After a very comfortable night in a nice hotel in Amiens we continued on our way toward Paris. The first stop today was at the Armistice Museum in Compiegne. Here on the 11th of November the Germans and the Allies, in a railway car sitting in a clearing of the forest, put their names to a document initiating an Armistice. The guns stopped firing and people stopped being killed at 11am that day. (Although there were those unfortunates who were accidentally killed)
This railway car was preserved and was kept in its famous location in the clearing of the forest of Compiegne. However its importance did not stop there, for in 1940(WW2) after the French capitulated the Germans (read Hitler) decided that the French had to sign their surrender documents in the same carriage. This was to humiliate the French and wipe out the shame of the Germans for the loss of WW1.
Where the Armistice was signed
Today there is a carriage there, but is not the original one. Hitler had that one blown up!
After our sojourn in the forest, we headed for our next destination. The Palace of Versailles! This huge “pile” was constructed by Louis the XIV because he no longer liked the dust and smell of Paris. So he left the Louvre and built this palace in the countryside.
The gang in front of the Palace
We saw many magnificent rooms and painted ceilings, but little or no furniture. (It was “flogged off” by the government of the revolution) However there was a lot to see. The most amazing room would have to be the Hall of Mirrors. This was a statement in opulence and wealth. Mirrors were very hard to make in the 18th century, and large sheets of glass had to be blown like an oversized bottle, cut open while hot and then flattened out.
The hall of Mirrors
The front of Versailles
We were able to access the audio tour. All you do is look for the earphone symbol that has a number attached, punch that number into the hand set and a nice man tells you about what you are looking at.
Jarryd listening to the information
The palace not only has a front yard it also has a back yard too.
The back of the palace
Aleric standing with the garden and ponds disappearing into the distance
Dylan, Shaun and Dieter having a deep conversation
As we walked back through the grounds in the sky we saw a group of jets drawing up a noughts and crosses board!
A 45 minute drive saw us entering the “city of light”, Paris (or as the locals say Paree) We were to meet our guide at the Trocadero, a wide platform between two museum buildings that face the Eifel Tower. So our happy band had a group photo. (A little trivia—This is the same spot Adolph Hitler admired the tower from in 1940 after the fall of France)
Of course the boys spotted a hot dog and crepe stall. As usual they needed to satisfy the “inner man”.
The guide took us all around the city looking at the various famous sites for the next couple of hours. We saw Napoleons Tomb, Hotel Des Invalides, The Rodin Museum, The Louvre, Notre Dame, Arc De Triomphe, The Champs Elysees etc. We arrived at our hotel which is near Sacre Coeur and happily ended a very busy day.
A final view of the Eifel Tower as the sun sets.