Monday, 26 August 2013

Paris & Versailles (Oo La La)

We drove in our campervan (small motorhome) from Newcastle to Dover on an evening and early morning just over 2 weeks ago. The journey was long but I boxed clever and used the time to brush up on my French! Parlez vous Francais? Uh, non... Anglais? Ang-what? Oh! Oui, oui, Anglais!

From the white cliffs we sailed to Calais via car ferry– glamorous, I know– with the intention of going to Paris to see a show at the Moulin Rouge and do a spot of tourism. The MR is so high on my list of things to do. So. High. Partially because of Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor I'll admit...

The palace of Versailles is still on my list of things to do– which is a good list to have and a good thing to be on a good list! The gardens of said palace are immense, the whole afternoon we spent there was barely enough to cover half! Marie Antoinettes estate remained unknown to us, as did the Grand Trianon and the stunning huge massive and beautiful Palace itself. But all the more reason to go back!

Our trip through the gardens started with oggling at the neat lines of trees and straining to hear the music that was booming from speakers in the heart of the garden. For being so busy, it was very peaceful! 

Sounds like we missed out on a lot, but what we did see was really wonderful. The gardens are so well maintained I really don't know how they have the time, patience or precision. Care to detail in that little paradise is crazy.

This summer the water displays and loud, emotive music are a great accompaniment on a venture through the greenery– the paid section that is. Half of the gardens and a super-large pond which are always busy with things to do is completely free, but to see the fountains/water displays/palaces you have to pay. Well worth it I would say though (even though I didn't get time to pay for more than the garden!).

La Flottille is a restaurant in the grounds (the free bit) if you get peckish! The food was nice, but a little over priced compared to the quality of a few of our meals later in the holiday.

Almost the last to leave, we went back to the van and mozied on over to Paris.

Paris isn't a nice city to drive a campervan in. It's not nice to drive a normal car in either by the looks of it. Eventually we found a street we could park in for the night (wild camping can be worrying but very fun) and then headed out for an evening stroll through the hustle & bustle.

I love Paris. I loved Disney Land in a Winter of my childhood, I loved the city and all of it's attractions for a few jam-packed days after Christmas in 2006 and I loved it for one evening/night in the summer of 2013.

I could walk these streets for hours.

How can you not like the Eiffel Tower? If you think it's ugly, you have to be in awe of the engineering or the sheer size of the beauty. 

Though I could have sworn it was green. It was green in my memory but after much scrutiny up-close-and-personal it is definitely not green.

 The pale bronze was a slight let down, but pretty all the same.

The Champs-Élysées was walked and the ET visited but alas we didn't go to the Moulin Rouge. Mum wasn't in the mood for a big city when we were on a camping holiday, so off we toddled to our next destination.

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