Let Them Eat Cake

So I flew from Copenhagen to Paris Orly with Norwegian, a discount airline that is actually pretty good.  No complaints so far and I’ve flown with them twice (plus I’ve joined their frequent flyer program).  I collected my luggage and requested an uber to pick me up, then went outside to wait.  And wait.  And wait.  I didn’t have wifi outside, so I couldn’t tell where the driver was or when he’d arrived.  Then I had to go back into the terminal to use the wifi only to find out that the ride had been cancelled (cause he couldn’t find me) so I had to request another one.  I ended up doing this like 4 times and getting so frustrated, because I was standing at door K, where it said the pickup was, but then they were never there.



On the 4th try out of frustration I ended up walking further out towards the parking lot and there it was!!!



But the car was empty.  I waited and waited and the driver finally showed up, two other people in tow (I had requested uber carpool) saying he’d been looking for me where I’d been standing earlier.



The ride in was fine, the three of them talked and I just sat quietly. I was tired and hot and annoyed and I just wanted to get to Antoine’s.  We finally arrived around midnight and I entered the code he’d given me and went up to the second floor to his apartment.  Well, if you can call it an apartment, lol.  Apparently it’s pretty normal for Paris, but his whole place can fit into my bedroom at home (with space to spare)!!!  We were soooo happy to be reunited!!!



We stayed up for hours talking even though he had to be up at 6am.  Lucky for me, I didn’t have anywhere to be, so Tuesday morning I slept in quite late and I ended up having a pretty lazy day.  The only ting I did that day was walk to the laundromat to do some laundry.  It’s been years since I’ve had to do laundry in a laundromat and when I got there I was kind of confused as to how to use the machines, since they weren’t coin-operated and it was all controlled by this panel.  Luckily there was a really nice French woman there who kept helping me, cause she could see that I had no clue.



It’s been a while, laundromat!


I did manage to do some walking around while I waited for my laundry and I of course had to stop at a bakery for a pain au chocolat!  Yum!  When my laundry was finally done I headed back to Antoine’s and ended up doing some work online, responding to emails for the One Young World Summit and trying to figure out destinations and flights/trains.  So actually, I wasn’t completely lazy, I did actually do some work! And I didn’t stay in ALL day, I met up with Antoine in the evening and we walked to a cafe to meet up with his friend Renee.  She was lovely and really fun.  We had a great time there, plus it was happy hour, so, bonus!  Renee had just been working at the Cannes Film Festival, so she had some cool stories to tell me.  Then it was off in search of food!  I wanted some authentic French cuisine, but none of us wanted to spend a lot so we ended up at this tiny place called Le petit olivier and it was sooooo delicious.  Just what I had wanted.  And of course we all had to have one of the amazing looking desserts!  Highly recommend a visit, good food at very reasonable prices.



Can’t remember the name of what I ordered, but it was delicious!



Couldn’t resist the chocolate mousse!


I had planned to get up early Wednesday morning and spend the day at the Palace of Versailles, but of course I overslept and ended up only waking up at 10h30.  I rushed to get ready and then hit up the supermarket for stuff for a “picnic” lunch then took the subway and train there, finally arriving at 1pm. 



So many different kinds of cheese!!!


Don’t do what I did, get there early, because the place is MASSIVE and you definitely need a whole day to do it properly.  I can’t even begin to imagine how big it used to be, because it is currently only 800 hectares and it used to be 7,800!!!  I bought my ticket from the ticket sales, which is in a separate building on the side, then headed to the main building to go through security and start my visit.  I wanted to visit Marie-Antoinette’s summer palace and decided to start there since it was the furthest away and I didn’t have a lot of time. 



Arriving at the Palace



Recreated entrance gates


I cut through the main palace to the gardens, and started walking around, then spotted a little train.  I went to investigate and of course it wasn’t free, but for € 7.50 it would bring you to 3 places: the Grand Trianon, the Petit Trianon and Little Venice.  I figured since I didn’t have a lot of time I’d suck it up and pay to take the train and save a bit of time.  I got off at the first stop, the Grand Trianon and walked around. The Grand Trianon was built by King Louis XIV as a retreat for himself and his mistress (wonder what his wife thought of that!).  There was free wifi there and an app you can download to use while you tour it, so I tried to download it, but it was so slow that it wasn’t worth it. 



When I was done I went to the train stop, but there was a really long line-up and I knew I wouldn’t get on that train (the next one was 10-15 minutes away) so I decided to walk to the next stop: the Petit Trianon (Marie Antoinette’s summer palace) since it would be faster.  The summer palace was small (comparatively) but very nice.  I thought it was weird that you would need a summer home on your own estate, but then I found out that the King was trying to make Versailles the capital and that there were up to 10,000 people living and working in the palace and then it all made sense.  Marie-Antoinette hated the formality and rules of the French court and the summer palace was a place where she could get away and just relax with a few close friends.



I had brought a little picnic lunch, so I ended up sitting on a bench in the gardens and eating there, which was lovely.  When I was done I went to the train stop and there was a huge line, longer even then at the last stop, which was super annoying cause I had checked it out when I first arrived and there were only a few people waiting, so I figured I’d have no problem catching it when I was done.  So once again, I ended up walking to the next stop (not sure why I bothered to pay for this train). 




Half of my picnic lunch. Two of my favourite berries!!!



The grand canal is really nice, definitely worth a visit.  You can even rent rowboats and row to the other end, which I totally would’ve done if I’d had more time.  I spent some time walking around and exploring before heading back to the train stop and this time there was no one else waiting!!!  I finally got to ride it again! 



Can you see the palace in the distance???



The Grand Canal’s “fountain”


Now it was finally time to explore the main palace.  I tried to get back in the way I’d come out, but it turns out you have to reenter like you did the very first time and go through security all over again, which is annoying.  I was going through the palace, which is very beautiful, and I was getting near the end when I started to wonder if I’d already seen the Hall of Mirrors (there’d been a room in the summer palace with a lot of mirrors and I thought maybe that had been it, although it was pretty disappointing because it wasn’t at all like I had imagined), when I finally came upon the real thing.  It really is gorgeous.  






Beautiful bed



Love this corridor



Looking up



Finally the Hall of Mirrors. So beautiful!



Closer look at the beautiful chandeliers


Eventually I had to leave the palace as it was closing up plus I had plans to meet Antoine, so I took the train to Saint-Michel to meet him.  We did quite a bit of walking around the city, checking out the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Seine River, the Louvre, the Luxor Obelisk in the Place de la Concorde and many other sights.   



Notre Dame Cathedral



Seine River



The Louvre



The Louvre



The Pyramid at the Louvre



The Pyramid at the Louvre.  Love it!



Luxor Obelisk



Apparently you can only drink water out of shot glasses at this cafe


We were going to go see the light show at the Louvre, but we’d just missed it and we didn’t want to wait another hour (it was already late), so we just went home.


If you’re interested in seeing more travel pictures, follow my instagram account at: awinnipeggerabroad


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