A big day in Paris

Today has been a very BIG day or us in and around Paris - and we are all knackered.

I'm sitting at the small kitchen table in our apartment - my back to the open window to catch the breeze. Today has been substantially cooler than any day we have encountered on our trip so far - about 28c max with most of the morning and afternoon around 18-25c - which made it actually quite pleasant for the amount of walking we ended up doing. It just wouldn't have been possible on a hotter day.

After leaving the apartment at about 8:30am this morning we arrived back home at about 5:30pm - knackered and armed with groceries for a quick dinner. We suspect we have stretched Archie to his limit - he only had an hour sleep in the pram while we were out, and as we arrived home he was well and truly into his extremely tired and silly state.

The little man is down now and the house is peaceful - a very different situation only 30min ago - when he was fighting the need to sleep. But all is calm and the little guy is off with an early night - and I expect him to sleep through after the day we have had.

So... back to today...

The plan was to head to Versailles to see the palace and walk the gardens, an then try to get to Monet’s garden before coming back into Paris to fill out the rest of the afternoon with other sights. As it turned out things went about 50% right. It appears something went wrong in our planning and research - Monet’s garden is nowhere near Versailles (as we had thought it was). Oops. Unfortunately this meant mum wasn't able to see one of the main things she had really come to Paris to see - but it's a great excuse to come back.

Getting to Versailles was pretty simple on the Paris train system - with a short walk up to the Palace. We never wanted or expected to go inside the Palace - we just wanted to walk through the garden. When we arrived at the Palace (around 10am) the queue for the Palace tour was massive. There were almost as many people here as were in St. Peters square in Rome. It was crazy. Luckily the lines for the gardens were not nearly as long - quite small actually.

The gardens were what you would expect - immense, immaculate, and impressive. We wandered for hours.

After leaving the Palace we decided to head back into town where we had passed a produce market to pick up some lunch before continuing back to the train station to figure out how to get to Monet’s garden. All a little wiry from the morning walking we decided maybe it would be best to get a Taxi - we expected was only about 10km away.

After waiting (about 30min) for the Taxi drivers to come back to their cars from their lunch breaks, we asked to go to Monet’s garden. The Taxi driver looked at us oddly. Luckily we asked for an estimate of how much it would cost. $150 Euro came the reply.

Shit - something was wrong here. Either we are being ripped off or we have miscalculated. Either way we are not getting in the Taxi. We decided to ask the staff at the train station - who were very helpful and told us it was two trains and then a bus. Based on their directions we used the GPS on our phone and figured out we were about 60km away - the Taxi driver probably wasn't trying to rip us off... It would probably cost $150 Euro to go that distance in a Taxi in Paris.

We abandoned our effort to see Monet’s garden at this point.

We decided to catch the train back into Paris and see some more of the sights. We got off at the Louvre station and walked around - only to discover the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays... another false start.

From the Louvre we walked up to the Champs Elysee, and then onto the Arch De Triumph - which was a fair walk in the late afternoon after having already spent much of the morning walking through Versailles.

All now a little wiry, we decided to catch the train back to Saint Paul station which is right near our apartment, grab some groceries and have dinner in tonight.

So, after a bottle of white wine and a few Hoegaarden beer the wiriness of the day has moved on to a more subtle comfortable tiredness.

I expect we will all sleep well tonight.