Subject: Paris-Loire day trip
When I was on assignment in Paris, I was not that interested in Versailles either, but I had been beaten down by work and wanted a break. So I visited there anyway on a Sunday because I wanted to get away. It turned out to be just what I needed. Each Sunday from about April to October, Versailles puts on a show called Fete d' Eau. I believe that it starts around 3:00 or 3:30. One of the most impressive aspects of Versailles is the system of sculpted fountains that dot the property. During the show (which runs for 90 minutes or so), they turn on most of the fountains and play recorded Baroque music to make it a true multi-media experience. You can easily picture Louis XIV and his court strolling beside you. Bring a picnic lunch and a good book and you can enjoy a very pleasant afternoon on a sunny day away from the bustle of the big city or the hordes of tour buses that crowd the entrance.

Other alternatives to an all-day trip to Chenonceau or Chambord would be the chateaux at Chantilly, Malmaison or Fountainbleu all of which are much closer to Paris than the Loire Valley (and thus you would spend less of your valuable free time on the bus or train).

Mark Los Angeles