01 - Palace of Versailles Courtyard.
Photo 02 - Tall, Dark and Handsome husband of teacher I can't remember, and Mr. Fuller - a very nice man,. I eventually forgave him for naming me "Agnes" in our German classes.
03 - Tall, Dark etc. husband with teacher wife at Versailles.
Two of the most interesting "Tourist Attractions".
"Claude" at Paris Zoo, who swallowed my biro when it fell out of my blazer pocket as I leant over to photograph him - We beat a hasty retreat. Hope it didn't harm him!
Paris, the fairy-tale city, the most beautiful capital in the world, the city of dreams. It seemed like a dream to me to realise that I, who had never been abroad before, was going to Paris. But all too soon we were on our way back home. Just seven brief, fleeting days in the capital. Just a "whetting of the appetite", a sniff of travel abroad.
Even on the station, it was difficult to realise that we were actually en voyage for Paris. Excited chatter echoed through the platform. Last farewells were made and as the hand-waving was lost to sight, people turned to reading, cards, or conversation. There were those, of course, who found food much more satisfying.
This crossing to Calais was made in very good conditions and with but a short wait we were travelling again. This time on the last lap. The train arrived in Paris at about quarter to ten and the party went by coach to the Institute Montagne. Here the waitresses had an abject fear of ventilation, and on one occasion an attempt made by Mr. Fuller to open a window was frowned upon and the window was immediately closed!
Most people went into the Institute Montagne with a smile, waiting to taste French food. But on the whole, the majority of people managed quite adequately on Parish dishes. It was certainly an experience to see Mr. Fuller tucking, with obvious relish, into sheep's brains, lettuce in olive oil, and various other concoctions.
A coach took us to our place of residence - Lycee Marcellin Berthelot. This was a large co-educational school, both day and boarding. The dormitories had separate cubicles for each bed and they were warm and comfortable.
On Sunday morning we were roused (and this provided many excellent opportunities for ingenuity; the best being a water-soaked flannel squeezed out in the sleeping victim's ear) at eight o'clock, later to be reduced to 7.20 a.m. The girls were allowed to remain unconscious for an extra half-hour each morning.
After a continental breakfast of hot coffee and rolls, a coach took us to Notre Dame and from here went our separate ways. When we had eaten our dinner at Saint Louis, in the centre of the city, we used the Metro to take us to the Arc de Triomphe. The Metro(politan) is the underground electric system. It is quite ancient and the seating accommodation (twenty-two sitting, one hundred standing) is poor; but for a traveller in Paris, it is utterly indispensable.
From the top of the Arc de Triomphe it is possible to see the twelve-pointed etoile from a bird's-eye view. Once again on the ground, we saw the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, with the flame which is always kept alight.
Tuesday was the day many had been waiting for: the visit to the Eiffel Tower. We crossed the Seine and went under the great seventy year old structure which reaches up to three hundred metres (985 feet). We took the lift and at last we reached the top. What a glorious view! Unfortunately, sleet was falling at the time, and visibility was very poor.
The next day we went to Fontainebleau. To my way of thinking, the Chateau de Fontainebleau was better than the Palais de Versailles. The reason for this was perhaps the guide to Versailles - affectionately christened "Sydney". The author of the official guide book to Versailles would have probably failed to recognise his own words at the speed at which Sydney spat them out. Even the French were baffled by Sydney, let alone the poor English.
The paintings, murals and sculpture in both Versailles and Fontainebleau, are among some of the most beautiful in the world. Both are richly decorated throughout: in fact, Versailles was built for Louis XIV and was used as the Royal Palace.
Other excursions took us to the Bois de Vincennes, a large open-air zoo, Montmartre and Sacre Coeur, and the Louvre, where we saw the Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa. One visit which proved particularly interesting was that to the Musee de la Decouverte.
It was all too soon that we had to leave behind these wonderful places and buildings and on Saturday we set out for the station. We caught the three-fifteen train to Le Havre and twenty-four hours later we arrived in Sheffield. Without exception, I am certain that every member of the party was sorry that he was not arriving in Paris again. I certainly was, for these were probably the most fascinating and exciting days in my life.
Buckley and J. B Moss (4A)