Friday, August 24, 2012

European Extravaganza - Part V b - Versailles

Versailles! Kings! Marie Antoinette! Decadence!

Get ready for lots of photos.

I had never been and it was on the list.  Weather forecast said Saturday would be the only day without rain, so Becca and I got up early (struggle, we're talking 9am or so) to hop the trains out to Versailles for the day.  It seemed like it would be far away out in the countryside, but it's really not. Oh, urban sprawl.

Dare I admit that we went to McDonald's again?  Ugh.  No breakfast + standing in line for 45 minutes to buy our tickets to get in = we were hungry.  Becca got in the ticket line and I went to grab us some food.  This was a fancy McD's with a self-ordering kiosk.  Plus, free wifi.  I needed to Instagram!

Back in line, there were more popcorn vending machines.  Kinda bummed that I never tried any, despite seeing them everywhere.  I love popcorn!

There are a couple offices outside Versailles to buy entrance tickets, and we didn't know about the one around the corner.  We just got in line with all the other tourists and waited forever.  Next time!

Finally, tickets in hand, we walked up to this magnificent place.  It really is like whoa. The sky was just awesome, too.

See how I've got my dorky tourist tennis shoes on?  I knew we'd be walking a TON that day.  Function > fashion.  This is the only way to eat lots of French desserts and manage to lose a couple pounds.  Walk that stuff off.

Inside the gates!  Becca had never been back towards the Queen's Hamlet, so we headed there first.  Start at the back, work to the front. It really does take at least a full day to get a glimpse of this place - it covers just over 2000 acres.  That's a lot of walking.  We opted not to rent a golf cart or bike.

As you start to walk through the gardens near the palace, there's classical music greeting you, and I really could just imagine a fancy, classy, party back in the day.  I think this place in the late 18th century is my new answer next time someone asks me the time travel question.

After lots of walking, we reached Marie Antoinette's gardens and residences, out away from the main palace.  I'd imagine that decadent parties would get rather old and you'd just need a place in the countryside to relax.

A couple taking wedding photos.  Great location.

These are the grossest, biggest mouthed fish I've ever seen.  They gave me the creeps.

Some frogs were talking to each other.

Wedding people again.

Here's the Petit Trianon, where Marie had an apartment.  Just a little chateau, no big deal.

I'd wear one of these jackets.  I really would.

To the Grand Trianon, where you could still hang out with fancy friends, but not be under all the strict rules of the palace.  And your relatives could live here.  Napoleon lived here, too.

All that walking meant it was lunch time. Or snack time.  Or dessert time or something.  I thought I wanted ice cream, then I saw something eating this and I HAD TO HAVE ONE.  Wow, a warm waffle smothered in nutella and covered with tons of cream.  It was amazing.  And then I had cream all over my face as I tried to get out my ticket to get back into the secure grounds area and I looked silly in front of the very attractive guard guy.  Oh well.

I was kinda bummed I didn't see more fountains running.  There was a fountain show that day, and maybe I saw a little, but I had to get into the palace before it closed at 6 so there wasn't much fountain time.

I think this garden/pool was supposed to have some fountains going.  Here's where Becca and I split. She'd just been to Versailles the year before, and she wanted to focus on the fountain show going on around the grounds.  I wanted to catch ten minutes of the show, then scurry into the palace and see what all the fuss is about.


And now running up to the palace.

Let's begin the inside tour, starting with Mass.  

It started to become a struggle to push through these rooms.  A good portion of the room is blocked off, leaving a narrow walkway for TONS of people.  I'm kinda glad I went alone and could just squeeze in and out as needed.  Good luck if you go in the summer.

The famous Hall of Mirrors, built in 1690.

I don't even remember what all these rooms are, but I'm sure you can look them up if you really want to.

Back outside.  It's almost closing time.  Some instagrams.

Bye bye, Versailles.

Becca and I decided to find each other at, where else, McDonalds.  Free wifi!  Free texts to each other if we got lost.  Plus macarons!  We found each other, alright.  Along with some tasty snacks for the train ride home.

1 comment:

chartie said...

We went to Paris in mid-January (because it was el cheapo). It was great for lines, as there were absolutely no lines anywhere. But it was cold, and most of the grounds at Versailles were closed. The building itself is gorgeous, but I have to admit that I am jealous that we missed the full experience.

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