Tuesday, November 4, 2008

An Afternoon at the Palace of Versailles

It was such a beautiful day today - 60 degrees and sunny - that I couldn't bear the thought of being inside. So I decided to take a day trip to the Palace of Versailles, about 40 minutes outside of central Paris. It's pretty easy to get to Versailles, the Metro (RER C line) goes all the way there and it's just a 10 minute walk from the train station once you arrive.

I have been to Versailles before, but it has been many years. Admittedly, the grounds and gardens are much more beautiful in spring and summer when the fountains are running and the flowers are in bloom. But even in the autumn, the ch√Ęteau and its grounds are awe inspiring.

I spent the afternoon at Versailles then made my way back to Paris. On the Metro, I was sitting across from a Vietnamese couple. The woman spoke to me in French (that's the second time that's happened in the past two days - I take that as a compliment that I'm 'blending in'). Anyhow, when I told her I didn't speak French, she spoke to me in broken English. She said that she has lived in Paris for the past 15 years. And then like the guy last night, asked me about the election. She acted concerned that I was here on election day but was relieved when I told her that I had voted early before coming to Paris. She too mentioned she hoped Obama would win.

And if you were watching CNN today, you saw that they did a segment live from Paris where there are big election parties going on. The French are almost as excited as we are!

On the way back home I got off the Metro at the stop where the Paris Opera House is - so beautiful! And then walked behind it a block to "the" department store in Paris - Galeries Lafayette. They (3 stores) were all lit up for Christmas and were totally packed! So much energy, so much to see - I was like a kid in a candy store. I only bought a few things - this time ;-) One of the things I got was a CD of French Christmas carols/music.

I'm sort of embarrassed to say this but I actually stayed there almost as long as I stayed at Versailles this afternoon! I heard on the news (Sky News out of London) this morning, that Europe is officially in a recession. From the looks of things at the Galeries Lafayette tonight though, I don't think the people of Paris got that memo....

I took tons of photos at Versailles and at the Galeries Lafayette and will post them later tonight on my main photo site. I'll add a link here once they are posted!

Meanwhile... it's already after midnight here and it's still an hour or so before the first polls close in the US (two hours before Florida's polls close). I don't want to miss any of the action, but I may have to take a nap in the middle of the night in order to be awake to hear the result! It could be 7 or 8 am here (1 or 2am Florida time) before there's a winner - or later, God forbid. It should be an exciting night! I'm going to pick up a copy of the Paris newspaper Le Monde on Thursday (and other European papers if I can find them) to see how the world reacts to who wins.

Click here to view all of today's photos (11/04/08)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Love that shot of you in front of the palace!