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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day 46: Notre-Dame: God Help the Outcast

Today was Saturday, and that meant that the gardens would have active fountains (finally!). Uncle D promised us that the gardens would be a whole new experience with the fountains on, and he was right. Along with the water, they also had music going to accompany the mood of old Versailles. It was really pretty! We took quite a few photos on the grounds, and of course it wouldn't be complete without someone on staff yelling at us. Again, it's because one of us was on the grass. This time it was KP, not me!

On our way out, we stopped to help a random woman from Hungary get a cart like the one we had, and then we stopped to gaze at the garden stretching to the west of the palace. It was really intricate -- made me wonder how the garden compares from now to back then, when it was during King Louis XIV time.

If you're unaware, today's title reflects Disney's 'The Hunchback of Notre-Dame'. Yesh. It does. Because today we went to see it! And because of our trip I have a new appreciation for vaulted ceilings.

First thing was first: breakfast. Then we got ready, trekked to the train station, and took our transport to the nearest stop to Notre-Dame. I didn't realise before, but the church is actually located on an island! So you have to cross bridges to get to it. Unfortunately for us, we decided to walk along the river and subsequently got a genuine whiff of French.... water. How do they say.... eau de toilette? I'm pretty sure all of the river was from their toilet. Or at least, some things we saw along the way should have been! Someone gacked all over the stone steps that lead our way. Lovely... it was like putting us back in time, and witnessing the open sewer system. The smell was pretty wretched, too.
I tried to recall all the Art History references I could think of, but instead I kept on being bombarded with thoughts of Esmerelda and the Hunchback from that Disney film, haha. Inside it was really nice, and we were going to try to go on to the second level except that the lineup was twice as long as the lineup to go inside, and it moved at a tenth of the pace. Still, it was really nifty seeing the gargoyles. Also in front of the church, under the ground, are some remains of Gaul-Roman architecture. We took a gander at that, went to the Concierge, and then decided to call it a day. Unfortunately the woman from Information told me that the Catacombs of Paris closed at 5:00, so we weren't able to go and see the tombs.

For dinner KP and I had roast chicken, rice and salad! Unfortunately aunty L has been feeling under the weather and thusly we've had to eat dinner just the three of us rather than four. We thought she had been getting better but it turns out her fever had returned. We're giong to have to consider staying another night in Versailles so that she can recover.

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