Versailles, Île-de-France, France
**some of the attached pictures of Chateau Versailles weren’t taken by me, because I was too busy snapping away on the SLR and forgot to take any on my phone. You’ll have to wait til we’re home to see the proper shots. Thanks google for these ones though. **
This absolutely perfect morning (no clouds or wind, perfect blue sky, temp around 16) we set off towards Chateau Versailles at about 8am, we took the metro from St Paul to Concorde, then changed trains and went to Invalides, where we caught a RER train to Versailles. The total trip was less than one hour. The Metro is simply amazing. I wish we had them back home. We waited no longer than a minute for any metro train to arrive. It’s so strange to see the locals running like mad to catch their train, even though there will be another one along in a minute. We were about to hop on one train this morning but it was so packed we couldn’t all fit so decided to wait for the next one (which arrived literally 30 seconds later!) and it was almost empty! Alex reckons she’s going to start a petition to have metro stations in Australia, and send it to Tony Abbott. 🙂
Once we arrived and lined up for half an hour to buy tickets, we lined up for another hour and a half to go through security to enter the Chateau itself. After that we were free to roam.
The Chateau Versailles estate is enormous and so opulent. To really be able to see all of it you would need to allow two days at least. There is so much to see we didn’t know where to look -the walls, the ceiling, the furnishings, the views… We started in the Grand Trianon and then headed out into the gardens. Down at the Grand Canal we hired a boat and rowed around for half an hour. Alex decided she wanted to do most of the rowing. There were heaps of people just sitting on the grass alongside the canal having picnics and enjoying the perfect spring day.
After the boat ride we wandered around for a while and then hired a golf buggy to tour the expansive grounds. Alex said she wanted to have a turn driving the buggy. Adam let her have a go, but unfortunately we got pulled over by a security guard who went mad at us in French – none of which we could understand. Alex is still, tonight, worrying that she’s going to get fined for driving the buggy. Or that Adam is going to go to jail for it. I think she got a bit of a fright…
We wandered down to Marie Antoinette’s Hamlet (these pictures are ours) to enjoy the fairy tale atmosphere down there. It’s understandable that she liked to retreat from the madness of the Royal life to such a place. It is so peaceful and relaxing.
We left Versailles at around 5.30pm, it felt like only 3.00. The day flew by. We got home at around 6.45 and I chose a restaurant for dinner. Les Bougresses is about 3 minutes walk around the corner, a beautiful French restaurant, old stone walls, very cosy and warm. We had the €26 3-course menu. Adam and I had baked Brie with bacon and salad, and Alex had onion soup for entrees. It was all divine. I tried Alex’s soup and honestly could have eaten it forever. Then for main we all had steak with eschallot and mushroom sauce with duck fat potatoes. If I knew we were all ordering the same thing I would have chosen the duck a l’orange. But then I wouldn’t have had the joy of eating the steak meal. You know how sometimes a meal is so delicious you feel sad when your plate is empty? Well that’s how I felt about my dinner. To finish, Alex and I had creme brûlée and Adam had house made vanilla ice cream with strawberry coulis. Alex found the brûlée to be too rich for her, I ate most of mine but was unable to finish it. Adam are all his ice cream so it must’ve been good. He’s not a dessert fan at the best of times.
Now time for bed. Another big day tomorrow – our last full day in Paris is here already. We’re making the most of it. 🙂