Rome in a day

Literally that’s what we did, Rome in a day. We had to rush Steve back to France for emergency surgery. We’re glad we did because he’s in one of the best hospitals of the area. Italy would have been…in a word, scary! But here’s what we experienced while in Rome…ruins, ruins, ruins!

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Well, maybe they weren’t all ruins. You have to be there to get the feel of what the brothers had to deal with living under the Roman rule and the culture of that time.

Free of gluten free, momentarily while in France

Promised Frenchie that once we’re in France, I will give up my gluten free diet momentarily…and might as well add Italy to it…was worth every mouth full of gluten! Wow!

Foie gras is not banned here…

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Neither should macaroons ever be banned…it would be criminal!

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Tea break at the Musée d’Orsay after touring the museum. The chocolate in the opera cake was to die for! Wow!

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Whether they are called Freedom fries or French fries, they go with everything. But the best are the potato wedges at McDonald’s. Crisp and flavorful on the outside and soft & smooth on the inside. The McDonalds here are for adults, not just kids. Even the decor is adult-ish for adult fast food.

20120918-224644.jpgThe steak that done Steve in!

Versailles! Can you say, “Opulent”?!

In a word, that describes Versailles perfectly! Louis XIII was invited to several hunting trips in the forrest surrounding Versailles. Pleased with the location, he obtained the seigneury of Versailles from the owner’s family and began to make enlargements to the château. (Lesson learned: Be careful who you invite to your place!). His successor, Louis XIV, expanded it into one of the largest palaces in the world.

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Gold covers everything that can be covered with gold. There were beautiful paintings on the ceilings, framed paintings on the walls and marble & gold structures everywhere else.

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The hall of mirrors had, you guessed it, mirrors galore. With the windows of light reflecting off the mirrors and the oodles of chandeliers, you can imagine the lighting in this room for those many parties. Oh, forgot to mention, to add to the illumination are the numerous golden statue light fixtures on both sides of the room. Opulent?! Totally!!!

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Since Versailles is considered a museum, displayed in the middle of some of the rooms are modern artworks…stainless steel stilettos, lions covered with crochet coverings?!!! Stained glass window, moderne…

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The Battle Room displayed paintings of….battles…

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The Royal Toilette…

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The Royal Gardens in which Louis XVI put his attention to make into English gardens. The gardens are as far as the eyes can see because the king wanted it that way.

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The Royal cat…

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A Royal wedding…Not…just happen chance upon one…

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One of numerous Royal fountains…

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The Royal backyard….

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Theater where the kings sat…

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The next day after an English meeting, we walked to view Paris’ opera house…and of course we had to visit the Apple Store nearby…

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Then we we walked toward the Louvre and had to visit the Apple Store there, too. Alas, we did not have time to go inside the Louvre because of having to catch a train to Nimes…but this gives us incentive to return. À bientôt, Paris! We’ll be back!

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Exploring Champs-Élysées

Steph and Boo took off for their own adventure to Brussels and Morocco, which leaves me to work on my own post for the remainder of our trip in Paris and then to Italy.

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First stop along the Champs-Élysées, (which is another cool street to walk), were the Grand Palais and, right across the street, the Petit Palais. How convenient is that?  These beautiful structures were part of the preparation works for the Universal Expo of 1900. Today the Grand Palais is being used as an exhibition hall and the Petit Palais as a museum.

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Next is the “New Future” Citroën building which had the Mission Impossible 3-ish, (the last fight scene in the garage with the movable car platforms), way of displaying the cars of the present and not so distant future.

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Finally, we reach one of the iconic structures of Paris, L’arc de Triomphe. The arc was commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 to commemorate his victories, but he was ousted before the arc was completed in 1836 during the reign of Louis-Philippe.  So much for self-glorification.

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At the opposite end is La Grande Arche de la Défense, a design that was chosen from a national design competition launched in 1982, won by a Danish architect and engineer, to be a 20th century version of the Arc de Triomphe.