Monday, July 21, 2014

Jour 8 Paris: Château de Versailles

As many times as I'd been to Paris in the past, I hadn't made it to Versailles, not once. The first time I was there, I was too broke to go. The second trip we just didn't have enough time. The third time, I didn't even think about it. So, finally, I got my act together and booked a couple of tickets online. I went for the 'Passeport' package which allows you to visit the palace, trianon, and Marie-Antoinette's digs and it cost €18 per person. You've also got to get yourself a pair of metro tickets that get you out there, which will set you back €6.90 per person. Now, normally, I'm not really into paid attractions in general - I'm pretty sure everything I've shared so far has been free - but I make exceptions here and there. And certainly, a beautiful palace deserves an exception, right?

The train takes about 40 minutes.

Once you get off the train, you don't even have to whip out your trusty map. You can just follow the inevitable hoard of people heading towards the castle.
The grounds are humongous and if you haven't bought your tickets ahead of time, you will have to wait on a stupid line. That's why I recommend you buy your tickets online. I also recommend getting there on the earlier side. It opens at 9:00 and we got there around 9:30, which was pretty perfect. There was definitely a crowd but it wasn't super huge.
The weather was a little less than ideal when we showed up and it was fickle throughout the whole day. There were several moments of sunshine but also some rain.

When you first enter the Palace, the first few rooms are kind of meh. They've got projections on the screen showing you details of the more famous rooms and how the structure was constructed and other factoids. We thought this stuff was too boring so we kind of skipped over it and headed to the prettier stuff.
Not to sound like a complete dope but I usually go into these sorts of things blind. I don't like reading too much or listening to tour guides or even using an audio guide. I just go, look around, get amazed, and if something interests me enough, I'll go home and research it and maybe buy a book on it. I'm just telling you this because I'm not going to be super smart and tell you lots of wonderful things about Versailles. I'm just going to share some photos and my brief thoughts.
If you like math, you'll recognize this man.
Each and every room was so beautifully decorated and I was just so impressed by the murals and the gilding and the marble. I can't even imagine living in that sort of decadence. By the way, if you can't get to Versailles in real life, might I suggest watching Marie Antoinette, the Sofia Coppola film? It was shot on location so you get a real deal feel.
Check out that tush! Only babies could have dimples in their butt cheeks that could be considered cute.
The Hall of Mirrors is one of the prettiest rooms I've ever been in. It's a bit overkill by today's standards but if I were a Princess or Queen, I'd find it absolutely befitting of my luxe lifestyle.
The king's bedroom was quite decadent and as masculine as it could be, decorated in this style.
But the Queen's bedroom was my absolute favorite. If I could decorate my room like this, I totally would. I had a canopy bed as a kid and I was in love with it. I just love the idea of being kind of enclosed but not totally to a point where you're claustrophobic. I mean, that pale blue and the little pink flowers and the gilding and the fringe - it's every little princess-loving girl's dream.
There was a also a tremendous amount of artwork in the Palace. I was quite impressed. I mean, you talk about "gallery walls" being popular on Pinterest but that trend started here in this room, I'm pretty sure.
This hallway's got a bit of a Harry Potter vibe, huh? Or I should say that Hogwarts has a little bit of a Versaille vibe, right?
Like I mentioned, at one point, the clouds broke and we saw a glimpse of blue skies.
Just in time for a stroll through the gardens. By the way, I don't know if it was because we were there too early, but the gardens consist of several smaller gardens that are enclosed by hedges and all of them were closed! So we ended up just walking straight back to the Trianon.
And lucky for us, there's plenty to see on the walk, including fountains and impeccably trimmed hedges and trees.
Okay, so that's it for the actual Palace. Next, I'll be sharing one of my favoritest experiences ever: spending some time in Marie-Antoinette's Hamlet.
xoxo.

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