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Versailles, Bastille Day

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Four Nights and Dazed in France, Part IV

July 11-15, 2004

Beaune | Paris | Bastille Day

Versailles

Extended our trip to see the magnificent but indulgent Versailles palace, glorifying King Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette--and home of French kings for 100 years until the revolution in 1789. Its U-shaped courtyard, bedchambers for kings and queens, fine drawing rooms, chandeliers and gold leaf, bust of King Louis, 236-foot-long Hall of Mirrors (where World War I ended with signing of the infamous Treaty of Versailles in 1919), and Opera House.

The endless, 250-acre park with the manicured formal gardens of the Sun King, designed by Andrc Le Notre. And the Grand Canal and gravity-powered Latona Basin fountain, which apparently flows on Sundays.

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Bastille Day

The extended trip included celebrating Bastille Day, July 14, 2004, with thousands of French folks: parade-watching along the Champs-Elysees in Paris. No marching bands or floats in the parade. Instead, music from speakers in the trees; a British contingent for the first time in history; a display of military might (and horsepower); French President Jacques Chirac in an open jeep (though snipers were on rooftops); and blue, white and red afterburn high in the sky.

Spectacular fireworks at the Eiffel Tower: the final rendezvous for tour folks still around.

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Photo of group members at fireworks.

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Beaune | Paris | Versailles | Bastille Day

Au revoir to France! Merci beaucoup for a wonderful time.

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Copyright Gary and Donna Larson, Seattle, Washington. Updated Feb. 17, 2007.