|Eiffel Tower at dusk|
We began our second part of our trip in Paris with an amazing breakfast of Parisian eggs and bread. Lady Hiva was in heaven. We then rode a train out to Versailles. Versailles was the center of power and business for France for over one hundred years during the reign of some of the last few Kings and Queens before the great revolution—the most prominent of these was Queen Marie Antoinette and her husband King Louis XVI who were beheaded for the revolution and their over expenditures while the rest of France is in war and poverty.
Versailles, like the Louvre, is a place we could have stayed for literally days and not see everything. When we arrived it was shrouded in morning fog and as the day progressed it uncovered and revealed the majesty of the estate. It is HUGE! Again, Lucky boy loved running in the long marble halls and climbing the many stairs. The interior of the place was gorgeous as well. It was no wonder the royal family did not understand the poverty their people lived in, the place was ornate and gilded with gold everywhere. We walked the chambers where they ate and slept all done in fanfare in front of the court watchers (talk about a violation of space). We even saw the hidden bedroom door that Marie escaped the mobs when they stormed the palace.
|Bust of Marie Antoinette|
|Marie Antoinette's bedroom|
We took a small “train” ride around the gardens and the estate of the Versailles and was again struck by the sheer size of the area. There are fountains, gardens, forests and other small homes/palaces throughout the area. Of course all Lucky boy wanted to see was the animals and rocks that he could throw.
|He wanted to take a selfie|
|Expansive gardens of Versailles|
|This place is HUGE|
After leaving Versailles we went back to Paris and took the Big Bus tour around the city to learn more about the city and see the sights from the higher view. We rode up the famous Champ Elysees to the Arc de Triumph. This statue was built to signify the strength of France and over the years several different layers of control marched through it and down Champ Elysees into Paris. This includes Hitler and his Nazi army and eventually the French and US armies that liberated the city once again. The view at sunset was breathtaking (and so was the frigid wind haha). The city lit up and the Eiffel tower danced with its light show.
|French Onion Soup|
|Bridge of locks of love...to show an enduring relationship.It started in 2008 after the bridge was featured in Sex in the City and every once in awhile the authorities cut them off. (I wonder if the people who have theirs cut off break up?)|
|Sunset on the horizon|
|A view of Champ Elysees from Arc de Triumph|
We came down and there was a parade of veterans coming up the Champ Elysees to the Arc de Triumph. Men and women and finally their families marching in their military attire carrying flags to the pomp of the French national anthem. Although I am not French I was still touched with a twinge of pride as I watched these old men and women bravely walk down the street as they did many years ago and could not help but be respectful that they fought and sacrificed so that we could all have freedom.
We did a night tour of Paris…basking in the lights and energy. We have to admit that we went back to the same macaroon store four times (every time we were close) they were so fresh and delicious. I am sure the worker thought that we were crazy. We were happy the last time we went it was a different set of workers! Haha.
|These macaroons were delicious!|
We ended our day with a delicious French meal of Boeuf Bourguignon and French Onion Soup. ( I could have survived on French Onion Soup the entire trip!). The next post is how our Weekend In Paris turned into an amazing exploration of Belgium! The food and architecture adventure continues!
|French onion soup (#2)|