I finally went to sleep at 4 a.m. (due to afternoon nap and screwed up body clock), and my alarm went off at 7:00. I caught the Metro to a commuter train station for a 40 minute ride to the outskirts of Paris in order to visit the Chateau de Versailles. France is still unseasonably hot, but they don't bother with air conditioning. The metro and train were both hot. When I arrived in the town of Versailles, I joined a small group for a guided tour in English. I have seen pictures and films of this place all my life, but it is really much larger than I had imagined. It was built by Louis IVX to show off and exude opulence. It certainly does that. We learned much about the chateau and the life of the monarchy. My favorite part was the beautiful views from the back of the place. The town of Versailles is right outside the front gates, but there are gardens and rolling hills of trees out the back windows. After several hours, I had seen enough, my feet hurt, I was hot, and I was ready to crash for a while. I'm not going to
Proof I'm here!
This is my first picture of me on the trip. This is in front of the Chateau.
post a lot of Versailles pictures, but if you're interested check it out on the internet. It is really beautiful! I returned to the city, and found a sidewalk cafe for some lunch. Now, I know this sounds crazy, but I just couldn't go any longer. The heat was getting to me, and my feet hurt from constantly walking on uneven cobblestone. I went back to my un-airconditioned flat, took a quick shower, and fell asleep from 3 until 10! So here I am writing my blog in the middle of the night while my TV is showing a documentary about the Zambezi River in Africa, narrated in French.
I've been analyzing my thoughts about Paris, and this is what I've decided:
I'm definitely more impressed by nature than manmade sites. My favorite travel spots from the past have focused on the natural world, and I must have subconsciously known that's what I wanted. Paris is beautiful, but I don't need to visit again. I've seen so much of it in films and pictures that I really feel like I've seen it all before. I'm sure part of my attitude is due to the heat, but it's also
This is one section of the beautiful gardens at Versailles.
because of my preference for the unusual flora and fauna of visiting new places. When I stood on the immense terrace behind Versailles and looked out over the beautiful gardens and tree-covered hills for miles beyond, I realized that was what I wanted to see! Most of the remainder of my trip will include the natural surroundings, starting tomorrow! Au revoir, Paris! Tomorrow, I'm taking the TGV high-speed train to the Mosel and Rhine region of Germany.
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