Nothing like racing to your departure gate for your connecting flight to find nobody there!
Today we said goodbye to Paris. We new this day would come, but it was sad nonetheless. We said good bye to our tour guides from the past few days and we boarded our bus with two new tour guides and headed for Versailles. This Harry Potter bus with its expert driver at the helm was able to negotiate the tightest of turns and the narrowest of openings with nary a scratch. After an extensive tour of the gardens we were free to roam the property. Of course it would be impossible to cover the entire 800 hectares that is Versailles, but it was nice to wander around on the Sun King's estate basking in his name sake's warmth.
The time soon came to enter the Palace and the students were treated to the sumptuous sights of ostentatious decor. Putting it all together; the orange and lemon trees in the garden, the fountains with gold leaf statues, the sheer size of the palace, and the opulence within, it was very clear why the starving peasants revolted. All this wealth separated by some gates and some guards. No match for the angry mobs who wanted the head of the country's head. Grade nine Social Studies came alive and, at least that part of the curriculum, made sense.
We were treated to a brown bag lunch; a large salad with cheese and a soft boiled egg, a sandwich on a chewy baguette, a muffin, and a coke. Yummy. But the number of salads that were not eaten was significant, so be sure to double dose the veggies when we return.
After lunch we went to Charles de Gaulle and said good bye to our most recent guides.
Check in at the Air France terminal was as smooth as the Appalachians. It is all automated now, and checking in 35 people on finicky kiosks was a bit difficult. It took over an hour to check in! KLM and Air France will be hearing from us. However, we all managed to get tickets and luggage tags and found our way onto the plane to Amsterdam.
The turn around time at the air port was short. We had to get from C 15 to D 81 in less than 20 minutes. Thank goodness for moving sidewalks. Of course once at D 81 we observed that we were the only people there and, astutely I might add, figured out that our tickets were perfectly wrong. Checking the departure board we discovered that we needed to be at gate C 13. We had less than 10 minutes to get back to where we had been. Thank goodness for moving sidewalks.
The flight to Rome is pleasant enough, and we were surprised to be served food. More sandwiches, but food is food. We are enroute to Rome as I type.
We are looking forward to having a dedicated tour guide and tour bus; no more metro! As exciting and cultural as it may be to experience that part of the French lifestyle, it is nerve wracking to ensure all are indeed aboard.
The forecast looks promising and the kids are excited. We will sleep well tonight and we have a full day tomorrow.
Caio for now.