May 2014 - All photos at the end of the post.
Most of my second day in Paris was spent outside the city at Versailles. In case you missed it, here’s My Take on Flying Internationally, and Paris Day One.
I loved taking the metro out there because I left when most people were leaving for work, which made me feel like a Parisian leaving for work! Haha.
After waiting in several lines (and quite a debacle of entrances, language issues, getting lost, and one very helpful woman) I took a tour of the Chateau, which allowed me into areas that most visitors don’t see.
I highly recommend getting a tour, which you can purchase through the Chateau’s website. Just FYI, there is a completely separate entrance for people taking tours… I got to learn a lot about the history of Versailles and all the people who lived there. It was also nice to walk around areas without the tons of tourists.
After the tour, I walked through the areas open to the public, which included some amazing paintings. I was very impressed with how beautiful much of the castle was, but also a little sad after learning a lot of it had been destroyed by later occupants.
And of course, the famous Hall of Mirrors!
I was almost as excited to see the gardens as I was to see the Chateau. I wasn’t pleased to find out it was an extra 8 euro to just get into the gardens so you could see them. But, I paid up. Not sure if it was completely worth the money, but I got some pretty pictures!
After walking all over the grounds I was hungry, thirsty and tired and ready to head back to Paris. Unfortunately I went to the wrong train station (another FYI: there are two in the town of Versailles…) and then got on the wrong train. It took me about 2.5 hours to get back, which was not pleasant. But once I did get back I headed to the Eiffel tower and after snapping some photos and warding off little children trying to trick me into giving them money, I was off to lunch.
Once I’d gotten some lunch, I decided to spend the rest of my afternoon wandering around the left bank with the goal of reaching Jardin du Luxembourg, which I remembered learning about in French class.
After walking around the left bank I headed back across the river and grabbed some dinner on my way back to my hostel.
It was a long, exhausting day, but I got to see a lot of beautiful sights in Versailles, while also walking quite a bit through Paris. I covered a lot of ground!
One and a half more days in Paris and then off to Spain!