France: Versailles

by jenjenk on May 10, 2012

I don’t do a lot of sightseeing when I’m in Paris.  My travelmate said it best, “I only see stuff to occupy the time between our meals.”  I’ve been to France a few times and there are 2 places that I still haven’t visited that most everyone makes a priority:  the Louvre and Versailles.  I can now say that I’ve visited Versailles.  Being the uncultured gal that I am, I may never actually make it into the Louvre.  I don’t think my poor little brain could handle that much art at any given time.

Versailles actually houses art in a way that my short attention span can handle – throughout the palace and its gardens.  My eyes will only take in about 10% of the art around me which is as much [or maybe even much more] than my mind can absorb.

I absolutely loved the Hall of Mirrors.  I would’ve loved it more had it been completely empty from tourists.  I’d like to go back just to see this place deserted.  I had to photograph the chandeliers.  I actually would love a chandelier in my bedroom but if I put one in, I wouldn’t have any room for an actual bed, thus defeating the purpose of said room.  But really, think how spectacular[ly ridiculous] it would look.  I warm up to this idea more and more as the years go by.

I stare in awe at the ceilings in these palaces and wonder how anyone could paint that many hours in such an uncomfortable position.  I can barely paint my ceilings a flat white using a roller without giving myself a sore neck!  I’d even admit that I got a crick in my neck after shooting some of these photos.

Of course, every home should come with its own chapel right??  The opulence and sheer decadence is absolutely breathtaking.  My teeny little brain can’t even wrap around the idea of how much this would cost in today’s day and age!

I think my favorite part of Versailles were the outdoor gardens.  Everything was so precisely trimmed and trained.  I loved the perfect symmetry in everything.

If it wasn’t for the fact that we were there after having traveled for more than 19 hours and it was pouring rain, I would have enjoyed it even more!

The area that caught my attention in the Gardens was Marie-Antoinette’s Le Hameau [Hamlet]. I think it was funny that she used this area [functioned as a working farm] as her own personal play area where she dressed up as a peasant to get away from the restrictions of court life.  Saucy Minx.

I’m glad I made the trek out to Versailles, although I definitely could have done without the crowds.  Getting there earlier in the day would definitely help.

Also, be sure to pick up food supplies beforehand to enjoy a picnic in the gardens [sans the rain like we had]!  We picked up sandwiches at Versailles out of necessity – it was expensive and not really tasty.

By the end of the day, my feet were dog tired.  If I ever go back again, I would rent a golf cart [rentals available at 30 euros for an hour] to get around the grounds.

How to get there from Paris:
Take the RER C to Versailles Rive Gauche
Exit out of train station, Right on to Av du General de Galle
Left at Av de Paris
 
Entrance Fees:
18 Euros for the passport which allow access to the Palace, grounds, Trianon palaces and Marie-Antoinette’s Estate
You may also wish to purchase the Museum Pass [price ranges from 2 days for 39 euros to 6 days 69 euros]. Clearly, I do not visit enough monuments/museums to make this worthwhile.
 
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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Cathy/ShowFoodChef May 10, 2012 at 11:40 pm

Jen, I love these pics. We’re heading to Europe next week and I’ve never been to Versailles either. Now, I will make it a def stop. And if you needed more to see what a stalker I am, I think I’ll order that jacket you recommended. I was looking for something with a ton of pockets (I love pockets), and you had the perfect one. You look adorable in all the pics!
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jenjenk May 11, 2012 at 7:46 am

Cathy – can I come with you?! :)

I love that jacket. I have another one by them which is great but this hoodie is so flipping soft & cozy!! it fits everything I need – passport, cellphone, P & S camera, sunglasses, credit cards, cash, & change!

Get thyself out to Les Halles, if only to window shop at the great supply stores [kinda expensive, not really any savings there - you can get the stuff from amazon for the same or cheaper].

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Ayngelina May 13, 2012 at 10:00 pm

I only see stuff to occupy time between meals…oh I am the same way!
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jenjenk May 18, 2012 at 8:50 am

great minds… :)

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The Time-Crunched Traveler (Ellen) May 14, 2012 at 5:15 pm

I would absolutely LOVE to visit Versailles one day. There are so many of the touristy spots in Paris that I really do want to go to, including the Louvre and Notre Dame. Beautiful photos. Glad you finally made it there. Thanks for sharing.
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jenjenk May 18, 2012 at 8:50 am

I will always, always recommend Notre Dame. I don’t care how many times I’ve been there, I just can’t get enoughof it! :)

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Kristina May 15, 2012 at 8:28 pm

I think I need to go back because it’s been about 20 years since I’ve been to Versailles, but I loved it too. My favorite part was seeing the apartments of the dauphin and dauphine. I remember eating in their cafeteria at the time, and it wasn’t all that bad. I think I may need a return trip. ;-)
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jenjenk May 18, 2012 at 8:51 am

Hmmm…maybe it was because it was so crowded that quality control just went out the door? I’d love to be there when it was just empty…

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Michaela of Awe Inclusive May 16, 2012 at 5:48 am

I can’t wait till I visit Versailles. It looks like a dream home! You were able to get some really great pics and I couldn’t tell that the place was had tons of tourists during your visit. I wouldn’t have minded living in Le Hameau. It looks really cozy!

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jenjenk May 18, 2012 at 8:52 am

It *IS* a dream home…of course, the one comment I made was, “can you imagine cleaning this thing?? or what if you forget something in your room, you have to climb all the flipping stairs to go and get it!!!” :)

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Deliciously Organic July 4, 2012 at 6:45 am

I visited a few years ago and missed Marie-Antoinette’s Hamlet. One day, if I get to go back, I’ll make sure to check out her little cottage and rent a golf cart (great tip!).
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