I tried to get up early to go to Versailles, but I was pretty tired from not getting enough sleep lately and then lugging my luggage (ha ha) all over the place. As it was, I did manage to wake up around when I planned to, but I was slow about getting moving and it was about 10 when I got to Versailles. I thought the line was long then, until I was leaving in the afternoon and saw the line was about three times as long…
Eventually I got my audio guide and made it into the castle. Boy, people talk about King Louis XIV having an ego… I realized what they meant when I saw the relief sculpture next to the audio guide stand. And his chapel? That was crazy. This guy seriously knew how to brand himself as the Sun King. You could tell it was his chapel just from looking at the altar, with the huge rays of light in the relief sculpture over the altar. The palace was of course beautiful and ridiculously impressive. By the time I finished my audio tour it was pretty warm out so I went and got lunch outside the castle grounds and walked under the trees. Then I went back out into the sun and walked around the gardens. They were nice, but reminded me a lot of the hedge maze from the 4th Harry Potter book. I kept expecting giant spiders or malicious spells to come out of the bushes… or to at least get lost.
Around 3 I made my way home to freshen up a little before meeting Diana for dinner at a little restaurant next to the Pompidou Center in central Paris. Next major instance of Paris transportation hating me: there was an accident on between the my youth hostel metro stop and the nearest large junction inside the city – about 5 stops. Of course, when they announced it, it was in French, so I waited for about 10 minutes on the train until everyone got off. I think they were saying that there was a delay, because all the high-powered-looking people got off right away and charged up the stairs, while the rest of the people trickled off the train every time they made another announcement saying it would be longer.
Anyway, I eventually got on a bus, which was packed and took about 15 minutes to go three stops. I got off the bus and onto a different metro line and showed up half an hour late to my meeting with Diana. Thankfully she was still there and said she would have waited until 11 for me to show up for fear I got lost. Dinner was again good. I had the fish of the day, which turned out to not have any fish in it. Just teeny shrimp and scallops and linguini. The spicing on it was delicious though so I was only minorly disappointed about the lack of actual fish. The wine was again good, some sort of non-industrial Sauvignon Blanc the waiter recommended.
The train was still blocked, so I waited for half an hour at a bus stop while it rained. No bus ever showed up, and I followed some French people who I gathered were trying to get to my stop as well. Turned out they were going to a McDonalds to have a drink and then go home. So I got on a different metro line, and by the time I made it to my line, they had evidently cleared the track, so I got home fine. I saw the same French people on my metro when I finally got off at my stop. :P