Trip Start Dec 30, 2005
Trip End Jan 11, 2006

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Flag of France  ,
Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Versailles. I was up early after a night full of sleeping pills and earplugs, turns out French architecture may be spectacular but lacking accoutrements like soundproofing. Drowsy, slow and rather grumpy. Versailles felt like it was under a haze, a layer of film. Nothing sparkled or impressed the way the photos or lore had prepared me for. Don't' know if it was me or it. The gardens were in hibernation but still impressive in that French classical symmetry way. Fountains were off, shrubs covered or cut back and the oddest poodle like shaping of greenery still visible.

The chateaux was only home to three kings, and while older than any U.S. establishment, it's easy to make the comparisons. Is the U.S. founded on the anti-opulence of the likes of Louis XIII or are we just beginning, in our 3rd century of existence, to allow the upper echelons the decadence they think they deserve? A cute town had built up around the chateaux with mixed results of endurance.

In taking the train back into the city we stopped in search of tickets to Swan Lake. After perfectly asking an official at the old (gorgeous) Opera house where and how to come by tickets (here or at the newer Opera house, etc, etc.) all he would do is correct my pronunciation of swan ("cygnes"). Jackass. Made our way to the newer Opera house and it was sold out.

Walked our way back to the apartment window shopping our way through Le Marais, the gay/artsy area. When do these two things not go together? I guess some things are universal after all. Good taste, great clothes and lots of cute gay boys. Only had one lesbian sighting - so sadly underrepresented in Gay Paris!

Decided on some street crepes and a night stroll by the Notre Dame - just as looming in the night spotlights. A sweet (read: beautiful and about 15 feet tall) Christmas tree with white lights and red balls in front of it made it feel little more homey.
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