Sunday 8 June 2014

Encore et pour la première fois

Back in Paris for the fourth time and still ticking off the must-dos. Today it was the glories of Versailles - Blenheim Palace on steroids, fabulously OTT - on a tour that meant we could skip the horrendous queues and see rooms that the general public misses.

Highlights? Furniture, mainly: The King's roll top desk, the Treaty table, the beds and the astrological clock, accurate in date and to the minute. And of course the Hall of Mirrors. So satisfying, to have seen it at last.

The gardens and the fountains were lovely too, and we had plenty of time to enjoy them, as well as a beer, some cheese and a welcome sit-down.

Then it was the first time up the 277 steps to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, a long walk down the Champs Élysées hung with French and British flags for the D-Day commemorations yesterday, and rests by the ponds in the Tuileries to people-watch. So many people, out on a sunny Saturday, holiday weekend, all sorts, all cheerful.

I'm not a huge fan of cities, but this is one of the best, and today it was looking gorgeous.

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