During one of the legs of our journey, Richard and I got addicted to Netflix’s Versailles. We decided that when we got to France we would have to see the real thing. Thankfully Jack and Kim agreed so on Tuesday morning we hopped on the train to Versailles. Even though we had gotten on the wrong train in Paris and had to walk a few extra minutes, we still arrived at the gates about 20 minutes before our 10 AM pre-booked time slot. The line for the non timed tickets was HUGE. We estimated that there were at least three thousand people standing in this line. There were a few folks that were quite agitated that they were in this line and though we felt a little sorry for them, we were quite happy that we had the foresight to get timed tickets. We were into the palace before 10 AM and started our self guided audio tour.
The palace is the brainchild of King Louis XIV and construction started on the site of his father’s former hunting lodge in 1661. The palace continued to expand and in 1682 Louis moved the parliament from Paris to Versailles. In the years following this move the Sun King continued to grow the palace and ordered all the nobles of France to come and reside there. This gave him an opportunity to monitor everyone’s actions and ensure that they remained loyal to him. During the French revolution in 1789, protestors stormed the gates, looting and destroying much of the original palace and furnishings. What we see today is a refurbishment of many of the king and queens rooms as well as a museum that displays the history of the palace and of France.
After touring the palace, we headed out to the gardens to eat our lunch. The gardens, pools and fountains have all been recreated in the exact replica of Louis the XIV’s Versailles. The day was warm and sunny so we took some time to explore. They are absolutely beautiful! The fountains were not operating while we were there but I imagine that they are spectacular. After wandering for an hour or so, we said our goodbyes to the palace and headed back to Paris. Though I was expecting something a
little more opulent, Versailles is very beautiful and well worth the trip if you are in Paris. Just don’t forget to get tickets online. It is well worth the extra couple of euros!
We had a mid afternoon drink at Jack and Kim’s hotel and then headed back to our BNB to pack. We cannot believe that we are leaving tomorrow for London! Time is moving much too fast now. A final meal with our good friends tonight and a quick trip with them tomorrow morning to our respective departure points (train station for them, airport for us) and we will be saying our farewells. It was so much fun having them with us for a few days. We wish them all the best on the rest of their journey!
Our last meal in France was traditional French Crepes.