Thursday, April 07, 2022

Versailles and the Moulin Rouge

Lydia has been having a strange bout of vertigo on this trip. She often likes to come up with random (often made up) illnesses in order to spice up our adventures. She's such a character.

Today we started off by taking the metro.

We didn't eat at O'Tacos I just liked how trashy it was.

Sometimes the French seem fancy then I remember that they guzzle tall boy Monster energy drinks with their three pound burritos like the rest of us.

I didn't want to run out of energy so I grabbed a baguette de tradition on our walk.

I really liked to see all of the Ukraine support. Not as much as in Prague but still.

The Palace of Versailles is a former royal residence built by King Louis XIV located in Versailles, about 12 miles west of Paris.

Louis' whole Sun King thing was pretty bad ass.

"It was a favorite residence for the king, and in 1682, Louis XIV moved the seat of his court and government to Versailles, making the palace the de facto capital of France. This state of affairs was continued by Kings Louis XV and Louis XVI, who primarily made interior alterations to the palace, but in 1789 the royal family and capital of France returned to Paris."

"The Hall of Mirrors has been the scene of events of great historic significance, including the Proclamation of the German Empire and the signing of the Treaty of Versailles."

"On the one hand, the mirrors had an aesthetic function, as the mirror image of the garden depicted the exterior of the castle into the interior of the building and reflected the candlelight in the evening. On the other hand, the mirrors also conveyed the king's wealth and the efficiency of the French economy in a subtle way. Mirror glass was an expensive luxury product in the 17th century and could only be produced with great effort. The manufacture of the mirror surfaces was the first major order for the Manufacture royale de glaces de miroirs, a glass factory founded by Jean-Baptiste Colbert, the later Compagnie de Saint-Gobain, with which the Venetian monopoly on the manufacture of mirrors in Europe was broken."

It was raining pretty hard and I seem to recall standing water in the famous gardens, so we admired them through the windows but didn't venture out into them.

"Napoleon I, following his coronation, used Versailles as a summer residence from 1810 to 1814, but did not restore it."

There's something nice about "I may be going to kill or be killed, but damn it I'm going to look cute."

When we had our fill of fancy palace fineries it was time to have some food. After the opulence of yesterday I was actually excited to eat something a little more down to earth.

La Tour was famous for its steaks, and who was I to argue?

We wandered around the town of Versailles a bit before heading back.

Does the Iron Lady still remember the romantic time we shared last night?

I was leaning toward a nice Louis Vuitton bag for Lydia's Paris souvenir but she went for a Longchamp instead. She's spent a lot more time in France than I, and she said that was the brand the locals thought was cooler.

We made a visit to the fashion house of fine cuisine that is McDonald's.

Is there anything these people won't put on a hamburger bun?

Paris pest control shops seem to like to fill their window displays with preserved dead rats.

Notre Dame

Le Bonbon au Palais was a fun candy shop that specializes in candies from different regions of France.

It had a classroom theme going on so maybe I was supposed to be learning geography or something.

A couple of my notable acquisitions were this sugarfied hot pepper,

and an entire candied orange.

Maybe it was the sugar talking but around this time Lydia started demanding to see a bunch of topless French ladies. The only place that I could think to take her was the Moulin Rouge.

We watched Moulin Rouge! back in the US as preparation for this event. I wanted everyone to know I was cool and knew that "Lady Marmalade" song so I sang voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ce soir? to every French person we encountered.

Ain't no shame in my champagne game.

Afterward we had some street crepes and practice some of the kick line dance moves we'd learned.

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