were on our way to Le Havre and the Normandy area. Our first stop was the village of Vernon. We opted to take the tour of Versaille. This was one of the low spots on the cruise. Upon our arrival in Vernon we boarded buses to take us to Versaille. It is usually a 40 minute drive, but on this day there were a few traffic delays.
Once we got to the chateau there were more challenges awaiting us. Apparently there was a strike at the site. The French do have an interesting philosophy concerning strikes. They usually are rather short, e.g., 24 hours or some other time frame.
We walked to the group entrance to find that the groups that had been scheduled to go through before us were waiting at the entrance. The doors opened late and the groups were allowed entrance in the order they were scheduled. You will just have to imagine the confusion. There must have been several hundred people in quite a few groups awaiting their turns.
We finally were admitted. In the process of going through the security check point I managed to lose my ticket for entrance. We all had radio devices with a headphone that would allow us to hear the information from our guide. Wouldn't you know it when she finally finds me and I tell her about losing my ticket, our conversation was heard by all who were tuned into our wavelength. Maryann mentioned later, "I thought that was Jack's voice I heard." Fortunately the guide had an extra ticket and I was allowed entrance.
You can see from the photo of the Hall of Mirrors that the place was packed. If I weren't as tall as I am I probably wouldn't have gotten some of the photos that I did. Thank goodness there is beautiful artwork on just about every surface.
We also had another interesting situation. One of the women in our group has MS. She and her husband were doing there best to keep up with the tour. It seemed appropriate to walk behind her to keep her from being run over by the crowd. One bright moment occurred when we were trying to find a bench for her to sit and rest and a Japanese family took the closest one. The father, seeing our plight, immediately got up and gave her his seat. It is true, there are angels everywhere. We shared some water with her and were able to make it through the rest of the tour with little incident. Although there was some concern that the boat might be late for its scheduled departure. We made it back in time, but just barely.
Well enough palaver, let's look at some photos.