Paris - Part Trois
I had originally intended to cover my entire Paris trip in one post, but somehow it’s spilled over into three. Apologies if you’re bored to death of my ramblings, be assured that this is the final post and normal service will resume shortly.
The last two days in Paris were actually the two I was looking forward to the most. On the Wednesday morning Darren and I had booked a tour of Versailles for everyone as their joint birthday gift - beginning in January all four have their birthdays by the beginning of February, which makes thinking of gifts quite a challenge. This year we were able to kill all four birds with one proverbial stone by paying for a private tour of the Palace of Versailles. I should clarify, that when I use the word ‘private’, I mean it was just the six of us on the tour, not that we had palace to ourselves - Kim Kardashian I am not.
We were picked up at the unseasonably early time of 8:00am by our guide for the morning, Claude. He kept us entertained during the half-hour trip to Versailles with the history of the palace and the kings, queens and emperors that had lived there. We arrived shortly before 9:00am and were greeted by coach loads of tourists, it was at this point that we really began to appreciate the value of a tour that included pre-booked tickets which meant that we didn't have to queue to get in. After taking a few snaps outside the front of the palace we were ushered in one of the side entrances by Claude, again, we managed to avoid the long queues and actually found ourselves alone in one of the rooms with a model of the palace in the middle.
Claude led us through the first few rooms describing their function and history. Each room had its own unique theme and the accompanying paintings depicted various famous mythical characters, each bearing a striking resemblance to Louis XIV. We walked through several of these ‘themed’ rooms, which were part of the original King’s apartment, designed to be public rooms for the guests at Versailles to admire with awe, before arriving at the Hall of Mirrors.
The Hall of Mirrors is without doubt the most exquisite of all the palace’s rooms, floor to ceiling mirrors reflect the light that bounces in from across the beautifully manicured lawns and catches the crystals hanging from the chandeliers.
We finished the tour of the interior of the palace with the Queen’s apartment and numerous stories about Marie Antoinette, whilst doing our best to keep out of the way of the copious amounts of tourists taking selfies in every room - a phase that has wholly passed me by.
After spending some time wandering through the grounds of Versailles we met up with Claude again and headed back into the city. Faye and I spent the afternoon checking out the ‘fashion pulse’ of Paris and chatting to the English girls working in the Mulberry store. We stumbled across Colette, which is a really eclectic mix of very high-end designers and high street brands like Topshop, I casually picked up a bag only to realise that it was Chanel and worth around £3,000... needless to say, I put it back on the shelf very swiftly.
I woke up on Thursday with the most enormous grin on my face, it was time for Disneyland baby! Despite making it into my 30th year without ever having visited a Disneyland, it didn't lessen my excitement, quite the reverse. High on Disney-induced euphoria we hopped on the train and quickly arrived at the gates of Disneyland Paris. Even the rain couldn't dampen our enthusiasm and we practically skipped through the security check points and into the park. The rain proved to be a blessing in disguise as it kept the crowds away for a few hours and let us enjoy some of the bigger rides without the long queues. I say ‘we’, unfortunately due to my expectant mother status I couldn't go on most of the big rides, but I used the time effectively to grab a warm cup of coffee and dry off while the others enjoyed visiting the Pirates of the Caribbean.
One of the few rides that I was actually allowed to go on was It’s a Small World, not the most exciting perhaps, but it is the happiest cruise that ever sailed 'round the world and it certainly put a smile on all our faces - especially my brother, who was in stitches for the majority of the ride.
Once we’d finished cruising around the world, Faye and I ditched the boys to go and make a very important purchase, our Minnie ears, which we wore with pride for the remainder of the day - I even got a hug from a little girl who was in total awe of them. On our way back to meet the boys I almost had my bag pickpocketed, thankfully I caught them in the act, but it goes to show that you need to be on your guard at all times, even when skipping through the sun speckled boulevards at Disneyland.
We finished the day shooting aliens on the Buzz Lightyear ride (both the girls beat the boys - get in!) and then we sat back in awe and watched the amazing Disney dreams light display - the perfect way to not only end our trip to Disneyland, but our trip to Paris.
Au revoir Paris, it's been spectacular!