I am back with my third day I spent enjoying the city of Paris!
We had our earliest start yet because we had a scheduled tour to visit the palace of Versailles! We left the Airbnb at around 8:00 and made our way to a café right next the the meeting point for the tour. Mom and I both ordered french breakfast which consisted of coffee, orange juice and a croissant.
After I finished up my meal, I decided to walk a few blocks to a breadshop to buy a loaf for the ride to Versailles because I figured we would both be hungry by then. Shortly afterward, we met with our tour guide and group and together we walked to the nearby train station to head to Versailles which is a secluded French town outside of Paris.
We got on the train which was very crowded due to all the commuting Parisians. Something fun that happened was two men walked onto the train with a saxophone and accordion and began playing. There was an elderly woman sitting next to us and she only spoke french but she said “Mamma mia” as in why must we listen to these two men play on a crowded train! Funny enough she tipped the two men after they were done playing and I am fairly certain she told them in French jokingly that they should leave and go play on a different car. It was rather funny.
Soon enough we made it to our stop at Versailles. We met back up with the tour group and stopped at a café for a quiche to snack on as we walked to the palace. Below are some of our first views of the magnificent structure built by King Louis XIV because before his father had a hunting lodge built there.
It was quite a spectacular sight! The tour began with a walk through the royal gardens which by themselves are an incredible sight to see. Our guide told us that the gardens were on of King Louis’ favorite parts of the palace and its property. She explained the importance at the time of showing that you had control over nature, therefore the gardens are very well maintained and the trees/shrubs are cut in specific patterns or shapes. Not the mention the gardens are home to many man-made lakes which were created by hand and shovel! As well as various greek statues.
We also got to see the various beautiful fountains of the area. Unfortunately, we were unable to see them with the water turned on because they only do this a few times a week because there are so many fountains that turning them all on would drain the entire reservoir in 2 hours!
One could say that king Louis XIV was a bit pompous and full of himself. He gained the nickname The Sun King because he felt a strong connection to the God of the sun Apollo. In fact, it was interesting to learn about the metaphors that represented his role as this grand and powerful king. For instance, the palace would grow oranges in the winter which was out of season and demonstrated how the king had the ability to manipulate the growing seasons and quite literally brought the sun to the plants.
After touring the beautiful garden area, we made our way to the entrance of the palace. Our tour guide set us up with audio guides and set us on our way! It is hard to describe the extravagance and incredible decoration in the palace of Versailles. I will insert lots of pictures below. My favorite part was definitely the hall of mirrors which was incredible for its time because mirrors were very expensive and to have an entire wall dedicated to them further exemplified the wealth of the king.
After the tour of the palace, my mom and I were both feeling pretty hungry and we decided to splurge a little and have lunch in the palace. It was quite decadent! The head chef of the restaurant is one of the most well known in France. Mom and I particularly enjoyed the hot chocolate that we drank for dessert. It was almost like drinking a liquid chocolate candy bar.
I also had a nice time chatting with the couple sitting next to our table as they were speaking Spanish and we conversed a bit about their home in Chile and their travels around Paris. It definitely made me mix Spain a little bit more because I haven’t been using my Spanish as much these past few weeks.
After our lunch, mom and I walked through the gardens more and also took a short trail to visit the home of Marie Antoinette. She stayed in the house when she wanted an escape from royal life and from her husband whom she had an arranged marriage with. The decoration of her home was definitely more girly and different than that of the royal palace.
After our walk we made our way back to the train station to head back to Paris. We got off the train at a stop close to the Eiffel tower and stopped at an italian restaurant for drinks and appetizers.
After dinner we returned back to the Airbnb and soon fell asleep!
Worry less and smile more.