Individual Days - Post-Tour

Versailles

October 1, 2023

Rise and Shine! Today we took a trip outside of Paris. We started with a great breakfast at our hotel and headed to the train station. We just about had the platform to ourselves.

We took the train from Paris to Versailles to visit the Palace of Versailles. Our reservation time to tour the palace was right when it opened.

Today’s theme is going to be opulence covered in gold!! Just look at the gate separating the Honor and Royal Courtyards.

Statue of Louis XIV by Pierre Cartellier

We walked through the Hall of Mirrors, State Apartments, Louis XIV Rooms, and Royal Chapel.

Royal Chapel
Mercury Room
Hall of Mirrors
Queen's Chambers

Due to water conservation, the fountains no longer run continuously. Some do not run at all. We were fortunate to time it so that we saw several of the fountains running. We visited Versailles during the Musical Fountain Show which meant fountains were timed to coincide with baroque music from the time of King XIV. As we walked through the groves and pathways through trees, we could hear the music. Although recorded, it was possible to imagine what life would have been like at that time for the rich and famous. Live orchestras would have played for the pleasure of royalty.

The Orangery
South Parterre
Latona's Fountain
Bacchus Fountain
Colonnade Grove - Abduction of Proserpina by François Girardon
Grove of Enceladus
Saturn Fountain
Mirror Fountain and Pool

La Petite Venise offered outdoor seating for lunch. We ordered assorted meat and cheese plates. It was so good! After this quick stop, we were ready to continue walking toward the Grand and Petit Trianons and Queen’s Hamlet.

We walked around the exterior of the Queen’s Hamlet, Petite Trianon, and Grand Trianon. The Queen’s Hamlet was built for Marie Antoinette. She wanted a rustic retreat for her and her closest friends to relax and party. It was designed to be like a little village with a barn, mill, garden, and tower, but without the commoners.

Temple of Love
Boudoir
Queen's Hamlet
Petit Trianon
Buffet D'Eau / Grand Trianon Gardens
Grand Trianon

As we walked back to the train station, we ran into a couple from our tour group. Such a small world.

Montparnasse Tower

Arrived back to Paris before sunset so we could go up to the observation deck and terrace of the Montparnasse Tower. We were able to watch the sun set over the city of Paris and watch the Eiffel Tower twinkle at dusk. While this was another opportunity for us to take in the views of the city, I wouldn’t recommend it as there are better places that aren’t as crowded or noisy.

Les Fauves

For dinner, we ate at Les Fauves. I thought I would try a new drink, so I ordered a St. Germain spritz. Move over, Aperol, there’s a new aperitif in town.

We started with an antipasti platter (sweet potato hummus, tzatziki, guacamole, feta and pepper chipas, pita bread). For our main course, Mark ordered Swordfish Carpaccio (miso sauce and assorted oil condiments) with a mesclun and fennel salad. I selected the Les Landes Duck with tangy plum and pomegranate sauce and butternut mousseline. I think I only have had duck once before and didn’t like it, but since this was one of their specialties, I gave it a try. It was amazing!

We walked 13.1 miles today.

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