Paris – 17th April 2009
I head out of Paris today, out towards a little place called Versailles. Versaille is home to one of the most popular and beautiful palaces in the world. The Chateau Versailles.
The walk from the station to the Chateau is quite easy. There are a few people walking that way, so its not difficult at all. The line up to get tickets to enter the Chateau on the other hand is a bit long. Like 30-40 minutes long.
I decide on doing just the basic tour, which shows you the most popular places in the chateau like the hall of mirrors and the kings and queens rooms.
Though the tour is nice, and I admire the splendour of the place. Its nice and very splendid. I am glad I did it, but I can’t feel ripped off by the exorbinant price and the short tour of the place. Maybe chateaus/palaces just aren’t my thing.
I head off and go into the gardens. I sit on the back of the chateau and have my cheap cheese sambos. Oh delicious haha. And then go for a walk around the gardens. I have to say, that the gardens are great – its even better that they are free!I wander down to this big fountain on the left, its not exactly working, but it is ginormous and rather impressive. I walk through the back gardens – I thought you know they’d be all manicured and impressive, but its a bit overgrown. Hey there is a few hectares of land here maybe they got preoccupied. I go back to the main thoroughfare and walk and admire the whole surroundings. Its pretty amazing and impressive.
Sitting at the top of the stairs and admiring the mass of people, fountains and gardens below. It is pretty overwhelming that this has been here since the 16th/17th century.
I head back into Paris, and I wind up outside hte Bastille. Its one of the most visited attractions that actually isn’t there anymore. It is where the famous prison stood.
I then go to the Pompidou Centre. Which has an extraordinary collection of art. But I just sit outside and take in the street performers. Much better than the garbage back in Australia. Not to mention how awesome the Pompidou Centre looks.
Things take a big turn for the worse. I mean shit turn. I go to check how much memory I have left, when I go to turn my camera off. It decides to reformat the memory card. Oh Crap. Thats just putting it lightly.
I get angry, curse, and swear some more. I try to find a camera store, but the only place I can find is fnac and they were hopeless.
I go grab some food, before going to the Louvre. Its a friday evening, and the Louvre is free after 6pm. Always a bargain. Not a bad way to spend a friday evening thats for sure.
I go off in search of the 3 ladies of the Louvre. The 3 most sought after exhibits in the museum. I first run into The Winged Victory of Samothrace which is a very impressive sculpture. It has theres huge wings, and a lady at the front.
The one thing about the Louvre that is pretty annoying, that apart from major paintings and sculptures, there is not a lot of information about the stuff here. Disappointing for a major museum.
I run into the tiny Mona Lisa by Da Vinci. I am actually a little impressed by it. I think the amount of people saying “Its not that good/Its so small/not a great painting” etc had lowered my expectations a lot. But seeing it in the raw was pretty special.Behind the Mona Lisa is an impressive painting, The wedding feast of cana which is the largest painting in the Louvre. It is massive.
I go for a wander around the Denon Wing. It is filled with renassaince art work. The Da Vinci’s such as the Madonna on the rocks were impressive and no one was really taking much notice of them. There are more and more impressive pieces of art work. One evening is not enough.
I head off and go in search of the sculptures. And one in particular, Venus de Milo. Which is quite exquisite. Despite its arms being chopped off.
I head off to the egyptian section. which is just as impressive as the exhibit at the british museum. If only I could understand the exhibits from the french information. dammit. But very impressive.
I wonder around some more, It is really a very impressive museum. And massive. You definitely need a few days here. A shame its only a few hours.
I head out, and take some photos of the louvre, as I think mine are all gone, then head up the champs elysee one last time. Grabbing a crepe for the walk on the way. Spotting the arc de triomph for a photo and then down to see the eiffel tower all lit up, the first time I have seen it like this. Rather impressive.
P.s On a side note, I got back to my CS host place and searched online for how to get the photos back. There was a tonne of software that did it for you, and all but a few of them were recovered. So all was not lost.