We arrived early on this Sunday morning to Claude Monet's home and gardens. The sky was crystal clear blue, a perfect day to walk among Monet's beautiful gardens. We were fortunate to be the first to arrive and we were able to enjoy the gardens with all of the peace and serenity they offer with very few people around. The colors captured here show the gift of nature that God has given us. A walk through Claude Monet's gardens......
Bamboo garden by the pond
The area around Versailles was a favorite place for French kings to hunt with the forests and lakes that surround Paris. Louis XIII wanted a quieter place to stay outsides of what he thought was noisy Paris, being his official residence in Paris was the Louvre, so he went to his hunting lodge in Versailles.
When Louise XIII died his first born son was just 5 years old, Louis XIV. When he was crowned king, Louis XIV wanted his residence in Versailles. The Palace of Versailles was created to serve as a quieter residence for King Louis XIV. The Palace was built around the hunting lodge with two wings built around it. One wing was dedicated to the King’s State Apartment and the other wing to the Queen’s State Apartment. The two wings are connected by the Hall of Mirrors. The Hunting Lodge is still the center of the Palace. The Gardens of Versailles complete the Palace and are great for exploring
Dingle Peninsula, Ireland
The Viking Atla
Our Rhine River cruise on the Viking Atla was a spectacular way to see the cities and villages of several Europe countries. This is the first in a series of blogs about one of the best vacations I have ever taken. Our journey started out with a Delta nonstop flight from Boston to Amsterdam. The flight was over night so with a movie and a little rest before we knew it we were in the Netherlands. When we arrived at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport it was like stepping off the plane into a huge shopping mall. There was every kind of store you could imagine. So if you have time while you are waiting for your connecting flight there is plenty of shopping to be had. After shopping it was now time to board our flight to Basel, Switzerland. We were on a KLM City Hopper flight. Since the Schiphol airport is so large, you take a bus to the waiting plane and board the plane from the tarmac. The KLM flight was very nice and the flight attendants’ dressed in their sharp robin blue uniforms were very accommodating.
Basel, Switzerland is a border town to Germany and France. When we arrived in Basel it was a cloudy day. Just what we had expected but it was a little warmer than usual. After our lunch on board the Viking Atla, we took a guided tour to Basel. It was a short bus ride to the Old City center. Situated along the Rhine River, Basel is steeped in history yet it is a very cosmopolitan city.
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