Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Wednesday 30 December - Versailles and Beethoven's Ninth

Blazon of the day - on a Z6400 series electric train at Versailles Rive Droite.
We used a mobilis ticket to go to Versailles today.  The line from Saint-Lazare via La Defense to Versailles Rive Droite is the most convenient.  These trains date from the mid to late 1970s and are beginning to show their age.  We were rattling along and there was a very loud bang.  My first thought was that we had run over a torpedo, but some of the lights went out - circuit breaker.  A minute or so later there was another loud bang and the lights came back.  This was quite an entertining ride what with the loud traction motor sounds and views of the Eiffel Tower after La Defense.

We bought a quick lunch and walked into the grounds of the Chateau,  There were evidently a lot of tourists visiting Versailles, and many had rented four person electric golf carts to get around - not a good idea as many parts of the grounds were formerly a long way off for the average tourist.  The trianon and the lake are now within easy reach.

This is as close to the chateau with its screaming hordes as we came.
There were a lot of magpies in the fields with the sheep.  They rode on the sheeps' backs which caused some annoyance.
On the way back we ran parallel with a train from Normandie with this locomotive in push mode.
This evening we attended a concert at La Madeleine.  The performance was of the Mendelsohn Psalm 42 and Beethoven;s Ninth Symphony (The Choral).  The venue is superb but the acoustics can be difficult at times, particularly during the loud passages.  At the end of each section the echo lasted a second or so.  Nevertheless it was a very good performance that we both enjoyed.
Paul Kuentz, orchestra,chorus and soloists taking a bow
The metro with a change at Saint-Lazare got us there and back in very good time.

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