Monday, May 16, 2011

Versailles, Day 3

Our third day in Versailles was the most action-packed, and still felt leisurely. I adore this town.  I told Eric this morning that he might have trouble convincing me to travel to new countries before going back to France. I kid :) But I really did like it THAT much. We spent the third full day exploring more of the gardens, the Chateau, and the Trianons. 

Some of the courtyard from the top of the Chateau...the pond that you see across the way is the one that I wrote about yesterday that Eric and I took a long walk around.
King Louis XIV's outdoor ballroom on the grounds of the Chateau. It was breathtaking, and they had music playing while we were there. I resisted the urge to twirl around with Eric :)

 There are musical fountain shows on Saturdays, one of our reasons for waiting until then to go to the Chateau. It was pictures don't do it justice. All of the fountains on and classical music playing in the was easy to imagine what it would have been like hundreds of years ago. Although the music wouldn't have been coming from speakers hidden in the bushes :) 

Fountains looking down the canal.

Eric found this little robin's egg that a bird hatched out of while we were walking through the gardens. This photo has nothing to do with anything, except that I just LOVE the color of that egg.

Eric and I bought paninis from a sidewalk stand in the gardens...unlike Disney World where they charge you $27 for gross chicken tenders and a coke, the food inside the sites was priced reasonably! I think we got lunch and water for under 13 euro, total.

Then we decided to rent a rowboat and go out on the canal for a while. It was so much fun, and a completely new perspective on some of the sites we had already seen.

Eric rowed...

And I did this and took pictures. Typical.

View from the boat back up toward the Chateau. 

After our boating excursion (probably the only time you'll ever hear me say that), we moved on to the Petit and Grand Trianons. The Petit Trianon was by far my favorite - it was Marie Antoinnette's home. I adored the decor...the soft french blues and gold accents were French vintage goodness. 

A chandelier hung from the ceiling by a ribbon tied in a giant bow at the top? Don't mind if I do...saving this idea for a little girl's nursery one day!

After I had ample time to wander through the house in awe, much to Eric's amusement, we headed out to the grounds where Marie, bless her heart, had several smaller homes and buildings built so that she could "play" shepherdess. The grounds and the farmland was pristine. Breathtaking. We felt like we had stepped back into another century.You know, minus the Nikon around my neck :)Everywhere we went in Versailles, there was a floral scent in the air from all of the gorgeous flowers they have everywhere. Eric and I both agreed that it was one of our favorite things about the town.

The flowers (ahem, fleurs) were nothing short of gorgeous, and there were tons of tulips everywhere, which made me one happy girl!

We took our time on the grounds of the Petit Trianon, and after Eric convinced me to spend the money on the bottle of perfume that I liked (I went back and forth about 6 times on it...this will surprise no one who knows me well), we moved on to the Grand Trianon. We started out the visit with a 20 minute wait for me to use the one bathroom that they had :) 

I liked the Petit Trianon much more than the Grand. The Grand was a little over the top for me, as you can see by the decadent yellow and blue room above, but the extravagance was impressive in and of itself. 

Eric and I took a break and went back to the hotel room to rest and change clothes, and then headed to the Chateau. There is almost always a line, but it moved quickly.

What we do when we're bored in line.

Once we got inside, we could barely move. It was miserable. Seriously, worse than the Vatican museums in Rome, and if you've been there, you know that's saying a lot. But we had time on our hands, and since we were staying in Versailles, we figured we'd leave, wait until the tour buses left, and then go back inside right at the end of the day. Worked like a charm! We had a cafe, and when we got back, the place was nearly empty. 

I'm sure you can tell that I really did love the french blue and gold...the doors were so ornate. 
In the Hall of Mirrors

It's so funny interacting with other tourists in Europe. First of all, there were very few people speaking English in Versailles. Many more, of course, when we got to Paris, but here, we would go hours without hearing anyone else speaking English. So when tourists DID come across someone they could communicate with, they took advantage, and that's how we got all of our non-self-shot pictures together on this trip :)

Interesting side note about this shot, taken of the ceiling in the Hall of Mirrors...King Louis XIV had this ceiling painted chronicling his life. (Reminded me of the ceiling leading to the Sistine Chapel, which chronicles the life of Jesus...conceited much?) Anyway, this shows God reaching down from heaven to crown King Louis XIV...ha! Of course they all believed in rule by Divine Right back then...but seriously?!?!

Once we finished up inside, we decided to head back to the gardens and perch on the steps for a bit to get one last glance down the grand canal.  The gardens in Versailles were truly the best part of our trip. 

After a long and tiring, yet oddly relaxing day of sightseeing, we headed back to our hotel to relax at the hotel pool and freshen up for dinner at the most delicious creperie under the sun. We arrived to this waiting on us in our room...

Hats off to you Hilton...we still have not a single negative thing to say about you after countless stays in your hotels over the years. Perfect end to a perfect day...and then resting up for Paris the next morning!

1 comment:

  1. Aww, Casey, yall look so happy. So glad yall had a blast on your trip. The pics are amazing!