I have a couple of days to catch up on, so here we go.
On Saturday, we made the trip to Versailles. We followed Rick Steve’s instructions to be there when it opened and he was right. The ticket line wasn’t bad, but there was a huge line to go thru security. The security check was one, single file line where they sort of checked bags going in and let everyone walk thru a metal detector and did nothing when it went off. It didn’t seem crowded at first, but then the tour buses showed up and we felt like cattle at a feed lot, moving along with the herd in whatever direction the crowd wanted to go. It was hard to enjoy looking at anything because it was so crowded. We were most impressed by the sheer size of Versailles, you only get to see a fraction of the rooms, but the building is like the Louvre, it goes on and on. The gardens were beautiful and we had to pay extra for their Saturday “special garden show”. They had piped in classical music playing and occasionally the fountains would come on, that was the show as best we could tell. Then we walked the 2km out to the Grand Trianon, the king’s get away. It was also impressive and less crowded, I guess the hike out thins the crowds. Next was the Petit Trianon, which seemed like a normal house compared to the other places. We walked a total of ten miles that day and we felt every mile of it. When we finally got back to the Versailles exit, then over to the train station, we were told that the train station was closed and we would have to walk to another station, 10 minutes away. No one ever said why the train station was closed on a busy Saturday, I have to guess there were major mechanical issues.
We were still feeling the effects of all then walking we did Saturday, so Sunday started out at a leisurely pace. We took a boat tour of the Seine, which was nice and relaxing, then spent most of the day wandering around Paris neighborhoods. Sunday ended with a walk up to the Sacre-Coeur cathedral. We went by the Moulin Rouge, but didn’t go in. I think you need reservations, plus we were sweaty, as usual. Have I mentioned how warm and humid it is in Paris?? It’s not much different than Austin or Florida, not quiet as hot, but just as muggy. We have been drenched in sweat from the moment we left our apartment until it cools off in the evening. I leave in the morning with decent looking hair, but by the evening, I look like Janis Joplin on a bad hair day. So much for being stylish in Paris! We have decided that Parisians don’t sweat or pee very often. While Steve and I walk around in short sleeve shirts, drenched in sweat, Parisians walk around in coats with a scarf and not a drop of sweat on their face. There are almost no public restrooms, even in busy places like train stations, so either there are secret restrooms that only Parisians know about, or they just don’t go very often. I decided suffering from partial dehydration is better than trying to find a restroom in Paris.
Today, Monday, we left Paris at 0 dark thirty, and made our way to Caen where we picked up our cute and sporty station wagon rental car. From there we drove to Etretrat, a beautiful little town on the coast. There are beautiful cliffs and the town is very quaint. After a lunch and a quick hike to the top of the cliff we headed to Port-en-Bessin Huppain to find our next apartment. Port-en-Bessin Huppain is a beautiful little village a few miles from Bayeux. It’s the complete opposite of Paris, small and quiet. Our apartment is small, but very nice. Perfectly decorated and it has a giant claw foot tub that I can actually stretch out in. We took a quick walk around the village, walked out on the breaker that protects the port from the North Sea, watched a beautiful sunset over the ocean and decided to call it a night.