Friday, January 23, 2009

Europe Trip Journal Part 5


Day Trip to monarchical-era palace and grounds at Versailles. Toured main palace w/ hall of mirrors, walked through gardens, toured Grand Trianon (a mini palace about 30 min walk from big palace, on same property). Huge palace and gardens, an embarrassment of riches, can see how people would revolt.

Dinner at a cafe back in Paris. Sat by the window, watching people, had smoked salmon, cantal cheese, foie gras. After dinner we went to a movie: The Day the Earth Stood Still, starring Keanu Reeves, in English with French subtitles.


SNOW!! Approx 1/4 inch. Makes the city look even better. Stanley woke up not feeling well, so we went to the Louvre later in the morning than planned to avoid the crowds, but it was not crowded at all. We glanced at various ancient treasures,

but tried to head directly to the piece de resistance - le Joconde (a.k.a. Mona Lisa). As expected, there was a big crowd around her, and she was behind glass, and it all seemed kind of ridiculous. There have been better paintings, you know.

Then we went home and Stanley went to bed for the rest of the day while I shopped and looked for take-away meals. I was lucky to find take-away soup, which was delicious and made Stanley feel better. We think it was something he ate, perhaps the foie gras.

A nice surprise on the TV - Breakfast at Tiffany's, very well dubbed into French. "JE PROTESTE!!!!!"


Stanley feeling much better today. Packed everything up, Then walked to Musee Rodin - a really cold walk - prob in 20s F. Saw "The Thinker", Gates of Hell, both of which were roped off and we couldn't approach "for our safety" due to tiny amounts of ice and snow. It's all relative.

Said goodbye to Paris and took the train back to London. Dinner at Seashell, a fish and chips place recommended by Stanley's dad.

Huge amount of food, and was apparently good but made me finally realize that I don't care for fish and chips. (So now the list of foods I can't eat or don't care for gets slightly bigger. Let's go ahead and lay it out here, just for fun: Fish and chips, whole wheat bread, jalapenos, orangina, sea urchin).

We used our last pence to buy a New Yorker magazine. Looking forward to going home. Laptop not fried after all.


Going home today! Uneventful but long and crowded flight from London to Toronto. Sat in middle row w/ a soldier on leave from Afghanistan next to Stanley and a mortgage broker next to me. It was like a little slice of current events. No free internet in Toronto this time, which made me realize just how much I was looking forward to free internet in Toronto. But at least I'm not being shot at, which the soldier confirmed was a horrible experience (we didn't press him for his thoughts, he freely expressed them), so I can continue to use that comparison to keep things in perspective.

The End

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