When I was 17, I made my first trip to France with my French Club. We visited Versailles, but it was a rainy day, and I don’t think we went out into the gardens at all. During this trip, we more than made up for the lack of garden time on my first visit.
Thanks to the lying weather app (and our really fabulous day #1), we left our jackets at the hotel. This proved to be a very bad decision, because it never warmed up. We also left the hotel around 8:00am intending to pick up breakfast to go along the way. Sadly, the place across from our hotel didn’t open until 9:00, and that seemed to be the theme at every place between the hotel and the train station. 0 for 2 out of the gate.
When we arrived in Versailles, we spotted a Starbucks, and my friend LOVES Starbucks. We went in to get a Grande Latte, but the line was long-ish and not moving. We decided to stop at a cafe along the way to the palace. Unfortunately, we didn’t pass a cafe that was open. I felt like I was in Switzerland with so many closures on a Sunday! We had to back track to the train station when we reached the palace and realized there was no food. We settled on Egg McMuffins at McDonalds (and a Starbucks latte for my friend). Not a very Parisian meal, but the French didn’t seem interested in feeding us first thing in the morning. 0 for 3.
Thank goodness our day improved after a rough start!
We made it to Versailles and to the one line that Museum Pass cannot help – the line to enter the palace. It snaked around quite a few times, and it probably took us roughly an hour to make our way through it. There’s loads of people watching opportunities. This was our favorite during our wait:
There are A LOT of people in the palace, so while it was beautiful, it’s easy to get a bit anxious part way through. Below are several photos attempting to capture the opulence of the palace. It’s amazing to think that the royalty was living in this while the commoners were starving to death during the French Revolution.
When we arrived outside, we breathed a sigh of relief for having survived the crowds and the close quarters. Then, someone looked up and saw an open window and decided it would be an amazing photo opportunity. I told them I would have no part in voluntarily going back into the throngs of people, but the two of them were up for it, and I happily played the role of photographer. Look at the lovely queens waving to their royal subjects…
While we thought the palace was spectacular, the gardens took our experience to a whole new level! We had so much fun exploring, dining, and bike riding through the gardens. They were enormous, and we didn’t even cover most of them. We stayed until the very end when they were shutting things down at 6:30pm. It was such a fun afternoon!
The St. Louis Arch made it to Versailles, and we are EXCITED about it!
We found this postcard the day after our bike ride and simply had to purchase it!