Copied from email to my mother.
On to today. Breakfast was the same, and equally delicious. We then took the metro to a train station, and the train to Versailles. We met a nice American woman and Saudi Arabian man on the way who helped us make sure we were on the right train. Versailles is really awesome. Maybe my favorite thing so far. It was huge, and all gold everywhere, and we saw the king’s bedchamber and the gardens are crazy cool (see pictures on FB). We were there for a few hours and didn’t see everything. Also, it was neat because in the book [note: When I talk about “the book” I’m referring to Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, which I read with my mother in high school] when they go to Paris they go to Versailles so I could sort of picture things better.
We went to McDonald’s for lunch after that. Christopher just had to see how different it was. And it was definitely better than back home. Anyone who comes from here and goes to an American one will be in for a bit of a shock. ^_^ I also had a small Starbucks, which again was a bit different, but good.
Then we took the train back and went back to the Arc d’Triomph and went up to the top this time. I was seriously cussing Christopher for all the stairs, since it was his idea, but the view was amazing. You could see everything. So I guess it was worth the stairs.
Then we were *going* to go to the Musee d’Orsay, so we got on the tour bus that was free cause of the passes and rode that. But somewhere along the line it occurred to me to ask him what the hours were and it had closed long since. So we rode the whole loop on the tour bus, which was actually good because we saw some things we hadn’t yet. The bad side was that there was a TON of traffic and I almost peed my pants by the time we got back. Still, I did make it, so it was alright.
We had dinner at the place with the delicious mashed potatoes (still delicious), and came back to the hotel. I took a (very warm) shower, and now I’m writing this. So you are up to date.
Couple of notes. First off, not renting a car was the best decision we’ve ever made. We’d have died in about a minute flat. There are no lanes on most roads, just a line down the middle to denote which side goes which way. The only rule people seem to follow is stopping at red lights, and I think that’s because pedestrians go when they get the walk signal whether the cars look like they’re stopping or not. Motorcycles just drive between the cars if they’re moving too slow, even when they literally brush up against them because it’s such a tight fit. And everyone just changes “lanes” and turns and goes whenever they need to. I’ve never seen a literal gridlock before, but they have them here. (We also found out later that whereas everywhere else, people in a roundabout have the right of way, in Paris the people coming in do.) Way crazy.
Also, it is our last day in Paris, and while I’m glad we came, and I wish we’d seen a few more places like Montmarte, I’m glad we chose the couple days in Scotland over more time here. It’s a bit too hard to deal with the language barrier, and honestly the people aren’t very nice. They don’t get out of the way when they’re walking down the sidewalk, even if there’s four of them walking abreast and just the two of you single file. Nobody makes eye contact and smiles. The dog owners don’t let the dogs come say hi (and don’t always pick up the poop, which is a much bigger deal in the middle of the city than on some grass in the suburbs). The other tourists have been very nice; we’ve talked to a bunch of them. And some people, like the ones who run the b&b and the waiter at dinner tonight, have been super nice. But overall it’s not such a friendly culture.
So time to pack, since our flight is crazy early and we did poorly on our time management again and ate dinner at 10. Love you!