Monday 5th July:
This was the day to satisfy one of Joy’s dreams - a visit to Versailles and a tour of the rooms. We headed off early so we could get to Versailles and avoid the queues which proved to be pointless as the Palace was closed to the public on Mondays although we were free to wander through the 800 hectares of gardens if we wished. So we missed out on touring the 700 rooms, walking up and down the 67 staircases and gazing at the 6300 paintings, 2100 sculptures and statues, 15000 engravings and 5000 objet d’art that make up the interior. Instead we were offered the chance to count the 2153 windows, 352 chimneys, the 50 fountains and 620 fountain nozzles if we had continued to walk through the gardens.
After gazing at the buildings through the golden gates and acknowledging that we were one of the 2.6 million visitors who wouldn’t make it inside the Palace this year and cursing the fact that 4.3 million others would we walked into the village beside the Palace in search of a coffee only to find that it was closed in sympathy with the Palace.
Back in Paris Joy lost no time in mounting an exploratory assault on Galleries Lafayette while I headed off to explore the streets around the Opera. I stumbled upon the Pinacotheque de Paris and an exhibition of works by Evard Munch so took the opportunity to check out the works of a painter whose reputation seems to have been based on “The Scream” alone.
The exhibition quickly dis-spelled the belief that the tortured work that is “The Scream” was typical of the artist for his work was finely executed and obviously done by a skillful master of the pen.
Tomorrow we will head off to Rouen with the idea of staying there for several days and doing day trips out to the places Joy has ticked off as her “must sees” this trip.