Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Day In Paris

What would you do with only one day in Paris? Hard choices but all are good.

Saturday I left at 2 AM on a bus trip to Paris along with airmen and relatives from the squadron. It was the quickest trip I could find...and was the least expensive at $86 USD. Service personnel and their families have trips available any weekend and destinations rotate.

This was a: "Here you are in the heart of Paris. We'll see you at 6 PM."

Planning on coming back again with family I chose the Palace of Versailles which is a bit out of the way and the Eiffel Tower which I figured the younger I climb it the better!

Four of us made the subway transfers to the end of the line. Versailles.

For 26 Euros you get entrance into the palace and the 1,000 hectare garden.

"It was Louis XIV's wish to embark on a monumental creation, brilliantly combining the greatest artists of his time, that led to the achievement of an incomparable palace." (This straight from the tour pamphlet.)

The place is huge and ornate beyond an American's belief. There are no castles or palaces built in America. Marie Antoinette lost her head over this issue. She wanted an even more elaborate edifice. She got it. And, then she got it. Got it?

But the French people now benefit in a big way. There were thousands of visitors each paying a pretty big sum. Think how much this would be if the whole family went! And, they do from all over the world. I couldn't count the languages spoken. It was truly magnificent and a great site in history...Kings, Queens, the Treaty of Versailles ending WWI, etc.

The top of the Eiffel Tower was a goal. No problem. You hike 690 steps to the second level and then take an elevator to the top. (You pay about 12 Euros for the entry plus the elevator from the middle to the top.) Children are free but I pity the parent who carries the child up. None under six will get up this thing in decent time.

But what a view! Paris is spread out before you and it is awesome!

When Hitler took Paris he wanted to go up the Eiffel Tower. But, the French cut the cable so he couldn't. He is pictured in a book I bought at the Eagle's Nest standing with the tower in the background.

The tower was not destroyed during the war because of the value to communications. Oh, the tower was up and running two days after liberation. All Europe is history and all interesting. (Confession...My BA is in history. Maybe it's just me)

No comments: