27 October 2015

Paris Trip 4

Versailles Day!

Today we take the RER (train) to Versailles. We accidentally took the long train route, but enjoyed seeing the countryside from the nearly empty train.

Versailles was the residence of the French monarchs Louis XIV, XV, and VI, and for Marie Antionette. "Residence" for kings means palaces! And grand it still is!

Here is the view walking up to the entrance.

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Here is the snaking line we will soon join. And spend 45 minutes in.

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This building is under construction: note the scaffolding on the left and rear. The front and side are covered with artists representations of how the area looked – to cover up the construction. We noted this on monuments throughout France.

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While in line, I had plenty of time to take photos of the palace. Quite grand.

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Golden gate.

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Finally we get in past security and ticket-takers and enter the Chateau. We enter a long chamber lined with large paintings.

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Bataille de Fontenoy, Mai 1743.

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Zurlauben 1704.

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We toured many rooms that the monarchs and their families lived and played and entertained in (no photos of these, not even the Hall of Mirrors, I just enjoyed), then came outside into the gardens. At the exit, we could have boarded the Petit Train or rented a golf cart, but we just walked.

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Here is the first fountain that we came to.

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I liked this statue by the pools. We sat next to it for awhile.

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We walk all the way down to the cross-shaped canal in the distance in the photo below. This is just before we start our 15 minute walk.

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A view of the lower fountains and the canal and lots of people.

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Close-up of the fountain. Back when the monarchs lived here, orchestras played in the gardens, and the elite frolicked in the canals and gardens and paths in the manicured forests.

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A long pathway with a canopy of trees is the way to the Trianon Palaces. These are where the monarchs went to get away from the bustle of the main Versailles palace. From Rick Steves: "They expanded the Trianon area, building a fantasy world of palaces and pleasure gardens – the enclosure called Marie-Antionette's Domaine." We took each other's photo going off on the pathway. (We want to play too.)

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The gardens were worth the walk.

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Here is the area in front of a small palace.

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Isn't this a beautiful spot to take a little rest? I love the pink marble columns.

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Another small palace.

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I consented to a photo of me because I like the marble fountains so much.

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We hiked the long way back to the main palace and then exited and walked to the RER station. Tired, we squeezed onto a crowded train for the 45 minute trip back to Paris and our hotel. Had an excellent meal at the same restaurant as last night. Salad plus ham or smoked duck plus cheese on toast, wine, creme brûlée and apple crumble and small cappuccinos. Yum!

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