Trip Of A Lifetime

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Finally Finished The French Photos... What Fantastic Alliteration!

Yay! I've finally cracked it and with a little patience and a lot of tlc, the computer and I came to the agreement that I could put more than one photo on at a time. Brilliant.

So here are Adie and I at Chambord, another of the chateaux that we saw on our day of chateaux sight-seeing. This place is huge, and again has pretty waterways but it's set on so many acres of land that you couldn't possibly walk in off the street deciding to have a quick sneaky peek. You'd have to drive in. It would've been nice if we'd had more time here, but we did get to see a little bat as we ate lunch so I was happy... even if the bat was not.Now, this is Mont Saint Michel. The day was a little gloomy but it didn't detract from this amazing place built seemingly in the middle of a lake. When we arrived, the tides were in and the coach carpark was under water. As we wandered around, we were able to watch as the tides rapidly went out and uncovered the carpark and quite a bit of land. You wouldn't want to be stranded when it decided to come in.The next morning the sun was shining for a quick stop in Honfleur, a gorgeous little fishing village where the ducks were bullies and I met a dog called Snoopy and her excitable owner.After a trip to Normandy we made it back to Paris. Adie fell in love with the Eiffel Tower and I think he took enough photos to show his obsession. It is pretty dramatic though I must say... as is the police/army presence around the structure, but I guess that's the world we live in these days.
We also made the obligatory trip to Versaille. Most of it was under reconstruction or being cleaned or something but it didn't take away from the enormity of this structure. No wonder they had a revolution with the money that must have gone in to creating this place while the greater population starved.
We spent 6 hours in the Louvre and saw maybe one quarter of it. It is just such a monster of a complex. You look at the map and you think no problem, I can get around this place, but after one or two rooms you soon realise that this is an impossible task. We started on the top level looking at the paintings and I'm really glad we did because it meant that I had the energy to look at the things that I really liked. It was also much less crowded up there. The 'Mona Lisa' level was busy! We spent much less time here because the crowds were a bit opressive and made it difficult to get close to the art. I'm glad we didn't go on a busy day... I shudder to think what it might be like. (I hate to admit it, but it was also pretty cool to see the pyramid and inverted pyramid that I'd heard about in a certain best selling novel.)
As interesting as the Louvre was, I prefered the works in the Musee D'Orsay. This is me in the main hall. There was just so much fantastic art here and almost all of it to my taste. They also have a fantastic section dedicated to Art Nouveau. Stunning!
Our last day in Paris was spent wandering along the Champs Elysee and just soaking up the atmosphere. Paris really does have a special feeling about it that's just so peaceful and yet exciting at the same time. Here I am at the banks of the Seine. I'm so glad we went.
So, my verdict on France is that everyone should experience it if given the opportunity. Should we ever get the chance to go back though, I'd like to hire a car and just drive around stopping wherever looked interesting. We had such a good introduction in the two weeks that I think this would definitely be a possibility.


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