September 15, 2014 – After a fun, relaxing Friday & Saturday, a friend from my French university, Lena, and I decided to make the most out of our Sunday and trek to the Château de Versailles!
Just a little more than a half an hour outside the city, we took the famed RER (a commuter-type train in Paris) and soon found ourselves in the charming city of Versailles. In full discolure, I didn’t realize that Versailles was an actual, functioning city and not just the estate of ancient French royalty. So I was quite surprised to see a bustling little town with cute little restaurants and buildings that coordinated with the obscenely large palace that puts in on the map!
Advice: if you’re studying in France, bring your student visa to get in for free; also, the RER is de-zoned on the weekends, so if you if you have a Navigo pass for zones 1 & 2 (like me), it’ll get you there free!
We left in the late morning and arrived around 11AM, which we decided was a fitting time to pass directly to the immense gardens and sit by the lake for a small picnic. (Note: If you’re as scared of swans as I am, keep your distance from the water’s edge – they are NOT afraid to swim right up and stare you down until you give them food!)
Cue the photos:
|View overlooking the gardens & lake|
|We just kept wondering how they maintained this back in the day…|
|Eating brioche by the water|
|None of the fountains were working…but they were still beautiful|
|One of the only areas with actual flowers|
|The stunning orangier|
|Lena’s GoPro was so much fun!|
|Posing at the Collade|
|Imitating the statues just never gets old|
|Hide & seek in the gardens?|
After filling our stomachs with the brioche that Lena so graciously brought and wandering through the gardens a bit, we passed back through to the palace and took our place in line to see the famous Versailles.
|We lucked out on the best weather!|
|The most beautiful golden gate|
|Chapel within Versailles|
|So. Many. People.|
|Just look at that detail!|
|Trying to capture the amazing ceilings|
|Galerie des Glaces/Hall of Mirrors|
|Marie Antoinette’s chamber – yes please!|
|Mirror selfie in the Hall of Mirrors – I had to do it|
Holy cannoli. The amount of gold – my favorite color – in that single building is more than I could have ever dreamed. The ceiling height, attention to detail, paintings and number of incredible artifacts that we passed was unimaginable. Even though I developed at least five new blisters & may have sprained my ankle from all of the walking on cobble-stone/uneven surfaces, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. This may be my new favorite place…especially Marie Antoinette’s bedroom – there’s a very good chance I will take some design advice from her in the future.