paris *Part 2*

Day 2 of our Paris trip started out at Versailles!

Well, more specifically it started out on the RER train to Versailles squished between commuting Parisians going to the business district during rush hour. Thankfully it only lasted for a few stops, but it was standing room only and we were WAY too up close and personal with a lot of people. Brittany had the fun experience of a lady using her as an arm rest for her cold hands.

It felt nice to get off the train and walk through the pretty and calm small town on the way to the palace. The only problem was that we decided we didn’t need to bring our coats, but  then it turned out that we should have. Even though it was warmer than Wisconsin, it was still February. 

I got to see something new (or at least something I don’t remember seeing before) in the palace. The first thing we did was walk through the Mesdames apartments (where the king’s daughters lived). They were possibly closed for renovations on other times I’ve been. These rooms were less fancy than other parts of the palace, so it was fun to see that Brittany was already impressed. She had no idea what was about to hit her.

Hint: it included a lot of gold. And paintings. And more gold. And packs of Asian tourists pushing us our of their ways.

You can never forget to look at the ceilings!

We walked through the royal apartments, and most impressively, the Hall of Mirrors.

My other favorite room is the royal chapel.

Even though it’s always crowded, I must say that Versailles is always worth it. Favorite place in France for the win. 

I love that Brittany is a also a fan of making fun of things. We had fun fake complaining about seeing this one ceiling that was unfinished after room after beautiful room.

The only other ugly thing we saw at Versailles was this statue that used to be in the gardens. A monkey on a goat. Such a work of art lol

We didn’t explore the gardens because the weather wasn’t great (especially with no coats). Instead we hopped on a train back to Paris.

After some rest, we ventured out (right across the street from our hotel) to the Galeries Lafayette. It’s a mall, but it’s not exactly a typical mall.

I’ve seen the beautiful dome a few times, but this was my first time riding the escalators all the way to the top and going out on the rooftop terrace. Not a bad view! And unlike other options for a good view in Paris: it’s free, with no line. 

After a little drooling over designer things inside Galeries Lafayette, we decided to walk towards a pretty church at the end of the street. It ended up being closed for renovations, but if we hadn’t walked over I never would have found one of my favorite French stores that I hadn’t been to in a while. Nothing like shopping in Paris <3  

Also in our hotel’s neighborhood: the Palais Garnier (Opera House). Here it is along with the typically Parisian buildings surrounding it.

Brittany wanted to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle. Since it was getting dark out, that was our next destination. This was the first time I’ve had to go through security to get to the Eiffel Tower plaza. Paris has changed! It’s good that they’ve made a lot of improvements to security, but it’s strange to see soldiers and have your bag searched everywhere.

The Eiffel Tower sparkles for 10 minutes at the beginning of every hour. I hate cheesy things, so forgive me, but it really is magical. I don’t like myself for writing that, but it’s true.

We had another true Parisian experience during dinner: slow waiters. The process of ordering dessert and trying to get someone to bring us the check took 10 years. There were 5 waiters working in a small restaurant, but only one of them would do things if you asked. At least we had him.

The dessert we waited 10 years for: nutella tiramisu and a chocolate crepe.

One last glimpse. I’m definitely moving to this apartment. Can someone tell David to pack my stuff and meet me there? 

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