Paris - A Royal Tour (29 December 2007)

1:24 PM

We had become smarter. We woke up later, had our breakfast, again in Quickly.

After breakfast, we went to St Michel Metro station to take RER line C to Versailles-Rive Gauche. Please do take note the final destionation for train RER line C as there are a few directions.

The train journey took about 45 minutes to reach Versailles-Rive Gauche. The return journey costs about EUR2.8. After came out from the train, follow the crowds and walked for about 15 minutes to reach Palace of Versailles or Château de Versailles.

Palace of Versailles was formerly an unofficial capital city of the kingdom of France.

When we reached the gate, we were stunned with the very huge building. Even from the gate to the building was about 5 minutes walk. It was really a magnificient palace.

Versailles was the palace for King Louis XIV, the Sun King. King Louis XIV built one of the most powerful and riches kingdom of France. You will really impressed with the grandest of the building which was one of the largest in world then. It is much much larger than Palazzo Pitti of Florence.

We were still thinking whether to spend time visiting the rooms of the palace. But upon we arrived at the buildings, there were many queues which prevented us to visit the rooms inside.

There were long queues for ticket, another queues for the entrances.

So, be prepared to allocate more time if you plan to tour the palace. I am sure there are a lot of great pictures, furnitures and grand decorations inside the room.

We spent some times admiring the buildings, then we proceed to the back of the buildings.

WOW!!! The Gardens of Versailles are so huge. The gardens cover about 800 hectares! You won't be able to cover the whole garden on foot.

The gardens include the hunting forests for the king. It was landscaped in the classic French Garden style. In addition to the meticulous manicured lawns, parterres of blooming flowers and sculptural masterwork are the fountains.

There are ponds and fountains located throughout the gardens. The water was still, some even frozen. We did try to throw rocks on the thin ice of the pond, but it didn't break. Of course, we dare not to step on it, not so silly. :)

It was cold. Winter in Paris, almost everyday was cold. We bought hot drinks from the restaurant nearby the garden and take a rest after exploring the garden.

After re-charged, we still continue to walk towards the end of the garden. Along the way, we reached another pond with Tritons and horses. It was quite a similar site with Rome's Trevi Fountain.

We continued to walk till another pond before we finally gave up. It was near the end, but it wasn't the end yet.

Versailles was quite a decent town. Not much restaurants nearby. We chose a decent restaurant selling crepes.

They sell a variety of crepes. Sweet or salt crepes. Crepes with different kind of filling and not just plain sugar, nutella or banana.

The restaurant must be quite famous along the local. It was quite full.

After lunch, we hurried to take the train back to Paris. We alighted at Musee d'Orsay. We walked towards Place de la Concorde. We were going on shopping trip, window shopping, in Champs-Elysees.

Walking from Place de la Concorde to Arc de Triomphe along Avenue Champs-Elysees was quite a nice but long journey. It was about 2km journey.

The street was very straight towards Arc de Triomphe.

At the both sides of the road were trees which shape like lamps and decorated with lights. The lights were running lights, which look like water drops. It was so beautiful.

Along the street, there were many boutiques, cafes, luxury specialty shops. It is one of the most famous streets in the world. You will also need to explore the streets off Avenue Champs-Elysees to find out more.

As we got nearer to Arc de Triomphe, the crowds were getting more, the shops also getting more. Arc de Triomphe stands in the centre of Place Charles de Gaulle, at the end of Avenue Champs-Elysees. On the inside and the top of the arc there are all of the names of generals and wars fought. Underneath is the tomb of the unknown soldier from World War I.

You will be able to go to the top of the arc using an underpass. From the top, you will be able to see twelve major avenues.

It was about 8:45pm, we hadn't have our dinner. Restaurants in Champs-Elysees are quite expensive. We took Metro to go back to our hotel and dined at the chinese restaurant beside our hotel.

The next day and the last day of our stay in Paris... The artistic tour of Paris...

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