We have just had two of the most wonderful days in France. We spent one day walking the streets of Paris – kinda training 21kms – seeing some of the iconic sites, including climbing the Eiffel Tower, visiting the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame and the Pantheon. We walked along the Seine and spent the day taking it all in. Some observations since my last visit in 1977. No signs of gobs of dog poo on the footpaths, very helpful strangers who offered us assistance, lots of tolerance of our use of English, beggars who shouldn’t be beggars such as whole migrant families with babies and children, and very expensive. We think we got ripped off when we bought some ham but we’ll never know! Our French sucks. It was a special day.
The following day we joined a biking tour of Versailles with the chateau tour in the morning before the crowds, a cycle tour of the town and markets, then a cycle around the kings estate, the grand canal, the king’s holiday house, the queen’s holiday house, then Marie Antoinette’s Neverland. Yep, she beat Michael Jackson to it. It could easily have been a set in The Hobbit. Across the course of the whole day, we had fabulous historical detail from our guides. It was a remarkable day. I have always wanted to see Versailles and I wasn’t disappointed. Cycling around town was madness with cars, buses, bikes, scooters, pedestrians and dogs. But wow. A hoot of fun. Observations? For all the wealth, pomp and ceremony of the last three kings of France, I’m glad it wasn’t me. If smallpox, syphillis or anal fistula didn’t get you, the guillotine did.