Saturday, May 2, 2009

Paris Jour 4

We started out our (rainy) fourth day in Paris by going to the Musee D'Orsay.

My picture of the sign turned out blurry, but I loved all the people under umbrellas that were standing in line (which we got to bypass because we had invested in a 5 day museum pass, well worth the money to get into most of the tourist attractions we went to).

This is one of my favorite paintings... Ryan thinks it's funny that I (and so many other people) take pictures of pictures, but oh well.

I thought the woman in this portrait looked just like Anne Hathaway...

...and there was even another painting of her. Am I right, doesn't she look just like Anne Hathaway?

I love this clock above the entrance.

This is such a great view of the museum, don't you think? I love that there are hidden galleries on the sides of the building and so many sculptures down the main hall.

Ryan didn't love the museum, but he was good enough to humor me for as long as I wanted to stay.

We hopped on the RER train to head out to Versailles. As we arrived in Paris Ryan asked if we'd be greeted by accordion players... and they actually WERE on the train into Paris from the airport. I didn't take a picture then, but I had my camera ready for the next time we had the pleasure of listening to accordion players... which was on the train to Versailles. I loved the street performers and the train hoppers and we'd try to throw a coin or two in their cups (much to the dismay of the Parisians, I'm sure).

Did I already mention that it was raining that day? It's a good walk from the train station to get to the chateau.

I thought the gold fencing was amazing.

I think I already mentioned that I was glad to have my umbrella.

Versailles is such a huge place--it was impossible to get a photo of more than a small portion of it from up close. It's hard to believe the royalty of France indulged in so many expensive and luxurious things while so many citizens were living in such poverty.

We grabbed a couple to take our picture (we have to show we were there together, right?) in front of Versailles.

I didn't take a lot of pictures inside Versailles (they don't allow flash photography in most areas and there were so many people that it made it hard to get any good shots anyway) but I loved the Hall of Mirrors. It was closed when I went in 2005 so it was my first time seeing it. There were so many neat chandeliers adn it was so bright in there, I loved it!

Here we are looking into one side of the hall. I don't know if the mirrors were original, but to me they seemed very cloudy and old.

There's Ryan in the reflection doing what he loves to do.

We finished the tour of the chateau and made our way down to Petit Trianon (Marie Antoinette's abode) and Grand Trianon (a nice little getaway for the royal family so they could escape the craziness of life at the big house).

We took a nice long walk to get there (they also had bikes and golf carts to rent). We thought we'd take our time and enjoy the rainy day (yay for the umbrella!). It was so beautiful and green.

I thought it was so interesting how they kept these trees so well shaped and manicured. They must trim them several times a year to keep them so straight.

There were a whole bunch of sheep (a herd?) and I liked the way it looked all misty.

We stopped first at Petit Trianon, a "small" cottage where Marie Antoinette stayed to escape all of the formalities and busyness of the royal court at Versailles.

The doorways were pretty short. I thought that it was humorous that originally they had a separate staircase in the home for the king to use when he came to visit so he wouldn't have to use the stairs where everyone else did. Marie Antoinette didn't feel like he really needed them, so she had them removed and added more room to her closet. I know she wasn't well liked by the French people, but I think she and I would have gotten along well :).

There were so many old instruments and furnishings. I loved this harp and piano.

This bathroom was funny to me for some reason... where did it all go?

Isn't this a gorgeous view of the gazebo? I love the purply-pink flowering tree on the left.

This was the music room and I loved the reflection in the pond. We hung out in front of this building for a long time so there weren't any people in front of it!

I just loved all the landscaping and walk-ways, I thought it was so beautiful there.

These purple flowers were so vibrant (the color didn't come through as bright as they really were).

I was there!

I thought this was a cool view of Petit Trianon.

Here is one of the entrances to the grotto. I'm not sure what was done there, but we saw a couple of entrances to it.

Then we went over to the Grand Trianon, which had so much marble all over.

This was a view from outside the Grand Trianon, looking at the canal that the King and his family would ride a boat on to get there.

Here's another view of Grand Trianon. I thought it was pretty and much less gaudy than Versailles itself.

This was one of my favorite signs to see while we were in France. When I was there before I remember having a horrible time finding bathrooms, but this time around it seemed there were free bathrooms all over the place. I made sure to use them whenever I saw them.

After we left the Trianons we walked through town to return to the train station. There were so many upscale shops and restaurants, it reminded me a little of Park City. We stopped in a patisserie and once again LOVED all of the pastries and the presentation. (Make sure to click on the above picture to make it bigger). We rode the train back to Paris and found another patisserie to stop at.

We got this beauty of a double decker eclair. Ryan tried to order one that looked like it had maple frosting on it, but then we saw the sign that said "cafe" (coffee-flavor) so we had to un-order it (not an easy task when our French vocabulary was limited to hello, please, thank you, and good-bye). The one we did get was very tasty though--it was filled with chocolate cream and it was soooo good.

Of course we got a baguette too, and then stopped at the Monoprix for some "La Vache Que Rit" cheese. It's soft and spreadable and yummy. Good news--they sell it in the states at Costco (Laughing Cow brand) and other stores....

It was a day full of walking and gawking and oohing and aahing.

Stay tuned for Day 5....

After all the walking


RyanH said...

OK, I had to chuckle... a herd of sheep? I believe it's a flock ;)

After further research they are known to be in groups as (Drove, Flock, Down, Hurtle, Fold, Pack, Trip) (drove made me think of Australia).

Why are my feet tired after looking at those pictures! :)

Linn said...

I LOVE all of these pictures and love the posts of your trip! Jealous, jealous! Thanks for sharing!!

emilyw said...

I had a friend over tonight and we enlarged your collage of the patisserie and drooled over all the yummies! The food you must have enjoyed.... True happiness!