Our boat

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Finally we met up with the boat. Time for a tiny rest after our big day of walking? Nope. It was 7pm and time for dinner and then we had to pack, our plane leaves early tomorrow and it will be a long day. It is sad to say farewell to a very nice trip.

Psst… see that mini statue of liberty behind the bridge? Apparently there are four in Paris and we were parked near one of them.

Oh my… Versailles

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Luckily we got there early and didn’t have to wait in this line!

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Here we are… the happy little family… I think we took this photo on the way out and we were all ready to ditch the crowds!

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There were just a few people there… but the hall of mirrors still looked rather amazing.

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Little ol’ me in front of one of the many gardens.

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We walked all over the grounds and they were massive. We got lost once but Dude had his phone so we were able to navigate our way out… Yay for phones! (What can I say, after awhile one topiary just blended into the next. 😉 )

Château Gaillard

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Today we visited Château Gaillard, once a fortress built by Richard the Lionheart. In the photo you can see they put all the pretty brick on the outside and used anything inside. Even back in the day the pretty brick was too expensive. 🙂

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Light show

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Remember this cathedral….

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Apparently at night they have a light show on it…

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unfortunately it was at 11pm! Which is late for us early birds.

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I’m glad we went… It was rather amazing.

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Joan of Arc and Ceramics

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Today I played hookey. The whole boat (almost) went to the Normandy Beaches Tour. It was a two hour bus ride (four hours round trip) in the rain to see World War II museums. I wasn’t up for it so I decided to stay back. Instead I went inside the Eglise Sainte-Jeanne d’Arc and saw this gorgeous stained glass.

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Did I mention Rouen is the town where Joan of Arc was martyred, hence the name of this church. Apparently you can hear voices, as Joan did, they just can’t be divine. Because she said she spoke to God she was burned at the stake.

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I also found the Musee de la Ceramique. It is amazing to imagine each bit of this design was hand painted. The museum was full of beautiful ceramics. Such talent and patience. I guess there were no video games to distract them. 😉

Rouen

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Today we took a super short bus ride to Rouen.

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The town is very old… very, very old…

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and has the beautiful Church of Saint-Maclou.

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It also has the Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Rouen…

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Which of course has some stained glass.

We went to the local museum because Monet made many paintings of the Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Rouen. I dragged everyone to see these paintings instead of shopping at all of the cute boutiques and of course I got bossed about again regarding my backpack…

Seine locks

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This was the last lock before Rouen.

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Traveling down the Seine we saw lots of beautiful homes…

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and some people played chess.

Giverny and Vernon

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Here we are at Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny. He made these gardens and built this bridge. Apparently he chose to paint the bridge that shade of green.

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The house was mobbed and we couldn’t take any pictures inside but it was cool. Each room was painted a different color. I loved that. One room was yellow, one was light blue, it was quite artsy even though the style of the house was clearly traditional.

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This was the view from a bedroom… very nice indeed.

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A random house on the road…

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Another random house… But everyone was happy to spread out a bit. Once the bus got us back to the dock in Vernon we had lunch and then spent the afternoon walking around the very cute town. I even found a fabric shop but since I recognized most of the fabric I didn’t buy any. 😉

Orsay in the afternoon

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Here we are waiting for the Metro after visiting the Orsay museum. No photos in the Orsay which is too bad because I loved it. All the cherubs are at the Louvre and the Impressionists including Van Gogh and Monet are at the Orsay. The bright colors and different styles of paintings was very inspirational. I see why everyone comes to Paris and wants to paint. Did I mention Dude’s parents scored us free tickets for the Orsay from some people leaving. Suh-weet! Oh… And no one yelled at me. 🙂 All in all a very nice afternoon. Now I’ve got to go order an Orsay book off of Amazon…

Off to the boat.

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Today we left our hotel on the Champs du Mar.

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The elevator was super tiny so we climbed these stairs quite a bit… They were fine except they slanted in making you feel a bit unsteady. It’s an old building, what can you do?

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We are taking a river cruise with more family. It is a pretty special trip…

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Military museum in the morning.

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Our hotel was near the Army Museum and Napoleon’s Tomb. This French tank is accurately represented on the game that I used to play, WOT, just in case you were curious. 🙂

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They had armour for kids…

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Napoleon’s Tomb was pretty awesome. I’m not a fan of gravestones but this was so fancy pants! I loved it.

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It was a fine morning… even though they were super bossy here. Not only did I carry my backpack wrong again, but we tried to go in room two before room one… No, no, no!

Rodin in the afternoon.

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We went to the Rodin museum because my oldest has decided that she loves sculpture… This museum was a bit of a bust in my opinion, she of course loved it. I thought these sculptures were oddly placed, but what do I know. It gave us something to chat about as we stood in this second line to enter his house. (The first line was to enter the museum.) This is also one of the first museums to boss (Dude would say politely direct) me about. Oh joy, the bossy French, apparently I don’t carry my tiny backpack properly, I need to wear it in front. Really it is tiny, I’m pretty sure I’d know if someone was what? Unzipping it and reaching for my other camera lens…

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Of course we saw The Thinker…

Notre-Dame and Sainte-Chapelle

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Notre-Dame cathedral is like 850 years old. I think it is the home of the hunchback… There were lots of ringing bells.

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The family taking a rest inside Notre-Dame.

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Saint-Chapelle was also super old, it was whipped up in six years, between 1242-1248. It was amazing. It was much smaller than Notre-Dame but the stained glass was lower and very close together which gave it quite an impact. It was my favorite.

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