Monday, April 05, 2010

Paris to Versailles

The unknown always gives way to an adrenalin rush.
Here we were heading straight into Paris having to make a transfer to another train line.
Actually it was not as scary as it looked and felt. I think that you must give yourself plenty of time to navigate your way through.
I now know that I could do this, but it has been just a little bit too long to remember the actual ins and outs. Senoritas!
We took the train into Paris Austerlitz and took the RER train-metro to Rive Gauche to Versailles. About 40 minutes from Paris.
As we walked through Versailles we were approached by a French businessman on bicycle and
he stopped to see if we needed directions. In conversing, he pointed out a few out of the way sights that we might like to visit. We thought that it was very nice for the man to go out of his way for us!
The city of Versailles is a splendid city. the main boulevard in front of the train station is busy and walking along it's street, you may shop and have coffee at Starbucks and at the McCafe'.
We enjoyed the true French McCafe'. McDonald's has gone the extra mile to step it up, as you will see in the pictures! I felt like I was in a coffee house or lounge, very chic The decor and furniture
were very nice and I did not feel like I was in a fast food restaurant.
The cups that the coffee was served in were great! I have tried to find them online and can't seem to.
Our McDonald's McCafe is a poor replica of what they did with it in Versailles. The Cafe' au lait with a pastry and chocolate was 1.80E.
After our cafe' we were off the the Chateau. The website for Versailles is
There are various attractions at the palace. The residence of King Louis XIV and the seat of France's Government for 100 years. Louis XIV moved his residence from the Louvre and built this elaborate palace in the forest 10 miles west of Paris.
In 1700, Versailles was the cultural heartbeat of Europe, and French fashion was at its zenith.
Louis XIV reigned for 72 years.(1643-1715) Fast forward to 1774, Louis XVI became King and married a girl from the Austrian royal family, Marie-Antoinette.
Let the party begin and let them eat cake!
I enjoyed walking amongst the extravagant gold- gilt and magnifique' grandeur, wondering what it would truly be like to live in this wealth and enjoy all that it had to offer. The grounds and gardens were exquisite, it is now open to the public during the day to enjoy. Walking out onto the terrace overlooking the Grand Canal and basins one could let their minds wander as we now did . So much to explore and see.
The gardens offered a world of royal amusements. With the palace behind you , the grounds stretch out before you . A promenade leads from the palace to the Grand Canal, an artificial lake that once sported 9 ships and Venetian gondolas for their pleasure. Even now you may rent a row boat to venture out upon the water.
The Domaine de Marie-Antoinette is just beyond this. Her Estate was built for her to retreat from the court for privacy after the birth of her children.
Versailles is a sight that is a must to be seen.
We spent the afternoon the second day in the garden and the grounds. It was a lovely time. We took a picnic and enjoyed the day relaxing and exploring the area around the Chateau.
When we toured the Chateau, we arrived at 9:30 and left at 3:30! There is so much to see!

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