Today is Fathers Day and the present, “Get out of Bed! We have to get going you lazy bastard!”
At 7.30 we’re down at breakfast, at 8 we’re at Cardinal Lemoine Metro Station with our € 7 each return ticket to Versailles Palace and Gardens, and we’re on our way to Javel station for a change to a RER train to Versailles. Everything goes to plan and we arrive at Versailles in about 45 minutes, walk for about 10 minutes and we’re at the Palace. The crowds are lining up for the Palace but we can get into the Jardins ( gardens) and they are pretty quiet so we take that option with the plan to come back to the Palace when it’s quieter later on.
The Versailles Gardens are absolutely spectacular ( Dudley Conn – if you’re reading this ) they would be 100’s if not 1000’s of acres and today they are running the fountains to music. We wander for ages in amongst dark covered hedges, around fountains old and new ( old = 300 years) Versailles was built by Louis XIV the Sun King, the syphlitic playboy king with many mistresses and the life of luxury that is difficult to imagine. His excesses led to the Revolution and the Storming of the Bastille ( to get ammunition and guns) by the peasants who had had enough of the frivolous frippery of Louis’s reign. The gardens are vast, precise, beautiful and a joy to wander in. The Palace, when we get there later is excessive, grand, gold everything, and warm, the day is warm and they don’t have the windows open and there are thousands of people going through the building. Genelle is getting a little warm as well when people push into lines ahead of us, and she’s right they are ignorant mongrels and need a smack down the forehead with a lump of 4 x 2 but that might not end well in a foreign country where the police and military are everywhere and the eee aww of sirens in the streets are constant. She restrains herself and secretly seeths silently. The Hall of Mirrors is spectacular and would have impressed many foreign dignitaries and military leaders in its day, and probably would do today as well but I guess the tourist dollar rules.
We’re finally finished with Versailles. Genelle and I were here 10 years ago but we didn’t look at the gardens so I’m glad we did that but the Palace I think I’m done with.
It’s a slow warm walk back to the train station, some fluids management is needed before we get on the train, the 26 degrees feels like about 35 at home, maybe it’s just the cobblestones and lack of trees when you get out of the gardens?
Instead of coming back to the hotel we Metro it into a station we haven’t been before La Tour Marburg station where we find a little bar/ cafe for a lovely lunch, Genelle has a really nice tomato and buffalo mozzarella salad and crepe, Mark a spag bol and I get a lasagna, we then wander to the Military Museum and Napoleons tomb. In the early 1800’s Napoleon taught the world a bit about military strategy by conquering most of Europe, but like all people who try this stuff on, sooner or later it all comes undone, sometimes it comes undone twice, but he made the French Proud until the Battle of Waterloo and the Germans and a lot of other countries as well joined England and Napoleons day was done. But after he was exiled they still returned his body home after he died to be interred as a hero in the grand building he lays in. After the tomb we do a quick recce of the Military Museum and get the Metro back to the Latin Quarter to get shoes off, and rest. It’s been about 10 hours since we left this morning when we get back and I think tomorrow is going to have to be a quiet day for me.
Any history teachers reading this and have any problems with my interpretations, please keep you comments to yourselves, this is just my unvivid recollections of high school history and yes I could be a little wrong with some stuff, I admit that. Press on Paul, don’t let your inferiority complex get to you!
Rue De Ecoles in the Latin Quarter ( 5th Arondisment) is humming like a Sunday afternoon in Paris, ( you say – what’s he on, it is Sunday afternoon in Paris you soppy bugger!) the sidewalk cafes are spilling on to the street, there is a happy buzz about the place. Genelle buys ice creams and she shouts me a can of Heineken ( a wonder given the bad press I give her). We bust into Marks room with the balcony and take over, the beer is great, my feet hurt less, the sun is setting on a beautiful warm Paris day. While I sip my beer Mark & Genelle sit on the bed with the nice breeze blowing in watching a French movie, in French, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Fathers Day 2018 has been a good day
Cheers from Paris