Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Paris Day 6

Today we got up early and went to Versailles.  I wasn't overly impressed.  Well, I was impressed by the size of it-it really is huge, but overall, it was probably one of my least favorite sites that we've been to.  The Palace was huge, but we were only able to go to a small portion of it and I thought the insides of the Royal Palace in Madrid were far more impressive than at Versailles.  The famous Hall of Mirrors was just o.k.  All in all, I wasn't a huge fan.  It did, however, contain one of my favorite little areas of the whole trip-Marie-Antoinette's little peasant farm village.  That tiny area was great-cute, little buildings with thatched roofs, a small lake with fish, very impressive vegetable gardens, and even some animals.  If I had my pick of the actual Palace of Versailles, the Grand Trianon, the Petit Trianon or the peasant village, I would most definitely choose to live in the peasant village.  Royalty, I am not!

If you're in Paris and want to go to Versailles, I would recommend that you go earlier in your trip rather than later.  There is a ton of walking (and I have several large blisters on my feet from walking around yesterday), both to get to the actual entrance of the Palace from the metro stop, not a ton inside the building, but then tons more on the grounds.  We rented bikes to ride around the grounds, which was the best idea ever, but to get to where you can even ride bikes, there's a pretty long walk (which is uphill on the way back, right when you're the most tired).  Riding around the grounds was definitely fun, though.  I haven't been on a bike in years and it took me a minute to get used to it, but it was well worth it.  It wasn't hugely expensive either and once you get out there on the grounds, there aren't many people around.  Btw, I keep saying grounds, but technically I believe they are gardens.  I refuse to say gardens, though, because it's more like a forest.  There's a small area with actual flowers, but the rest is pools and trees and grass. 

Also, make sure that you're prepared for massive amounts of people.  We didn't go on either of the two busiest days of the week, but it was still insane-wall to wall people inside the Palace.  Obviously, there are less outside, but if you walk around where it's shady (which you definitely should because it's really hot out there-side note--don't wear a black t-shirt, bring a hat and sunglasses), it's a little bit more crowded. 

We headed back to the condo in the late afternoon and I am thoroughly exhausted.  Versailles is definitely a day trip, not just an afternoon or morning thing.  I stopped for pastries again on the way home-I have to get my fill while I can!!!  Tomorrow is our last day.  I'm not sure what the plan is-I still want to go back to the Louvre and also to L'Orangerie.  I definitely won't be doing much walking around, though-my feet feel like they're on fire.  One of the blisters goes up between my toes and that one is the worst.  Sad face.

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