I woke up this morning feeling like I had left half of myself behind in Minneapolis and the other part of me was lying in a small cot shivering with dehydration chills and nursing one helluva headache. These are the parts of traveling conveniently left out of escapist works such as Eat, Pray, Love–sometimes things suck a LOT. Today was one of those days in general, but bare with me. I’m going to be frank (Like my hot dog hurr hurr) and honest with you on the days events but this trip isn’t over yet and there is still many inspiring and wonderful experiences to come!
After I had downed about 2 quarts worth of water and managed to stand up long enough to scarf down a croissant, we ventured out from Evreux to drive on over to Versailles where we intended to check out the Chateau before heading into Paris. Now, I didn’t mention much about Evreux on my last blog post and that’s because, to put it plainly, Evreux itself was pretty plain. It was probably the closest you’ll ever get to normal every day France no dissimilar to say, Brooklyn Park. There wasn’t anything particularly special about it save for the traveling circus that stopped by (We drove by a cameeeel) or the littered remains of alcohol and drugs left sitting on a school gymnasium stoop. Basically, our snap shot view of France was only going to improve from here. We figured we’d go all out extravagance after Evreux and visit the palace that helped bankrupt France in the 18th century.
We drove there in under an hour and were able to find a underground parking ramp with ease–though parking itself wasn’t. We’ve noticed that everything is fairly small and thinly spaced here in France INCLUDING parking spots. After 10 minutes of incessant beeping from our rental car alerting us of objects in close proximity, we skipped on up to the sidewalk and crossed the street over to windowed cafes and storefronts (And past a weirdo sitting on a bench muttering “Dangerous” over and over). A friendly cafe owner saw us turn the corner and immediately waved us over to his store. “Sit, sit!” He urged us. Alright, we figured a snack before our tour would do us good. It wasn’t until we sat down that we noticed our tables were adjourned to reflect the American flag and our menus wore crudely copied photos of Audrey Hepburn and Elvis Presley. We found ourselves dining in an imitation American Cuisine restaurant. We must have visually looked the part as our waiter enthusiastically greeted us in clear English–“Yes, I’ll have the Hot Dog…U.S. The U.S. Hot Dog” I ordered guiltily as I had yet to experience authentic French food. What I received is pictured above–a tasty weeny on a squirt of thousand island and dressed with the usual condiments and a sprinkle of fried onion flakes. It was actually pretty good but this will be my last hot dog on this trip.
After we finished eating, we walked our way to the entrance of Versailles passing many little windowed shops as we went. Once our bags were checked by security and we walked by military men carrying machine guns, we found ourselves staring in awe at the palace with it’s golden gates…closed?
Yep. If you’ve been following along and know what day we’re on–Versailles is always closed on Mondays. My companions were about ready to drag by sorry self off and have me guilliotined over the mistake but not before I was able to snap a picture or two of the grounds and garden view.
Honestly, my bad. We have every intention of returning tomorrow where I will be sure to take plenty of photos and start covering some HISTORY all up on this blog. Taking our afternoon loss well, we figured the next best thing to do would be to drive ourselves into Paris and go see the Eiffel Tower.
And…well, that’s literally all we did.
Unfortunately, the drive into and through was quite stressful and as rush hour traffic mounted, we ended up not experiencing Paris at all and high tailed it out of there as soon as possible. It’s a big bummer, surely, but sometimes you can’t expect everything to pan out as you planned on trips and this day was one huge reminder of that. When you’re traveling in a group and you’re short on time you will inevitably need to make sacrifices–find out what are the must-see, can’t miss destinations you’d regret not seeing and do those and let everything else fall from your worries. For me, that must see is Versailles. I’ll take the loss of Paris and raise you The Sun King’s greatest achievement.
See you all tomorrow!