Monday, August 18, 2014

Versailles in the Rain

Wednesday 6 August
It's my last full day in Europe, so I guess its only appropriate that its raining. *tears*

I learned my lesson yesterday and I'm in line at Versailles by 8:45. A substantial amount of people are already lined up to get in, but it's not nearly as long as Tuesday. I make friends with some women from Minnesota in line behind me, and I tell them my story from yesterday so that they aren't sad about having to wait for an hour. Yes, I was there before it opened and didn't get in until 10.

It's hard to tell, but it is raining quite hard in this moment, hence the fashionable raincoat.


The Hall of Mirrors


So many people...

...They all started to give me anxiety

Marie Antoinette's bedchamber

King's bedchamber

Gallery of Battles

Occasionally I would look out the windows and could see the growing line of people still outside waiting to get in. I also noted the pouring rain and felt really bad for them. 

OMG this room is empty! I escaped the craziness of the Royal Apartments and visited the Princess' Apartements. Not quite as excessively lavish but still really beautiful. 

After a long day of fighting the crowds I say goodbye to Versailles for good. 

Look at how big the lines are at 1pm in the pouring rain!

Remember how sometimes I think I'm really smart? Well I did that again. I wanted to walk to a different train station than the one I left from yesterday. This station was a bit further BUT I wouldn't have to switch trains at all, instead I'd go directly into Montparnasse Station. 

It's pouring so hard I miss the turn and 30 minutes later the rain lets up enough for me to snap out of puddle jumping and focus on where I am. After another 15 minutes of wandering (I really miss having cell phone service) I stumble upon a train station. I have to switch another 3 trains and metros to get back to the city but at least I'm not wandering around in the rain right!? 

I really wanted to see the Catacombs and I wasn't expecting to spend 2 days on Versailles, or 45 minutes trying to find the train station. Once back in Paris I thought I'd go to the Catacombs just to see how long the lines were. It was still pouring rain and the lines were around the block. My rain jacket, while conveniently light and portable, doesn't have the BEST all-over rain protection so I'm still incredibly soaked from my excursion in Versailles. My desire to put on dry shoes and clothes currently outweighs the desire to see the Catacombs so I turn around, go straight into the supermarket for wine. Obviously. 

Happy and dry back at the flat with a cup of wine, I receive a FaceTime call from Mom. She emphasizes the importance of it being my last day and reminds me it's only 3pm. I look out the window at the sun peeking through the clouds and feel guilty. After a heavy sigh, I throw back the rest of my wine and grab my rain coat. 

Back at the Catacombs, the sun is hiding behind angry clouds and it's once again pouring. Determinedly, I find the end of the line and am greeted by two gentlemen in uniforms. They kindly let me know that I will probably not make it to the entrance before they close for the day. I thanked them for saving me the time and dashed back to the metro. 

I hadn't been to Galeries Lafayette yet, and shopping is always a solution to rain, so I took the metro to the Opera House. I walk up the stairs from the metro and its SUNNY and hot. I'm so confused. Ten minutes ago I was in the midst of a torrential downpour.

I checked to see if there were any shows going on tonight, but its the off season of course. I walk over a few blocks to Galeries Lafayette.

Take the escalator to the 7th floor and you're on the roof and have a lovely view of Paris. 

After Galeries Lafayette I went back to Place des Invalides since the last time I was there I just laid in the grass. 

The weather was giving me an emotional rollercoaster ride. Sunny and hot one minute and rainy the next. I started to feel like the metro stations were a weather vortex. I walk up out of the metro and now its overcast and drizzling. I snap a picture then think "huh, it looks like a wall of rain coming at me" moments before said wall of rain hits me. I struggle in panic with my rain coat for several minutes, which was plenty of time to once again get completely soaked. This time, thanks to the rain coat struggle, my hair is even wet and honestly it was like I had just stepped out of the shower. 

All I really want to do is sit in the comfort of my hostel and drink wine while packing. Lucky for me the hostel has a great view of Paris, so I justify my guilt away. I've had an amazing time here, I don't need to feel pressure to pack my last day full of random activities. Plus, the weather is making it miserable to be out on the streets. 

I sit at the kitchen table, and enjoy the view while snaking on some pâté. I reminisce about my trip and try not to be sad that I'm leaving.

I packed up all of my things, and I am shocked and impressed with how everything fits. I suppose it does help that I have one more carry on item than I did when I left the US but I was still expecting to have to leave a few things behind. Thankfully that was not the case. I spend the evening hanging out in the hostel with old and new roommates.

At midnight I run to the window to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle for one last time for the entire 5 minutes before before heading to bed. I have a big day tomorrow.

Bonne nuit Paris

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