June 8, 2016

What to Do When Visiting Versailles

Today I'm recapping our FABULOUS bike tour through Versailles! The wonderful and AMAZING Kristen wrote about her Fat Tire bike ride last summer and when we added Versailles to our itinerary I KNEW this was the perfect way to see the palace and gardens. So, thanks Kristen, you rock!
Our morning was anything but smooth as we realized late last night the tour started in Paris and not in Versailles as we anticipated. It was a bit of a scramble trying to figure out the best (and cheapest) way into the city and Le Husband came in clutch with the metro train.
It was a much earlier morning than originally anticipated and the simple train instructors turned much more complicated when the station map did not match the online version. With our fingers crossed and a prayer we hopped on a train and made it to the designated stop. It was another 15 minute walk to the shop and WOULDNT YOU KNOW our first activity as a group was to walk to the metro to train back to Versailles…. DOH!!! 
 
We made the best of it and can now laugh at oops. Especially when we found out another group did the same thing. The craziness in the morning prevented the normal espresso so when we had a brief moment waiting for others in our group I caved in and bought an espresso from Starbucks. #sellout I know but caffeine is caffeine! 
Once we arrived at the bike shop we tried out our bikes, realized two people hadn’t ridden one before and once they left it was off to the market for our lunch supplies. Our guide was awesome and biking the streets of Versailles was quite an adventure.  
The market was HUGE and full of delicious vendors. We bought baguettes, cheese, salami (the only kind I’ve ever enjoyed) and a bottle of wine. 
  
After everyone bought their supplies we headed to the back end of the garden, also known as the Queen’s enterance. The clouds stayed with us all day so it was a bit cool, but my coat did its job keeping the chill out. We started our first walk around the grounds in Marie Antoinette's Peaseant Garden. I had NEVER heard of these gardens before the tour, have any of you? Apparently, she hated French court life and wanted to know what it was like to be a poor peasant so she had a fake little village built in the garden. Many of the guards were ordered to pretend to be peasants and dressed up in costumes to amuse the queen. It was fun to explore the grounds and we also were able to visit the the Pavilion of Love Marie had created after her children were born. 
    
Once exploring was done we biked around to another part of the garden which was home to the Grand Canals. Here we all enjoyed a picnic lunch with just the lightest of a sprinkle. It was fun getting to know the people in our tour and to speak English and be fully understood.    
When lunch was over we ended the bike tour back at the shop and then walked back to the front of the palace. Part of the tour included cut the line passes which everyone raves about but with the cloudy weather it seems most people were visiting other parts of the city. 
This palace is insane! The opulence, the extravagance and the decadence are indescribable. Gold and luxury dripped from every corner of every room, taking the word excess to a whole other level.   
  
The weather was threatening and our energy waning, so we did a quick tour through the gardens. Sadly quite a few fountains were out of order so we didn’t get the FULL effect, but the grounds were still quite beautiful!
   
We snapped one last picture by the beautiful gold (none chipped off, drat) then walked the half mile back to our hotel. Even though the biking was at an easy pace we covered quite a bit of ground and were tired after such a full day.
  
Dinner was more about speed and efficiency today but we still ate well!  
  
  
  
I'm so grateful we weren't rained on during the tour because it could have made the day a drastically different experience. The bike tour was so much fun and I really enjoyed seeing extra parts of the gardens we normally wouldn't have even inspected. Thanks again for the suggestion, Kristen! My next recap will be all about our wonderful time in Paris. 
Have you ever been to Versailles? What was your favorite part? 

24 comments:

Kathy@MoreCoffeeLessTalky said...

i swear, europe has the most beautiful architecture...aren't those frescos breathtaking?! i haven't been to versailles but the buildings all over italy and other parts of france are like this - gorgeous and amazing.

Elle Sees said...

