I am giving Versailles its own special posting because, well, I can. If you haven’t been to the palace and gardens at Versailles but plan to go there is one thing you really should know. Be prepared to wait. Crazy long disney-esque lines. If you can figure out a way to buy a ticket before arriving I would highly recommend it. So there is your little travel tid-bit for the day. Of course, to avoid the lines you could always skip Versailles, but I would NOT recommend you do that.
Not really Versailles but significant because I thought it was.
Versailles is this crazy opulent fabulous world all the vision of King Louis XVI. (Of course, Versailles is also a bigger town where real French people live now but for the purpose of this post when I say Versailles I mean the palace and gardens.) Louis moved the French court here in order to keep a close eye on everyone and to head off ideas of revolt. So really Versailles had to become its own little world and that is exactly what you feel when you are there.
We toured the house first which was something that you really shouldn’t miss.
I love any museum tour with a headset. Perhaps it is my history major roots showing but I think knowing the history and great stories associated with a place help it to come alive and make me at least appreciate it more.
Perhaps the most famous room is the Hall of Mirrors. It is a super long and high ceiling-ed ballroom that looks like it is wall papered in mirrors in one side and the other has rows of tall windows. Add to that chandeliers and guilded trimmings it makes for a pretty impressive spectacle.
Oh how I would have loved to go to a ball in this room back in the day. Not that I am really the ball type, but I think I could be talked into it here.
Everywhere you looked in the palace was guilded or painted or carved. Not a single corner was left out.
One day I am going to get one of these made of me knitting:
Once you are done touring the palace you might think you are done with the main event. Lucky for us, Louis and the French monarchs that followed, knew the beauty of your surroundings extended to the outdoors.
I have never in my life seen gardens like this. I know you have heard it said that the French are a romantic people and I believe the design of this garden reflects that stereotype. It is made for strolling and getting lost. The gardens are vast and beautifully kept. There is a maze, and roads that lead to mini-cottages. It is crazy beautiful.
In my opinion, Versailles is a not-to-miss attraction. It made me want to rent every movie about the French monarchy in the 17th and 18th centuries. I haven’t yet but I still plan on it.
One thing to note though, this attraction does take a bit out of you with the line waiting and the crowd wrangling inside. Lucky for us though, we were able to make good use of the gardens:
Up next: Food, Art, and Death