Most of the time, I like to have a plan. I like to have a general idea of what I will be doing otherwise I end up wasting a lot of time–that makes sense, right? Well, once I set foot in Paris my “plan” of when and where I would be went straight out the window. Most of the travel blogs I consulted in preparation for my trip said visiting the Château of Versailles (or the Louvre Museum) would take a whole day–it is true! If you want to visit the interiors and gardens, do yourself a favor and separate and entire day for this.
I had originally planned on visiting Versailles on Tuesday; that did not happen because exploring historic Paris by foot was simply too attractive. On Friday I ventured off to Versailles with the intention of doing a quick walk-through only (haha, right?). Because I purchased a six-day museum pass (more on that later), I was starting to run out of time and I did not want to cut this from my “to see” list. I tackled the interiors in under four hours, including lunch at Angelina but I did not get to walk the gardens. Several rooms, the Queen’s quarters being one of them, were also closed that day which might have helped my cause. The gardens at Versailles are so vast they could be a park on their own so I did not plan on walking through them anyway and, as I wrote this, I realized I missed Marie Antoinette’s Hamlet (oh well–next trip, right?).
So what did I take away? First, oh my goodness–the place is extravagant! I felt transported to a different time. For a few moments I even thought I had a full-blown gown on and was walking into a movie scene. The Louis’ certainly did a special something with the place. Above all, I think it is the level of attention to detail that makes Versailles feel so grand. Louis XIV was a ‘details’ guy and you can see it in several buildings in France built around his time (i.e. Opera Garnier Palace, pictures coming soon). My favorite room was definitely the Room/Hall of Mirrors. It transported me to the ball scene in the animated movie Anastasia (I know, I know–she’s Russian) and most definitely made me feel like a princess (sans gown and all). Versailles was the beginning of my Royal Treatment in Paris and I only got more and more excited with each new space I visited.
Here is a little of the wow-factor I experienced at Versailles…
At the end of my walk-through I decided to have lunch at Angelina–it was lovely and perfectly timed as it started raining right as I was seated at the living room and boudoir of the Duchess of Luynes. I ordered the Petit-Déjuner and thought it was quite the amount of food. I had two rolls, a croissant, chocolate (much richer and denser than what I am used to getting in the USA), orange juice, three types of jellies/jams and sparkling water (personal add-on). I love breakfast so I was very pleased:
I definitely will return to Versailles–aside from the fact that I missed a lot–it just feels very royal. I will take any excuse to feel like a princess!