Updated on May 24, 2015
My trip to Paris
My trip to Paris
April 5 – 14 1941
Breakfast at 8.0 and then by taxi to the Gare Montparnesse, and electric train to Versailles. V. station was a marvellous place. We went by taxi to the Grand Trianon. It was closed till 12.0, so we wandered in the gardens. Saw the summer house where Marie Antoinette was sitting when the mob stormed the palace. There were some nice rocks round the lake.
After that we went to the Swiss village where Marie A. used to play at dairymaids. There are lakes everywhere and a beautiful weeping willow tree, it is a picture.
About quarter to twelve we had lunch under a tree on the avenue leading to the Trianons. Hotel packed the lunch again and it was lovely. Then when we had finished stuffing ourselves we went to the Petit Trianon and went over it, and later the Grand Trainon, but though they were very nice they were nothing striking.
I think it was the hottest day that I have ever known, and only a few could go by taxi to the Palace. Needless to say I was not one of them. We walked the two miles. Under trees, along avenues, past statues. The path was fairly sandy so we walked in bare feet. We stopped on the way for citronade, and then had mousse at a café under the Palace walls.
Then, fortified somewhat, but still so hot that we were in a daze, we went up into the Palace. Saw some rather wonderful pictures and tapestries, and huge statues. Went through the famous Hall of Mirrors. I was disappointed. There are only mirrors down one wall. Windows the other – the view from them is marvellous though – out over the gardens.
Then, baking and burnt from sunbathing in the Trianon gardens, we left at 4.0 and got back to the hotel helf an hour later. We had to wait till quarter to 8 for dinner, so Ursula and I went out for Miss Cooke. (“Avez-vous quelque choses pour un ampoule sus le pied?”)
Two of Miss Crabtree’s French friends Mlles Jacqueline and Gabrielle [Cussies?] came to dinner, and afterwards we went by taxi to the Hungaria in the Champs Élysées. I was plonked next to J.C. and had to try and converse in pleasantly in French. Her English was pretty weak anyhow. She asked me if I knew anyone called Fitzgerald who lived in London!!! (Only 8 million in L anyway.)
The Hungaria didn’t half sting you. 12 francs for an ice-cream not nearly as good as the Tyrol at 7. Nice orchestra though – in Hungarian costumes. A girl did 2 dances – at least it was the same dance in two different costumes. Nice apparition there in the café!
Got TDH’s autograph while waiting for dinner. He is an Arab of all things. We all went upstairs at about 10.30 and then visited each other. U and I went up to Gwen and Marion’s room and banged on their door and said “Ouvez s’il vous plait!” in deep voices. We could see G through the big keyhole, she said “En moment” in a quavering voice, and gaped at Marion, while we kept banging. She nearly fainted when she did open the door!
Read Part Ten.