Palace of VersaillesAugust 17, 2019 in France ⋅ 🌧 18 °C
We managed to miss most of the rain to experience the wonder of Versailles
We managed to miss most of the rain to experience the wonder of Versailles
Again the weather was not great overcast all day and raining throughout
I visited the Palace of Versailles and the gardens today if only for the short period that I was actually there. So I caught the shuttle bus from the hostel which took me out to the palace and the driver gave us 3 hours before he would be back to pick us up which would have been great except for the fact that it took 2 hours waiting in the line to get inside
Even though the ticket had been pre purchased so that only left us with an hour to wiz through the palace and gardens
It was absolutely spectacular and I only wish I had more time. I could have spent the entire day in the gardens alone
Spectacular none the less and it was great to do😊
Just eating sushi for dinner, so not exactly French but close to the hostel and cheap👍🍱Read more
An amazing phenomena (in my humble opinion) is that in the year 2017, many of the museums of Paris are completely shut on a Tuesday. It is not like they have teamed up to determine that one should close on Tuesday, another on a Wednesday etc. So as a result, this forced our hand to travel to Versailles for the day, along with every other tourist to Paris, Tuesday being the discount day for Versailles for those eligible for various local passes etc.
And so it is here that our luck in not having to line up for long to visit stuff ended. Close to 1.5 hours in the line in front of a very impressive building, and we were in.
The interior itself is opulent and extravagant and all up, it should not have been that surprising to the nobility of France when the Revolution finally occurred!Read more
The Palace of Versailles began as a hunting lodge for King Louis XIV, but by the time of his grandson it had become the most luxurious and opulent residence in the Western World. The Hall of Mirrors where Woodrow Wilson signed the treaty ending World War I, the public and private bedrooms of three generations of French royalty, and the many rooms of state have been restored to their original, fantastic conditions. Add to all of this the palatial gardens surrounding the palace and one has a heavenly paradise on earth. More poignant, however, is the story of Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette, who became victims of a French Revolution whose violence eventually devoured its own sons. It ultimately succumbed to Napoleon, who declared himself Emperor, and re-created the class of nobility that the Revolution had attempted to erase.Read more
Today Ingrid took us to Versailles, home of the castle where many kings and queens lived or at least vacationed including Marie Antoinette. It was an absolutely beautiful day (again) I'm beginning to think I stole the sun when I left Georgia since ive heard its been raining there...been perfect weather here since we arrived. Glad the sun loves me ?? oh and sorry for the rain ?Read more
The Royal Gardens at Versailles deserve their own set of photos. Classical music was playing through the loud speakers as we walked throughout the gardens. Not all the fountains were operational (sadly) but there were a number which did their own "water show" to the music.Read more
We were only allowed about an hour to explore the Château Versailles so a small group of us decided to get on the 'train' to explore the gardens. The gardens were beautiful, I could have easily spent a day in the gardens alone! I can just image what the inside looks like. We got off the 'train' to take a couple photos and it left without us, making us late back to the bus!Read more
Decided to spend our last day on the Continent at one of its most famous sights, and the main place that I'd missed on my last trip to Paris in 2005 - Versailles. The weather wasn't looking hugely promising, but given that it had rained basically all day yesterday, it couldn't get much worse so we decided to risk it.
Up and out fairly early, with our usual breakfast of croissants from the (excellent nearby bakery). Had a funny moment where the lady was serving two customers at once, and she addressed the other customer in English while speaking French to me! Thankfully the other customer could speak English and we all had a good laugh. I know the French have a reputation for being snobby, unhelpful and unwilling to speak English, but I haven't found that at all on this trip. Most people just switch to English when they can see me struggling, and English ability is far more widespread here than in Spain.
Our journey to Versailles consisted of about 15 metro stops across the city to Bir-Hakeim, where we changed to an above-ground RER-C train bound for Versailles. All up the journey took about an hour, so not too bad. Walked the last 10 minutes from the station to the chateau.
Glad that I didn't pre-buy tickets, as the queue for picking up pre-purchased tickets was the same length as the purchasing tickets queue, and regardless both of them paled into insignificance next to the entry queue, which wound around the main courtyard three times.
Took about 40 minutes, during which Shandos took her leave as she wasn't coming inside the chateau with me. She'd been before, and wanted to have a closer look at the gardens which was free entry, so off she went.
