Sunday, July 8, 2012

July 8, Versaille, Cite de la Musique, Champs Elysees

Today was a very long day of sightseeing with tons of walking.  We got up early and took the train out to Versailles, then back to Paris, and then we took the subway up to Cite de la Musique, a musical instrument museum.  After that we walked and walked and walked around that area since it was a different neighborhood, quite a bit northeast of where we were based.  Then we walked far enough west to be able to catch a metro directly back to St. Lazare, our metro stop.

Later that evening we attempted to catch the sunset from the top of the Arc de Triomphe, but we veered in the wrong direction somewhere and ended up at the Parc de Monceau, which was lovely, but caused us to not arrive at the Arch in time to go up.  So we strolled east along the Champs-Elysees until we hit the Jardin des Tuileries.  Then we headed north, back to our hotel, and called it a day.  A long and exhausting, but fun, day.

Versailles was overwhelmingly ornate - it was extremely impressive, but it sort of made me sick at the same time.  Who needs all that anyway?  I guess I missed the point.  It's a beautiful place if you enjoy seeing huge amounts of ostentatious luxury.  It's much easier to take on a picture-by-picture basis, at least for me.

Walking to Versailles from the train station

The long line waiting to get in

Still waiting.....

The sky was overcast and there were occasional sprinkles

organ pipes

fancy painted ceilings and Corinthian columns
gorgeous painted floors

looking out a window into the backyard 
the Hall of Mirrors
parquet floors and gilded wall mouldings

I love this screen!

a giant pair of stilettos in the Hall of Mirrors
 chandeliers in the Hall of Mirrors
musical wall decorations

Marie Antoinette's bedroom

fancy napkin folding and place setting with upside down utensils

doing some repair work
ladies in waiting 
The row of feathers in front of this painting makes it look like they are doing the Can-Can.
They had lots and lots of statues inside.
The courtyard near the exit.  Goodbye Versailles!
* * * * *
The Cite de La Musique is an excellent musical instrument museum that Doug wanted to visit.  It had excellent displays of all kinds of interesting ancient instruments.

The fountain in front of Cite de la Musique

There were lots of different kinds of harpischords, all gorgeously decorated.

Here is an very interesting and entertaining video about one man's pilgrimage to see the Octobass in person.  You will get to see many of the other excellent stringed instruments during his fanatical quest to locate the Goliath of the violin family.  The Octobass is enormous and magnificent, and I was not able to stand far enough back from it to get a decent picture, but you will be able to see it very well in this video.  Check it out!

Heading off for our evening stroll
We finally got there, but it was too late to go up.

Window shopping along Champs-Elysees.  I love this dress - especially the way the pockets line up with the curve of the seam in the bodice.

Doug, of course, loves these cars - or are they actually golf carts?
The all-electric Renault Wizzy!


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