The Weekend (9/5-6/09)

Saturday started with a trip to the Musée d’Orsay, the Parisian impressionist museum.  Much more manageable than the Louvre in terms of size and number of pieces, we were able to navigate to see all the artists that we were hoping to see, including Manet, Monet, Pissarro, Van Gogh, and Renoir.  We had lunch in the gardens of the Tuleries and headed to the Arc de Triumphe along the Champs d’Elysees.  The lower part of the Champs d’Elysees was filled with street performers and small parks leading to the larger governmental buildings in Paris.  This quaint stroll gave way to the much more bustling commercial district that the street in known for, complete with stores for all the major designers, high-end cars, and, of course, a McDonalds.  We climbed to the top of the Arc de Triumphe to get some photos of some great views of the city and the Champs d’Elysees.  We descended the tower and walked out onto a military ceremony at the base of the tower that honored French veterans with a medal presentation and military band.  We walked through “embassy row”, a street with a good number of countries’ embassies, to the bank of the Seine to take a boat tour that ended by heading into the setting sun and a view of the Eiffel Tower during its light show.  Passing under the bridges, we were

Sunday was all Versailles.  Taking the morning train, we had a beautiful day to tour the chateau.  The pictures will hardly do it justice, but it was certainly beyond anything that we had ever seen.  To sum it up in one word: lavish.  Everything in the gardens was exceptionally manicured; the manse itself was precise down to the very last detail, and everything had the definite feel of royalty.  Room after room, from garden to garden, “wow” after “wow”, it was impeccable to say the very VERY least.


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