Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Paris Day 2: Versailles and The Arc De Triomphe

We got up bright and early this morining and headed for the Palace of Versailles.  Talk about extravagent.  I can definitely see how the French had a revolution after seeing the opulence here.  The Palace was built by Louis XIV and improved by several French Kings after him both before and after the French Revolution.  There is more information on it here.

Here are some of the 50+ pictures I took at Versailles.

This was the gilded gate at the front of the Palace, our entrance was to the left of it here.

Macen sitting on the steps right in front of the Palace.
A look at the front of the palace those are the steps that Macen posed on.

The famous Hall of Mirrors.  This is where the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I was signed.  It is flanked by the War Drawing Room and the Peace Drawing Room.

A look out the backside of the Palace at a reflecting pool and some of the gardins

Macen and Shantel in front of the one of the pools in the garden.  In case you couldn't tell Macen was all wound up today.

After returning from Versailles we all took a nap, Macen didn't get one yesterday and Shantel and I were pretty beat as well.  After our nap we headed out to see the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs de Elysees.

Here is the Arc, we couldn't get very good pictures of it because they are doing restoration work on all of the sculptures on it.  It was commissioned by Napoleon after he crushed the Austrians at Austerlitz, but it wasn't completed until the 1830's long after Napoleon and France had been defeated and suffered a series of military setbacks.
Shantel at the top after climbing the 287 steps.  She didn't even carry Macen!

The view from the top of the Arc down the Champs de Elysees.  This is the traditional finish route of the Tour de France.

The French honor their unknown soldier from World War I, just like the US, with an eternal flame under the Arc de Triomphe.