On Sunday, we took a day trip out of Paris. We had actually planned to visit the Eiffel Tower and do some shopping but plans changed quickly. We got up late due to our late night out at the nightclub and as we were getting ready for our day we started to wonder if maybe we should check on times that the Chateau Versailles was open for our Monday trip. Low and behold it was closed on Monday. We quickly dressed, gulped our coffee, put on our sneakers and headed to the Metro for the 30 minute Metro ride.
Our 30 minute ride turned into a 90 minute ride because we took the train going the wrong way so not only were we started late but we were REALLY late because of the train ride. It was crazy and irritating but we arrived in Versailles and took a taxi to the Chateau and planned our strategy to see as much as possible while we could.
I have to say that we have been very lucky on numerous occassions throughout our trip. This day was another example of that luck. Of course, we were all a little irritated with ourselves that we were getting a late start and more irritated that we get in the enormous gates of the Chateau to see a line of hundreds of people waiting to buy tickets. We got in line prepared to wait at least an hour. After about 15 minutes, this lady from the Chateau walks up and asks if we would be interested in a private tour that would be leaving very soon. We say OF COURSE and off we went. IT WAS THE BEST THING EVER!Our tour guide, pictured here, was so knowledgable about the monarchy and the Chateau that it made our trip so much more enjoyable. We felt like we were in grade school with a strict teacher for the first 10 minutes but soon realized he had so much to say and share that we listened intently and nodded every time he said 'do you understand what I said'.
Did you know if was customary for aristocrats to create their own working farms on their palace grounds? Marie Antoinette had her own special Hamlet built with buildings that looked more like a medevial barbie doll village than a real working place but they had real people working there so they could experience life outside of their world. It was so interesting....and pretty!
The Palace is so extravagant that I can't even begin to think you would see the beauty in my photos. I'll include a few but you'll just have to look it up online yourself.
This sun dial clock was built for Louis the XIV and was created to tell date, month and year until 9999. It worked every day until two days before we arrived. The clock man was on vacation and they were anxious for him to return. Can you imagine when they made that clock and hand wrote the year 2010 on the dial? I wonder what they were thinking things would be like?
The gardens were UBER BEAUTIFUL! We spent most of our time in the gardens. We figured we walked at least 8 miles. Crazy beautiful!
My last thought as we left Versailles was how in the world did people walk on those cobblestone driveways and walkways in the shoes they had then and not break their ankles. They were so uneven and uncomfortable.
We also left Versailles thoroughly pleased that we had such a great experience and that we had gotten on the correct train to ge us home quickly! We planned out our last day in Paris and headed to bed with tired feet, full tummies and laughter.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010