Aida Zabidi
Doing a Euro trip sometimes feels like a marathon - there's really so much to see and so much to squeeze into a few days that despite the fact we've planned a fairly leisurely trip, I am tired a lot. Perhaps part of it is travelling with a 1 year old child - between carrying strollers up and down escalators and stairs (Paris really isn't very stroller friendly) and navigating around her nap time and feeds, I have renewed respect for parents.

Watching over Paris.
We spent the first part of our day at Versailles, and the golden gates and gold trimmings you could see from a mile away on the outside really was an indication of the opulence contained within. The palace itself was beautiful - every room was so rich and so elaborate - from the paintings on the ceiling to the trimmings of the walls to the richness of the tapestries, it was no wonder that the royals that lived within were probably not in touch with reality! One would have thought that so much detail out together would end up clashing horribly, but I'll give the French that - everything was so beautifully put together that it really was a work of art.

A moment outside Versailles.
The palace itself though wasn't exactly the type of place you could sightsee at a leisurely pace - the cordoned off sections made corridors for the tourists and they weren't particularly spacious. At times it felt like you were caught up in a crowd of people and that you almost had to follow the flow. 

You couldn't help but imagine the type of life the royals must had led though, imagined them having their meals while the people looked on, imagined the wanderings through the palace; the events and balls that must have taken place in the grand halls, even with the sheer amount of people who were walking down the corridors. The gardens were breathtaking as well, but there was a large part that was undergoing restoration works, and considering we had other things planned as well we decided that the whole grand tour of the garden would have to wait for another day. It was a lovely spot to sit and eat lunch though, and one that was definitely taken advantage of by a lot of people. 

The lesser part of the day we spent at the Musee d'Orsay, which held a wonderful collection of contemporary and Impressionist art. I'll be the first to admit I don't know very much about art, but I think the exhibits really do help you gain a better appreciation of more modern art, from Monets to Manets. The museum is built in an old train station, and it's lovely to see how the whole place was transformed to an art gallery.

Outside Musee d'Orsay.
We sped through that one because the baby started fretting - but once we stepped outside, we couldn't really help but have our good spirits restored. 

It was a beautiful day, with blue skies and sunshine. Walking through the Tuileries Garden towards the city was a vast difference from our first day there, where the weather had been a little bit gloomy when we'd first walked through Paris. We walked over a bridge where people had put padlocks into the grids with their names and the names of their partners - I guess you lock in your love when you fasten the padlock to the grids on the bridge. 

Lock in your love!
Paris had been kind to us, and walking down La Defense on our way to the apartment, our walk seemed perfectly timed with people leaving work, and the boulevards were teeming with people going back home, or enjoying coffees at the cafes by the side. 

It seemed like a beautiful farewell.

At the River Seine.
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