Audrey : So much walking and seeing so many beautiful things ...
Lillian : Just outside the beautiful gilded gates there is a large statue of Louis XIV on a horse pointing the way.
Audrey : He seems to be saying "Go on tourists, time to go home, that's the way, down that road, hurry up now..."
Lillian : Our stylist loved all the lavish details ... the plumes, his ringlets, the brocade fabric, those intricate sleeves, the sash, the bucket-top boots...
Audrey : The horsey even has a lovely bow on his tail!!
Lillian : Here are some pictures from the front of the statue - cravat, gauntlet gloves and insignia on his breast ... it looks like the Ordre du Saint-Esprit.
According to the web-site we've linked to there - the sash that went with this order was blue (hence the expression "cordon bleu" to mean something of first class).
Audrey : The horse looks friendly but King Louis looks quite grumpy - I think he would like all the tourists to leave so he can have his Palace back!
Lillian : Talking about horses - directly outside the palace gates, on either side of the road Louis XIV is pointing down - there are magnificent stables. Designed by Mansart to house the king's 600 horses.
Audrey : 600 horses ! No wonder the plants in the palace gardens grow so well!
Lillian : The lovely horses are very appropriate but we weren't quite sure why, in one of the courtyards, there is a lovely statue of a sad, rather cold lady.
Audrey : Poor girl, she is lovely but she needs more than a pashmina to keep her warm.
Lillian : Our hotel room was nice and warm - we were very glad to be able to put our feet up that evening!
Lillian : The next morning we had time to take a few snaps on our way to the train station. Versailles is a very pretty town with some lovely buildings outside the Palace grounds - as well as inside.
Lillian : Look at those irises - glazed ceramic tiles I think.
Audrey : We have some photos of from our first evening in Versailles - details from the facades of buildings. Apartments with Art Deco decoration....
Lillian : It translates to something like "Drop of Milk". Here is a close-up of those tiles and the rustic/rough pebble surface of the wall -
The creche is run by the Council - and this is the Town Hall - or Hotel de Ville. Liberté, égalité, fraternité.
Audrey : Oh - is "Hotel de Ville" like "Town Hall"? I thought they were weally weally bad / vile hotels.
Lillian : Oh Audrey, you are funny. This is the market - quite wonderful - an open-air square with L-shaped halls on each side.
Audrey : So much wonderful food ... and lots of cheese!
Well, we had to take about 3 trains that day but it all went quite smoothly.
Lillian : Traveling by train is so easy in France and you get to see the lovely country-side out the window ...
Not sure where exactly this was - somewhere in Bourgogne.
Audrey : No wonder the food is great - look at the lushness of this country. The grass is so green!
This was quite close to our destination ... Avallon.