Thursday 17th January.

This morning after a good night's sleep with our French hosts the group reassembled at the Chateau in Saint Germaine On Laye before heading out to the first stop of the day (whilst our hosts when to school and work) to the Palace Of Versailles.

Most striking from the exterior of the Palace is the gold trim that adorns the gates and the statues and the like that adorn the roof line. Once in side the group marvelled at the intricate work that had been undertaken during the original construction of the palace and the subsequent continuing additions and "renovations" that had been undertaken by subsequent residents of the castle.
The top three items of interest / note mentioned were;
* The "corridor of chandeliers" where many receptions / parties were held back in those times. Which as some observed looked like it came straight out of a Harry Potter movie.
* The King's bedroom with the ornate bed chamber and the surrounding art work that took over 25 years to restore to its former glory.
* The expansive gardens that stretch on as far as the eye can see which contains the Grand Canal which back then was used for ship battles, however today appears to be used extensively for rowing purposes.

From there the group returned to Saint Germain On Laye for lunch with a number of the group experiencing their first taste of escargots (snails). Unlike previous years the consensus was extremely positive with all tasting them agreeing that the Garlic and Basel sauce that they were served with made them extremely edible. For those back home that have never tasted snails before, the taste and texture can best be described as eating garlic mussels.

After lunch the group set out to explore the attractions that the town had to offer by wending our way through the streets (of course stopping when a shop window caught our eye). When the dust settled the most popular shops proved to be fashion houses and the macaroon shop that served one of the best tasting array of macaroons in France.

Unfortunately due to the snow and the below zero temperatures again the scheduled game had to be cancelled due to safety concerns with the frozen / iced up pitch.

From there the group returned to their host families for their final night of billeting on tour and last change to experience the joys of traditional French cooking (including frogs legs).

As the famous French Philosopher Marie-Sophie Le Guezec said "as I have now tasted snails and frogs legs in a single day, if the world should end tonight I will be a contented and fulfilled man" :-).

Tomorrow sees the group heading into Paris ( the final city in the journey) for some sightseeing and rest and relaxation prior to commencing the long journey home.