Monday, February 11, 2013

Rowing at Versailles (Or, swans are the meanest)

Mike and I took a two-week road trip through Italy, Monaco, France, Spain,
England, and Belgium this past September.
You can read our other road trip posts about this trip here.
Or, see all our travel posts here.


This was our fourth visit to Versailles, my absolute favourite place to spend a sunny afternoon near Paris. During this visit we skipped the Palace (been there, done that) and indulged in another truly touristy activity - rowing on the the Grand Canal.





Row boats are available to rent at Versailles for up to 60 minutes for €15. The Grand Canal is deceptively large - its perimeter is 5.6 km/3.4 mi - so you can't do it in less than that. But we weren't rowing for the exercise, exactly. We were rowing to have a picnic. 



It sounds romantic, and it would have been, had we not been attacked by rather aggressive, growling swans for our crackers and forced to turn back to shore.

looks are deceiving. their growls are scarier than our dogs'.
via instagram


see the couple in the background? i was taking photos of the swans with a huge zoom lens.
they noticed and turned around and grinned for a photo! hah!




Swans really are the meanest. (And they aren't afraid of oars at all.)

- Jess

10 comments :

  1. Hahaha - oh that's funny.

    We have tons of swans in Stavanger - a couple who frequent our harbour as well. They always swim along side me on my way to the grocery store but I never have anything for them. I have now noted that I must keep any bread products hidden as I make my way back ;)

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    1. I met some lovely swans once in Annecy, France. Maybe swans get meaner with more exposure to tourists ;)

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  2. a) I've been to Versailles twice and have never been rowing! must fix that.
    b) who rows for exercise? picnics all the way.
    c) SWANS ARE SO MEAN. There's a meare near Jon's house and we spent an afternoon rowing there with his cousins and it almost got violent. and in England you can't attack (/ defend yourself from) a swan because they belong to the Queen, so!

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    1. I did not know that! I've made a mental note to be especially nice to swans in England. Fascinating!

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  3. Looks like it was a gorgeous day. I have to agree with you, swans are the meanest. But I think I'd still take a European swan over a Florida seagull any day. There was a sandwich-stealing incident which left quite an impression on me as a youngster ;)

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    1. Haha! I kind of miss seagulls, strangely enough we don't have many in Malta.

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  4. OMG I was attacked by a black swan once and I'll never forget it! It does look REALLY romantic though!!! Love your outfit!

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    1. Haha I think everyone has a "I was attacked by a large bird" story! (I definitely do!)

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  5. I just found your blog! You two are so adorable and I really like your photos :)

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