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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Royal Morning

The next morning, we woke up early-ish and went to Versailles, the last royal residence of the kings and queens of France, and where the people of Paris marched to in order to drag out the king and his family to their deaths by Guillotine.  The train ride there we bought a ticket, but it turns out that we didn’t really need one, dumb.  When we got there we walked around the corner and it was like a punch in the face.  The majesty of the building was taking over the entire landscape.

I had done so much reading and research about the place that I was ridiculously excited.  We got up to the front gates and entered free with our Paris Pass and walked into the palace.  We have seen a lot of palaces, the one in Spain being the least impressive, but this one was phenomenal. 

Marie Antoinette's bed chamber

After exploring the interior and really taking it in we went to the gift shop so I could get my postcard and then went out to the gardens.  Little did I know that this was the true attraction of Versailles.  Holy cow, these gardens spanned acres of tree, fountains, ponds, farmland, cottages, statues and so much more.  It was a real treat for the eyes (even though it was not green and had minimal flowers).  I can’t even imagine its splendor during the summer (nor can I imagine the amount of tourists).  We saw a golf cart and thought, if we split that four ways it would be a really fun thing to do, so we got in line and got out our licenses and were told we needed to be 26.  Fail.

To improve our mood, we chose to take some fierce pictures :)

There was also a dead bird and an obelisk hedge :)

We decided to just walk it.  It was really big though and soon we decided it would be more fun on a bike.  And I am sure it would have been.  If Braden and I had not decided to get a tandem bike, I am sure it would have been the time of our lives.  We’ve been through a lot together, Braden and me, but this was really one of the real tests of our relationship.  That bike was a monster.  When I was in the front it was fine, shaky and stuff, but fine.  When I was in the back, I thought my world was going to end and death was imminent.  It was a terrible feeling and there was nothing I could do to stop it from taking over my whole soul.  I tried closing my eyes, not peddling, crying, all to no avail.  It was one of the worst experiences of my life.  I had never given up control so completely to another person.  It wasn’t that I didn’t trust Braden, it was that I didn’t know what was going to happen and I knew neither of us could prevent the bike from going into a tree the way we were going.  So, I did what any person in my position would do.  I got off and walked.  Braden was not happy with this, but I didn’t care.  I was not getting back onto that beast if you paid me.  But, of course, I did.  Ugh.

After we returned the bikes, we tanned by the large pond and ate sandwiches.  We also saw swans mating.


When the girls joined us again, we got some ice cream and headed back to the train station.  The ride back was uneventful and we got off at the Orssay stop. 

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