Yep, we are crazy people and decided to tackle the Louvre & Versailles in the same day! I found out the Louvre was open til 9pm on Friday night and didn’t want to go to Versailles on Saturday, so that was the plan… and it worked! Jeff and I both sat down at dinner that night and went “wow, we got to see a lot of things today”…
I LOVED LOVED LOVED Versailles. It is spectacularly beautiful. Yes ornate and bit over the top, but so inspiring. I loved to see the way they used colors together, the patterns in the wallpapers & fabrics, the trims, the sparkle of the crystal chandeliers… the silks, the golds, the overall creativity of it all. It is magnificent.
Now decorating in this style is not really me nor is it practical for my life now, but I was able to take so many ideas from walking around Versailles. There are so many details there that you can take little bits here and there and apply them to your home. The chapel is the most beautiful baby blue color, which was so complementary of the gold, made me re think my use of nickel & silver in my blue bedroom.. maybe a little “swap out” is in order. I think gold got a bad name in decorating the last few years. I might have to try to incorporate it a bit more.
We toured the Chateau. Once again, so glad to have our museum passes ready. We were able to skip right to the start of the line. After the crowds thinned out a bit we were able to see the Queens & Kings apartments. and thanks again to our Rick Steves audio guides we got a great explanation of everything we were seeing.
The Hall of Mirrors was one of my favorite spots. Talk about a genius decorating idea… in those days before electric lights to have a room with a wall of windows on one side & a wall of mirrors on the other really brought the light in. I can only imagine how the room sparkled at night when all of the crystal chandeliers were lit.
After we toured the chateau we decided to eat lunch before we hit the gardens. The gift shop there was a great spot to get some things to bring back for the kids and I had managed to “knock” out most of our souvenir shopping.
The cafe for lunch just cracked me up! It was in the palace (of course) you picked up your food in a little refrigerated section, then sat down to eat. The room we ate in was beautiful, lined with windows over looking the grounds. And the food….. okay now in the states if you see a sandwich wrapped in plastic, odds are it’s not good… probably soggy lettuce and stale bread… Well not in France! I think it was one of the best sandwiches I ever ate! A crusty french loaf with cooked chicken, tomatoes, lettuce and divine mayonnaise. And dessert… well pastries that looked like you could put them in a magazine & a guy making crepes… I was just laughing to myself… the French know how to do fast food!
We casually made our way down the grounds, the fountains were not working and the statues were covered for the winter, but it was still beautiful! I AM going back there again, in the spring or summer to see the gardens in full bloom.
It was about this point that I asked Jeff “Where’s our bag?”…. he says “what bag?’ I say “the bag with our souvenirs in it?”…. a look of panic goes over both of our faces and we realize we left it at lunch! In pickpocket laden Versailles, we left a package of purchases laying around!!!! AUGH…. I was stressed… We were about 15 min walk from the cafe, and realized at this point, either 1-some one took it, or 2-someone turned it in…. Trying to save time, we went on with our walk… I knew if we hiked back up to the cafe, we would not make it back to the gardens again….
We toured the gardens (I’ll get back to that in a second)… Then rushed back to the cafe. I asked the lady if someone turned in package? My French was poor and she didn’t understand English… so I just said “paquet grande perdu”.. her face lit up and she told me to “regarder le manger” or watch the food…
She comes hustling back with our package.. I could not believe it! Someone turned it in. It made my day to know there are honest and good people all over the world.
Now back to the gardens…
I did not realize the gardens at Versailles were sooooo large!!! The weather was cooperating so we decided to rent bikes to get around. Turned out to be a great idea and it felt good to get off our our feet for a little bit.
We biked back to Marie Antoinette’s cottage & village in the back of the grounds…
It did not disappoint.
she had a village built in the back of Versailles to “escape” the conformity of the palace. Before I left I read a book (the Queen of Fashion) about her.. I think she is a fascinating character. I’m glad I read up on the history before visiting.
She spent most of her time in a smaller house out near the village. This is her parlor… LOVE the pink silk drapes!!
After Versailles, we rode the train back to Paris and walked around a bit then went to the Louvre.
but, that’s a post for later…