When you look at these photos from our day at Chateau of Versailles you are going to think “what a beautiful perfect day” but the reality is very different. The day we headed out to Versailles ended up being one of the hottest days of our vacation. As we walked up we noticed people, hundreds of people, but since we had already taken the time to ride the train out we got in line to buy our tickets. The first line wasn’t bad, but once we got in the line to get in the Palace we winded around and around for two hours. Once we got inside the crowds didn’t subside and the French Kings’ decisions to put marble on marble on marble wasn’t the most impressive. After wandering along the hallways of the palace we got some French sustenance in the royal cafeteria and headed out in to the gardens.
The gardens made the trip worth the crowds. Only a few of the fountains were running due to a water shortage. However when the few fountains did turn on they were magnificent.
We didn’t have enough time (or energy) to walk all of the gardens or even most of the gardens, but we did see some beautiful things.
We took a morning flight to Paris from Copenhagen. Dropped our bags at the hotel and went to the nearby Luxembourg gardens to walk around a bit. Since we skipped lunch, we did a Parisian local no no and went for dinner around 6pm. We were hungry and were talked in to going in a very Parisian restaurant. It was a great choice as we got olives and bread and wine and steak and fries and it was delicious. Since it was still so early we walked to the Eiffel Tower to see it lit up at night. We got there a few minutes before the 9pm light show and enjoyed the sights as it started raining.
As with any 986 foot tower we saw it from all over and we took pictures of it from all over. And headed back a few days later to go to the top.
We read all kinds of reviews and opinions on going to the top, that it was crowded and overhyped. I have to disagree, but to reduce the line waiting time we decided to take the stairs up the first two sections. The line to take the stairs only took us around a half hour and the stairs were not crowded at all. Its something like 670 stairs to the second level. We took a break on the first level for photos and catching our breath and then headed on up to the second level. There is another line to take the elevator to the top, but from this line you have views of Paris so the time flew by. The first and second levels were honestly more fun. Once you got to the top it was really crowded and they kept reminding us there were pick pocketers all around.
The views however were amazing… Nothing like going up a tall building/tower.
A surprise to us was a snack stand on the first level. We each got a cold beer, split a granola bar and enjoyed the view from the swinging chairs. Just chilling on the Eiffel Tower was a fun way to relax after two lines and 700 stairs (which didn’t hurt at the time, but we definitely felt them in our legs the next day).
gardens at Tivoli
Brian and I just got back from our trip to Copenhagen and Paris. We took a few photos… ok around 1,400 when you add the cell phone photos with the camera. So I decided to share a few favorites over a few posts, starting with Copenhagen and Malmo.
view from the Round Tower
Copenhagen from the Round Tower
castle in Malmo, Sweden
famous Nyhavn – photo by Brian
Copenhagen city hall
following the Queen’s band through town
another gorgeous steeple
Copenhagen was a mix of castles and canals with American hipster culture. At least the parts we visited. New and old design was all around. Everyone we met spoke impeccable english and there were a few (too many) American style restaurants. The city felt very safe, clean, and accessible.
the Meatpacking district
art in Malmo
We visited all three palaces in Copenhagen, did a walking tour, a canal boat tour, climbed the Round Tower and went up in the Taarnet. Spent a day in Malmo, Sweden with its very modern architecture mixed with some old town. The craft brew scene is alive in Denmark and we tried a few. A surprise treat was the pizza. We went to two places, Gorm’s pizza and Neighborhood. They both served a pizza with a thin crispy crust that was almost cracker like. The toppings were fresh and delicious. At Neighborhood the pizza had sliced figs and an olive tapenade that was amazing.
the Cirkelbroen or circle bridge
the Rundetaarn or Round Tower
It was rainy when we landed in Frankfurt and even rainier when we got off the train in Bonn. So all of my pictures are a bit grey and rainy. I mostly took photos of my food, but here are a few other photos I took with my iPhone.
Modern art in historic square
Dinosaurs at the Frankfurt Airport
Not sure what happened to these two
I was in Germany for a few days for work. We don’t have much free time on these trips. I was in meetings from 9-7 both days and had working meals most of the time. So one way I get to see a little more of the city and get some exercise is to go for a run each morning. Since I was also battling jet lag I only did about 2.5 miles each day. I ran along the Rhine River on a very nice path that was much wider than the ones we have in the DC area. There was a clear area for bikes and a wide enough area for runners and walkers. The weather was a cool 55-65 degrees the whole time I was there, which was perfect for running and not too bad for being inside in meetings most of the time. I ended each run at a bakery where I bought a breakfast sandwich and cappuccino. The sandwich was amazing, thick German bread, lettuce, cheese, salami, and the best part is they butter the bread.