Sunday, February 12, 2012


We did it! Successfully visited a tourist site. And an excellent choice for a bitterly cold day: inside a palace.

It's amazing how much better I feel. Having a friend to visit probably makes a big difference. Paula arrived last night and we went out for dinner for the first time (for us, not Paula) since arriving. And what brilliant parisian meal did we eat? Japanese food.

Most of it was as expected, sweet sauces and succulent meat, spring-rolls and normal sushi-train type fare. But Luuk's final dish was beouf aux fromage... a kebab of cheese wrapped in beef. Is this french-japanese fusion?

Louis ate dumplings and samosa-like things. He's developing quite the palette.

Anyway, on to Versailles... (Warning: lots of photos.)

On the way to Versailles... is that lake frozen? I wouldn't skate on it. But I wouldn't swim in it either. In good news (or weather) the forecast just told us it'll get up to 1 degree C tomorrow! And 4 on monday. 
But it'll be snowing.

After driving around in a circle or two in the Versailles township, we found the entrance and a place to park the car, then gave the push-chair wheels a real test of their mettle on the cobblestones.

Little Louis looking on at a statue of quite another Louis. Versailles in the background.

 It was so cold. Yep, that's ice. The wind was killer. Don't be fooled by the blue sky; it was really cold.

Approaching the palace.

Through the gates, and push-chair free... not allowed it inside. Not allowed metal-framed carry packs either. And Luuk was told to take Louis off his shoulders almost as soon as we got inside. Hmm... Considering all this Louis (and Luuk) coped brilliantly!

First stop on the audio-tour: the chapel. I'll just say: they know how to do a ceiling.

Tagging on the stone wall. Strangely beautiful.

Louis listening to the audio-tour. I think he thought we were letting him play with a cell phone. He loved it. (In the background: a couple of Louis XIV's possible successors to the throne.)

C'est moi. In the background is apparently the most beautiful painting of Louis XIV, according to the audio-tour. (He is looking prettier than me, but 'tis often the case.)

One of the ceiling paintings I really liked.

The gardens/grounds were closed to the public due to the snow and frosts. Not that we felt like we were missing much. 

It was too cold to be outside and enjoy anything really. Looking out the windows was by far the best way to see the gardens of Versailles today.

We'll have to go back in spring. It'll be a whole 'nother kind of beautiful. And touring the palace was enough for one day. Works out rather well, I think, to do the palace in winter and save the gardens for the spring (if we're really smart we'll get in there before the crazy tourist-rush of summer).

In the hall of mirrors.

Another fantastic ceiling. They're also rather good at chandeliers.
Having a wee rest - for Luuk a rest from carrying Louis, for me, from carrying my cold-sick, pregnant self.

Luuk being a rebel: Louis on his shoulders. In the background: Napoleon at war.

Bad news Louis: the dauphin's bed... it's about the same size as your new bedroom.

The Dauphin's study. It's about five times the size of the Dauphine's study... a comment on educating girls? But the good news: New Zealand was on the globe! Right in the middle at the front.

Resisted buying anything in the gift shop, but Louis did try on this little crown. Or he was forced into it three times before I managed to snap a photo. This particular Louis was pretty keen to lose the crown. 

Paula successfully getting Louis to walk... briefly.
All finished, wrapped up for the cold, and on our way...

Popped into a hardware store on our way home - bricorama, which from the outside looks like a playground or something - and were thoroughly disappointed. Hopefully will require very little to assemble our furniture next saturday. Only a week and we'll be in our own apartment! Yay!

Spent an interminable amount of time in Carrefour again, but managed to stock up on essentials (including Croissants and Pain au chocolat. Hm...). Got socks for Louis and cough lozenges for me... my poor immune system is getting a real trial-by-fire (or ice?) at the moment. Also got last couple of necessary ingredients for yummy home-cooked dinner: chicken, courgette and mushroom penne, with a blue cheese and cream fraiche sauce. Rich, but delish. And Louis ate several pieces of pasta. Soon he'll be eating the same food as us, with any luck.


  1. Good idea to do the gardens in summer and visit the smaller palaces Grande et petite Trianon and also Le Hameau, the hamlet that Marie-Antoinette had built to experience rural life....