Monday, July 19, 2010

Misty Water Colored Memories

So for whatever reason today I couldn't stop thinking about this picture.

This was taken at the end of the canal in the Versailles gardens on my honeymoon. All of the sights, smells, feelings of that trip can be wrapped up in this photo. For ten days we roamed, and like these cruisers, we had no need for a different gear, or a faster pace. We ate amazing sandwiches on crusty baguette in parks, strolled through the most amazing galleries in the world, and enjoyed having no agenda or schedule.

One of the things I made sure to do every day of the honeymoon was to write an email about the day and send it to our wonderful parents, who gave us the best wedding and honeymoon two people could ever have wanted. Below is my email from the day I took this picture:

Today was a wonderful day! Our first order of business was to find the nearest train station and buy a ticket to Versailles. We quickly learned that you have to be quick on your feet in the public transport systems, as we were standing on the platform in front of the train, and were completely unable to board the train because of all of the people, and had to wait 20 minutes for the next (that's how QUICKLY the train stopped and then left!!) During our train ride a saxaphonist and accordion player played classic French tunes for a few minutes, it was very thematic and fun. When we left the train station we walked a few blocks to Versailles, which is enormous and grand. I had incredibly high hopes for the chateau. I love antique furniture, and in my mind, I could see myself getting to stroll through rooms as they were when Louis XIV lived there. Alas, it was basically a museum for art... the rooms themselves were gorgeous, but really, there are only so many empty rooms you can walk through before you say, "oh, another empty room!!" Also, they had work from a modern artist, Jeff Koonz throught the chateau, so you'd be trying to admire the painted ceiling, and there's a glass case in the middle of the room with a statue of Michael Jackson and his monkey Bubbles. Super strange!

When we left the chateau for the gardens we were more than happy however - they are immense. Truly crazy immense. I mean BIG. (Larger than life seems to be the theme for today, FYI.) And what's more, is that we had an expectation of manicured formal gardens, and instead, the gardens were really passage ways sourrounded by trees or water features. Very wild and fun (you could tell some of them were built for hunting more than gazing at flowers.) We picked up a couple of sandwhiches, and then rented bicycles. We rode for about 20 minutes, and finally reached the end of the Grand Canal, where we set up our picnic. To give you an idea of HOW large the gardens are, at the end of the canal, you could no longer even SEE any people at the chateau! We looked and noshed, and then Rick started wondering whether or not there were fish in the lake - haha. We rode back to the house along a side path, and spend a good ten minutes without seeing another person (and sang silly songs from musicals at the top of our lungs along the way - "The sun will come out... tomorrow!!") We decided if we come back to Paris Versailles is a MUST, but we'll skip the house and go straight to the garden.

One of the train stops on the way back was at the Effiel Tower, so we decided we may as well stop there. (Now it's time for that theme again.) The Effiel Tower is HUGE! massive! ENORMOUS! And no matter how much people tell you that, when you get there, it's still true. I was very proud of how not freaked out I was by the heights, even though it did kind of sway in the wind! After viewing the city from the second level of Tour Effiel, we decided to hang out in the park below it for a while, before heading over to Rue Cler, a really fun street with a bunch of shopping and markets. It has all the boulangeries, and fromangers, and patisseries that you think of when you think of Paris! After stopping in a few stores, we took Rick Steve's guidbook up on a suggestion for a brasserie for dinner. That's two strikes now against Rick Steve's it was cheap, but it wasn't worth the Euros, or the calories! So from now on we'll stick to our cheapskate sandwiches mixed with decent dinners!

Well, a couple of metro transfers later we're back at the hotel. Still officially jet lagged, we've decided a good 8 hours of sleep is in order before hitting the Louvre tomorrow.

Au revoir!

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