Eventually I got inside and wandered around following the tour, doing bits of filming along the way as Versailles is a UNESCO World Heritage site as well. Very fascinating and a lot of fun, though the endless crowds get a bit exhausting. Highlights were definitely the hall of mirrors and the hall of battles, where there's a series of enormous oil paintings depicting French national heroes from Charlemagne, through Joan of Arc up to Napoleon.
After about 90 minutes I was finished inside and met up again with Shandos where we started looking around the gardens. Annoyingly, large parts of the gardens were closed off because they do fountain shows on some days, and only open those sections during the shows! Tickets for those cost extra, of course, which is quite annoying. So we were a bit disappointed with that.
Had some lunch at one of the cafes there, just simple baguettes and soft drinks but surprisingly not too over-priced! We then spent a couple of hours wandering around the gardens which are absolutely enormous and in fairly good condition. It was nice here as well because despite the inclement weather (it kept raining in squalls on and off), there were far fewer people around. Briefly considered hiring a boat and rowing up and down the grand canal, but ultimately chose not to.
Walked back to the station where we commenced the long journey home - 45 minutes on the train followed by nearly 30 minutes on the metro during rush hour. Rested up for a bit before another local dinner at a place chosen essentially at random. We were still a bit early so the place was fairly empty aside from a group of elderly American tourists.
And so we trudged back up the stairs to our apartment for our last night in Paris, in France and on the continent, likely for quite some time! This place has been quite nice, though five tall flights of stairs with no lift is a bit of a killer. Overall we've enjoyed Paris, thankfully we got a couple of good weather days before the rain set in! Would've been nice to be a bit warmer though!
Packed and showered in the evening as it's a super early start and a long day of travel tomorrow!Read more
A long travel day but we made it to Paris and then Versailles.
We learned a few things in the bike bagging process that will streamline it for next time but the bikes arrived pretty much unscathed.
A train derailment (detour right off the bat!) added a few hours getting to Versailles, with long lineups for the bus. Good news is we weren't on that train 2 hours before 😯.
Enjoyed our first French meal ... tres bon!
Will shrug off the jetlag and set off to find the Veloscenie tomorrow....Read more
OK so today’s goal is to get to Versailles using Paris public transport. On the map it looked easy train line C from Gare de Austerlitz direct to Gare de Versailles Rive Droit. Austerlitz bridge was the one we passed under just before turning into the Arsenal lock so nice and close and the Versailles station is the closest to the Palace. Damn train line C is undergoing work and terminates at Javel. All is not lost we can use the Metro to get to ‘Javel a Citroen’ then walk to Javel, actually that was quick and easy it was getting from the train station at Austerlitz to the correct Metro line that was long and complicated. In the end the journey took just over an hour which at just after 9am was relatively cool and spacious, but masks must be worn on all public transport. At Versailles there were a lot more people because you now book specific time slots to see the Chateau, we started off walking around the 800hectare gardens and park. We didn’t actually have time for the park but enjoyed most of the gardens very structured with lots of statues and pathways. Then to the 2 Trianon’s and their gardens. The Trianon’s both Petit and Grand were built so the Royals had a less formal place to retreat to, the Petit was originally Marie Antoinette’s then future wives, the Grand more for the Kings and Emperor. Even though they were supposedly less formal all the rooms were big and each building had a hall of mirrors, a major sign of wealth at the time. There was also the Queen’s Hamlet, Marie Antionette had a small pretend village built there was a dairy, farm, mill, fisherman’s cottage and her house. Not everywhere was fully open, we could only see certain of the Trianon’s rooms and couldn’t go in the Hamlet properties due to Covid. In the Versailles Palace I think all of the usual rooms were open but only some are set up as rooms people lived in, some are now used to display paintings of the various Royal family members. My lasting impression is of gold and excess, there was a lot of gilding both internally and externally and everything was just so OTT, I am not in the least bit surprised the peasants revolted. The journey back to the boat was a killer, the temperature had crept up all day and reached 35, being on trains and tubes wearing masks was horrendous. Forecast is for the temperature to increase over the next few days! Can’t wait, not!Read more
You might also know this place by the following names:
Versailles, فرساي, Версай, Versailhez, Versalles, Версаль, Βερσάιγ, ورسای, ורסאי, वर्साय, Վերսալ, Versalir, ヴェルサイユ, 베르사유, Versaliae, Versagge, Versalis, Versaļa, Версај, व्हर्साय, Versalhas, Wersal, Versalhes, แวร์ซาย, Versay, Wérsayl, Versal, ווערסיי, 凡爾賽鎮