This is such a fun idea! I want to do this the next time I am there. I love Versailles!

kerri @ cheshire kat said...

gorg! and the palace is just breathtaking. also i'm distracted by all the good food you have there. wow yum! too funny about the beginning of your tour but at least you solved it and got on your way in time :)

xoxo cheshire kat

Kristen @ See You In A Porridge said...

i can't tell you how happy i am that you enjoyed it! i was SO worried haha. i hate to recommend things because i'm worried they won't be as good as i thought hahaha. i can't believe people booked that tour without ever having ridden a bike before?! like you said, it is a leisurely pace but it's no joke. it was a long day! I knew that it left from Paris, I'm sorry about that snafu! I don't know why they don't offer the ability to meet in Versailles, especially since they pick up bikes there. It's weird. Anyway, I'm so glad you enjoyed it, the weather held out, the food was good (I think we had and enjoyed salami there as well!) and the crowds weren't too bad. Great pictures!!

Brianne said...

A bike tour sounds like so much fun! When I get back to Europe I'm doing it for sure! Oddly enough it was the picture of your lunch that made me miss Europe the most. I miss being in Germany/Switzerland & waking up to have deli meats, cheeses, & bread every morning. Doing it here just isn't the same ha.

Jessi @ Jessi's Design said...

Oh my gosh these photos! I went too but I was 18 and so young! I want to go back so badly!

Marie said...

What a fun day. I didn't get to visit Versailles when I was in Paris but am planning to on my next trip. Bookmarking this for future reference. I would love to do a bike tour such as this.

Jessica (The Newly) said...

Oh my gosh, amazing. I mean honestly, there are no words to really respond to the beauty that you were able to see and experience. The ceiling? The chandeliers? The golden gate? Just wow. I can't even imagine that a place so opulent - and so HUGE - was ever someone's home. So crazy. Even your food looks amazing:) Hope to be able to see it all in person someday myself!

Jen said...

That sounds like so much fun!! I would definitely want to do this.

Pamela {Sequins and Sea Breezes} said...

Versailles was the one place in Paris I really wanted to go and didn't make it to. I definitely need to go back there and check it out! SO gorgeous! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

Brittany said...

That looks like so many ch fun! We just booked our honeymoon and half of it will be in France so I'm definitely adding this to our itinerary.

Christina Lea Loves said...

What an experience - this just looks fabulous! And that pasta looks ah-mazing!

Ashley Brickner said...

These photos are amazing!

Emily said...

Oi what a rough start but glad you guys made it all happen despite the mad rush. i'm sure it's super confusing taking public transport. Looks like it was a successful scenic tour with delicious nibbles for lunch.

Kate at Green Fashionista said...

Caffeine is definitely caffeine, especially after a rocky start to the day. Looks like such an amazing tour, oh to be biking through France with bread, wine, and cheese in your basket. Perfection <3
Green Fashionista

Veronica-VeroSays! said...

Seriously? It looks like you had a great time! Glad it got better! Paris is definitely on my must visit list! There's actually a ton of places on that list haha

Carly Blogs Here said...

I can't even imagine seeing this in person- so, so, so beautiful! If I'm ever lucky enough to travel there, I am definitely keeping a bike tour in mind- so cool!

Missy said...

I wish I would have done Versailles when I went, this looks so beautiful! So glad y'all had a great time and it didn't rain! I love the bike tour idea. And your quintessential french picnic supplies. That is what I lived off of when I studied abroad!

Cara (Kindly Unspoken) said...

That photo of you jumping is epic! Ya'll don't look touristy at all, you look like you could live there! ;)

Nikki @ makeupHER said...

That looks so beautiful and that palace, woah!! I had no idea about Marie Antoinette, so neat! Sounds like you guys covered quite a lot of ground on the bikes and that baguette, cheese and wine sound much deserved!

Katie Elizabeth said...

Seriously so gorgeous! And I bet the pictures don't even do it justice, it's amazing. Love your picnic, yum!

Ashley Greenwell said...

We didn’t get to make it to Versailles and I really want to visit it on a future trip! The grounds look stunning!

Foxy's Domestic Side said...

Love that jumping picture, cause who doesn't do a jumping picture when in a pretty garden :) What a great picnic lunch and biking everywhere, so fun!

Sara Elizabeth said...

You nailed the jump!! That pasta looks so tasty too!! We haven't made it to Versailles yet, but I love the idea of doing a biking tour!! I did one in Cophenhagen and it's still one of my favorite things I've done!