EuroAdventure Day 16: Versailles

(posted by Emily) 

Friday 11 July
Daily Step Count: 28,525

When planning our trip to Paris, there were two day trips we were interested in making out of the city. Our options were to see Versailles, or to go to Giverny where Monet's garden is located. In retrospect, we could have probaby done both, but chose Versailles this time. I said to Rick that now we just have an excuse to come back!

Rick had done a good amount of research on how to be successful (and efficient) on a trip to Versailles. We wanted to be sure to be there before the palace opened, and knew ahead of time to expect some Disneyland-style lines. 

walking up the road to the palace
The first line we noticed was the security line--most everyone walking up to the palace immediately gets into that line, assuming it is the ticket line. We followed the signs for tickets, and didn't have to wait at all. I enjoyed the many stylized fleur de lis on the wallpaper in that portion of the building. 

After purchasing tickets, we got into the security line. It moved quickly, and we were amused by the large group of Asian tourists in front of us who were trying to waste time while waiting for someone to come back with their tickets. Clearly, they had gotten in the wrong line first. When the security worker realized what they were doing, he kicked them out of line and made them go to the end. Moral of the story--just read the signs, folks! 

We checked our backpack, and got in the line to see the royal apartments. 

the chapel inside the palace
Oh, tour groups. So many people inside. 
The Sun King room, or throne room. This is the really famous one you see all the time, with the mirrors along the walls

The king's bed
The queen's bed, traditionally larger than the king's because he would come meet her in her chambers, not the other way around!
This room was one of our favorites. It had  giant, mural-sized paintings of the important battles in French history from 496 until the late 1800s.

After we made our way through all of the inside spaces, we headed out to the gardens. About 1/3 to 1/2 of the property is a part of the museum, and the rest is a a public park. It was fun to see people running and walking their dogs through the traditional gardens. We walked to the Grand and Petit Trianons, the smaller palaces within the garden. 

At some point we realized that we could have our backpack back when out in the gardens and could have our picnic lunch. When we walked back up to the entrance we found the line to get in to the palace was easily 8x as long as it was when we arrived earlier. It was almost unbelievable. I gave Rick a high five for doing great research, and getting us out of bed so early. 

We headed back into the gardens for lunch, and managed to catch a glimpse of the sun while we were eating!

Mr. Sun? Is that you?
After lunch, we headed back in to Paris. We dropped off the backpack, and headed out to do a bit of shopping. We were still pretty sore from all of the walking (we broke 10,000 steps before noon today) but wanted to make the most of our last afternoon. We went to Galleries Lafayette, which is a huge department store, in the same vein as Harrods, or Macy's in New York. It was fun to shop for some clothes (Rick got a scarf), admire the architecture, and see all of the beautiful food in the food halls. 

view from the rooftop terrace

eek! Foie Gras! 

Inside the wine cellar
the spirits room
We also stopped in at Zara, where Rick got a beautiful blazer as his splurge item for the trip :) 

The sun was finally out for a bit when we finished shopping so we decided to head back over to the Tuileries for some reading and relaxation.

Then it was back to the flat to drop off our bags, and find somewhere to eat dinner. Also spotted a hint of home in the underground ads :)

the teeny tiny elevator up to our flat
Dinner was at an Indian joint just around the corner from the flat. It was run by a husband and wife, and when the husband took our order, I said to Rick that I bet he would go back and cook the food, too. I was right :)

After dinner it was time to pack, tidy the apartment, and enjoy the view one last time :)

Off to the French Riviera! Fingers crossed for some sunshine, please!



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