April 8 – Versailles
The alarm went off this morning but I really didn’t want to get up, but we’re going to Versailles!
The first thing Heidi said to me was, “I have a present for you,” and then I suddenly realized what she was talking about, and I said, “I have a present for you too!” We had both recorded each other snoring during the night lol. Luckily, we’re both kind of “dainty” snorers.
We had breakfast at the hotel, and it was actually a lot better than we thought. The bread was good, and there was cheese, dried fruit, yogurt, hard boiled eggs, granola etc.
It was a chilly morning, but sunny, and it wasn’t supposed to rain until the afternoon. We were looking forward to a grand adventure.
We had to make two connections on the metro to get to the proper station. We found which platform we were supposed to be on, and the train was there! So we jumped on right as the buzzer was sounding the door closing. Heidi said, “is this the right train?” And I said, “of course, it’s the right platform.”
So we pretty much had the lower level of one whole car to ourselves, and we chatted merrily as we went along. Eventually we came to a station, and we stayed there for a very long time. Heidi said, “did we miss our stop?” No. So I pulled out my phone to check our gps location, and we were north west of Paris. Versailles is south west of Paris. We checked the map on the train, and sure enough, the line split, and our train wasn’t going to Versailles. So we figured out where we needed to get off so we could reconnect. We’re not really sure how much time we lost by taking the wrong train, but it was close to 3 hours. At least it was a nice ride!
The problem happened because on the subway there are trains every 2-3 minutes, and they always stop at every stop. So when we saw the train there, we just jumped on and the doors closed. If we had gotten there a little earlier or later, we would have had time to look at a screen and verify that it was the right train. Oh well. lesson learned.
By the time we got to Versailles, it was 2 pm, and it was supposed to start raining around 2. We decided to skip lunch since we’d had a big breakfast, and headed for the palace.
It’s so big. It’s easy to see why the French revolted.
Because we were shorter on time, we opted not to get the audio guide.
The rooms in the king’s apartments are decorated every inch, even the ceilings. It’s rather mind blowing. I can’t imagine what it would be like to live like that.
The hall of mirrors was just as impressive as I’d remembered it to be, but most of the other rooms I didn’t remember at all.
Heidi actually let me take a picture with her! Right after we took this picture the heavens opened and it started raining fairly hard.
We saw the women’s quarters, which were not nearly as ornate as the King’s, but still very nice.
It was still raining pretty hard, but we decided to take the train down to the other buildings on the grounds. The Grand Trianon, the Petite Trianon, and the Hamlet. The train there actually cost a little more than our train ride from Paris.
We were pretty soaked, but the rain actually stopped by the time we got to the Grand Trianon. It was built as a palace for Louis XIV’s mistress. It was a very nice little palace.
Then we walked over to the Petit Trianon, which is where Marie Antoinette went to get away from court. The Hamlet is also on those grounds. She went there when she wanted to play peasant.
I think the Petit Trianon is adorable from the outside. It made me feel like I was In a Jane Austen book, and I was wondering how many thousand they had per year to live on.
Then we went to look at the hamlet. The big building is under scaffolding.
On the way back we passed some beautiful magnolia trees in bloom, and a giant sequoia. There were a several trees blooming. Spring is coming to France!
We were pretty tired from the walking we had already done, so once we took the train back to the main palace we didn’t walk around any more of the gardens. We just took some pictures from afar.
We had passed a cafe that served food all day near the train station, so we went back there for some food. We both got a caprese salad, and Heidi got a buckwheat crêpe with ham, cheese, and mushrooms. I got a wrap with shrimp and avocados, but Heidi definitely picked better. I got a lemon and sugar crêpe for desert, and it was actually really, really good. I might like it better than a Nutella crêpe!
It was surprising how quickly we got back to Paris, considering how long it had taken us to get where we were going. We didn’t even have to look at the map once to go back to our hotel.
We double checked our tickets for the morning and booked a hotel in tours. We’ve loved Paris, but we’re looking forward to our next adventure, which we really don’t have planned! We’re renting a car, and then we’ll see what happens from there.