Gloria's Travel Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘Chartre

Versailles &Chartres

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Versailles is beautiful as always!  It was first built-in 1624 by Louis XIII as a hunting lodge yet was enlarged into a palace of the Kings residence from 1682-1790.  Today it is a magnificent palace showing the riches of France.  There are many great rooms such as the Hall of Mirrors, the Galaries de Glace,  Napoleon’s room and of course the gigantic gorgeous gardens.  
      It’s actually too beautiful to describe Versailles.  It is astounding how grand in size it is, it took us 7 hours walking around the area and we didn’t manage to see everything.   We saw the Petit Trianon and the Grande Trianon located away from the palace.  They were built by Marie Antoinette where you can see a get away from the main palace.  The rooms are still lavish and wonderful to see.  So much detail and design has gone into them.  There is even a cute miniature village there where you can see a farm & the many animals. 
     We had a lot of fun, I’m so glad I was able to come back and visit Versailles again.  It was also nice that the crowds weren’t too big as that can ruin the experience at times.  Definitely a worthwhile visit from Paris!!

     Chartres is the capital of light and perfume.  It is within a short distance of Paris where you can enjoy a small town atmosphere of France.  There main attraction is the Cathedral filled with gothic art, over 4,000 statues, 9 sculpted gates, and 2,600m2 of stained glass windows from the 12th & 13th centuries.  It is really vast & worthwhile to see. 
     I enjoyed going around Chartres with 5 other girls to explore the town.  There was another smaller cathedral we happened to walk by and it was nice going in and being able to see the stained glass windows closer to the eye.  I find when the cathedral is so grand it’s hard to see the detail in the top of the windows.  Yet in this smaller cathedral I could admire it without being freezed to death  as they love to air-conditioned older gothic churches.  We had a great time visiting Chartres.


Written by gloriastarr

April 7, 2009 at 12:14 am


with 4 comments

     So as many of you should know I went to Paris from March 15-22nd.   It was amazing!!!  I stayed with my wonderful friend Nancy and had a blast.  There’s too much to say so I’m going to give you the highlights of the trip.

   Sunday when I arrived we took a free walking tour (by donations) for 4 hours    and saw all the main highlights of Paris!  There was so much to see and tell and that’s why it lasted so long!  After our overview we met up with some friends and had a nice picnic outside as the weather was nice.  Later I managed to check out Nancy church in French which was cool.  

    Monday I did the Marais walk & found myself in the Jewish section in Paris.  We  tried some yummy falafel & I spoke Hebrew to the guy.  It was quite interesting even though I can remember most of my French from school 10 years ago; I found myself speaking and Hebrew & Italian would come out at times.  It is quite strange especially since I think I know more French words.  I walked around the avenue des Champs-Elysées, saw the Lafayette galleries, and opera house.  I ate a wonderful crepe & had a drink with friends later. 

    Tuesday I went to the musée d’Orsay & the petit palace and saw some beautiful   artwork!  Wow remarkable pieces that get you to just stare in awe. Later that day I saw my first ballet at Opéra Bastille.  It was entitled the “Troisiéme Symphonie de Gustav Mahler” It was wonderful to see about 70 dancers along with an orchestra & an opera soloist.  We had remarkable seats at 6th row for only 15 Euros as we came 15min. before the show.  A real treat for sure.  When coming back we had some green beer at the pub next to Nancy’s place as we realized it was St. Patty’s Day. Lol well any excuse really. 

   Wednesday we went to Versailles which I’ll explain about later.  Thursday we were back in Paris So I went to the Louvre.  I was dreading this from my experience about 13years ago when I went with my family and we saw every single museum & castle and at that age there isn’t too much to appreciate you just want to sit and eat.  Anyways I Loved it!!!  It was a worthwhile experience for sure with famous pieces such as the Mona Lisa, the Winged Victory of Samothrace, and Vénus de Milo.  There was so much to see and admire.  I spent 3 hours gladly and it would have been longer yet there was a strike in Paris and so the 2nd floor was closed along with a wing of the first floor.  I didn’t mind though because I was able to appreciate so much.

  After saw a mini protests on the street from the strike.  Then I went to Notre Dame & took a mini tour explaining the history.  I tried to climb the stairs yet due to the strike it was closed.  There’s not too much affected from the strike but I found a few of them.  I went to the Layfayette galleries again and bought some clothes and food and a book “Cathedral of the Sea” by Ildefonso Falcones.  I’ll have to add it to the piles of books I already have J  I went to see the Moulin Rogue and then up to Montmartre at night where we enjoyed a nice café on the steps.  We had 2 guys at different times try to come and talk to us.  We talked for a bit and then went on our own to admire the beautiful view of Paris.  After we took the metro over to enjoy the Trocadéro scene and see a light show of the la tour d’Eiffel.  There’s always so much to see and admire. 

    Friday I went to the Arc de Triomphe and climbed the 284 steps.  It was so easy especially after getting a workout visiting Nancy’s house.  I counted that she had 131 steps to get to her place and of course no elevator.  Now you do that 3 times a day and you get pretty good at it.  At the top of the Arc de Triomphe you can see all of Paris.  I managed to catch a nice hip hop show on the street.  Later I went to Invalides where the Army musée is & the tomb of Napoleon. It was interesting to see how many tombs he is covered in.  I was really impressed with the WWI & WWII musée!  It had a fantastic display and it actually made me really sad.  I’m not sure what it was but when entering the museum I was really touched for all the people who fought and gave up their lives.  In the evening we went to a Spanish dinner where there was Guspatcho & Paella.  Surprisingly I was allergic to both meals but I had lots of drinks, some pickles and cheese & later had hashbrowns.  The people were all really nice and we had lots of fun. 

Saturday we went to Chartres which I’ll touch on later.  On my last day I slept in a bit and we went to see the Catacombs.  For some reason I’ve wanted to go here ever since I was little and I read this book about this girl who was uncovering the truth and then some people were trying to catch her so she hid in the Catacombs.  I don’t even remember what book this was but if you do tell me please.  It was quite interesting and kind of creepy actually.  Apparently the bones of the Man in the Iron Mask are laid there too.  We had a nice meal where I had this great (French) Onion soup and then we took a nice walk in the Luxemburg gardens before I had to go off to the airport.  It was a wonderful week in Paris!  Nancy was amazing and great to spend time with.  Thank you so   much for a fabulous week in Paris.  Until next time