Versailles, Je ne t’aime pas!

If you’re just joining us this is blog 2 of Euro Trip 2008. Stop now and scroll down. Go. Now. No! Stop Reading. Argh. Fine

As you can probably guess from the title, Versailles is kind of over rated. Well actually, what do I know. After waiting in the line for nearly 2 hours in blazing, direct sunlight, we discovered we would still have to wait in another line for an equal length of time to actually get in to the palace. At that point I was already thinking “Hmm what’s so special about Versailles?” and “I didn’t really realize how urban this was.” and “Christ, I hate tourist attractions!”. We were all rather irritable at that point – not to mention I was already sunburnt despite my SPF 60 (Ombrelle: expect a strongly worded letter from me in the near future about the effectiveness of your product) –
so we made the executive decision to just spend the 8 euros to go to the gardens instead of the 20 euros to include the palace because those gardens were at least supposed to be something special… right? Lies. All lies. Sure. There was a pretty spectacular fountain/pond/lake thing. But I didn’t see a single flower. And yes, nicely trimmed hedges are nice (cause who doesn’t like a nicely trimmed hedge?) but the lure of shade and lunch made it the least well spent euros I have ever spent – we left after about half an hour.
I am also quite concerned about this upcoming trip to Morocco. Today it was only Paris – and I could uncover whatever I want. In two weeks it will be 20 degrees hotter and 100% more Muslim. Brother, if you’re listening, prepare for a whole lot of whining that week. For the rest of you, please meet me at the airport with a bucket of Aloe.

Last night was our first night in a real restaurant on this trip. We had a sandwich in a cafe the other day for lunch but mostly it has been mon ami Le Monoprix (where I’m sure they appreciate my franglais). We dressed up as Parisians and went to an Italian cafe (yeah, I get the irony) up the road. It was by far the best tortellini I have ever had. Chalk one more up for Paris.

Today, however, was Sunday. And while everything was open around Versailles, nothing in our neighbourhood was open. Nothing. At first we were just disappointed that we couldn’t buy dinner at le Monoprix; but after 15 minutes or so of searching for an open cafe or restaurant at 7pm we started to get worried. Perhaps Parisians are so skinny because they don’t eat Sundays? Even though we are quite near the Arc – a very touristy area – nothing was open. I was worried we were going to have to go back to the hotel and beg for bread from the front desk lady who hates me because I talk too fast and she thinks I’m American.

We finally decided to head over to the Champs Elysees and and go to McDonalds if we had no other choices. The Champs is amazing. Every Parisian and tourist that was not starving themselves in their Paris apartments was there – and every cafe was open! We managed to get amazing grilled sandwiches with tarts and orangina for 7 euros! It cost an extra 2 euros to eat it there (which were 2 euros I had to save to buy the way too expensive sunglasses I bought immediately following dinner) so we ate on the wall of a metro station instead. Nothing but the best for us.

Finally, as a follow-up to yesterday’s innappropriate Orangina Subway ad I introduce the Moulin Rouge Zebra:
There appears to be a whole series of these scantilly clad animals, sea creatures, and cacti. I’m not sure what I am missing but I’m sure this picture makes a whole lot more sense in French!

Bonne Nuit.

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