People rave about Paris in Spring; well let me tell you Fall doesn’t suck either!!
When traveling through Europe it’s easy to get museum and church overload. Each one is more spectacular than the next, you want to see them all. And then it happens, they all start meshing together until you can’t remember one from the other.
Versailles is a must see when in Paris. On my first visit when I was 17, I did the guided tour; which was great, but years later, ok a lot of years later, my memories have faded. This time I wanted to do something a bit different that I wouldn’t forget.
You can book tours that include your transportation and entry, but the most economical and fastest way to get there is by train. It cost us 7€ and took us approximately 25 minutes.
Upon arrival we decided to skip the long line of tourists waiting to get into the chateau…damn tourists!! Instead we headed for the gardens. I had run out of time on my first visit to see them; so on this visit we decided we would start there.
Our plan was to rent bicycles…yes you can bike through the grounds of Versailles! How fun is that??
Turns out the bike rentals were at the very opposite gate to where we entered, but that was perfectly fine because we wandered through beautifully manicured arches and hedges. The weather was perfect, they had music playing in the gardens; it was magical!
While walking through the gardens, we tried to imagine what it would have looked like with Marie Antoinette and her ladies in waiting prancing around. That is until the sudden smell of pizza washed over us, lol. It was the strangest thing. We got closer to investigate, mostly because we were getting hungry, and behind a tall green hedge was an outdoor canteen. We passed on the pizza, but did get a baguette with ham & cheese and waters; it seemed more French.
We made our way to the bicycle rental area. You can also rent golf carts, but that just seemed super lazy. We places our baguette and waters in our baskets and ring, ring, we tested our bells a few times, and we were off!!
This is by far my favorite thing I have done in Paris. The grounds are beautiful and so big!! This I will remember!
We found a picnic table underneath a tree and had our ham and cheese baguette. Side note, when in France you need to eat a ham and cheese baguette; it sounds boring and plain, but it’s delish! Everything seems to taste better here.
On our way back, we rode past a field of grazing sheep, it was all just so picturesque!
After returning our bicycles and making our way back to the entrance of the château, it was already 4pm. It closes at 6pm; this meant that the long lines were gone as most tourists were gone or leaving. October is also considered offseason and it was a Thursday. If at all possible try to avoid weekends, it’s less busy.
By the time we finished touring the main part and made our way to Marie Antoinette’s wing; most everyone had left. It sort of felt like we had the place to ourselves, which was awesome! And I suspect very rare.
I highly recommend taking Versailles by bicycle! It made it much more than just looking at pretty things, it was fully immersive.
We made it back to Paris where we had yet another amazing meal!!! I recommend trying baked Camembert with honey, it’s to die for!!
To walk off the cheese and bread of the day; we headed to the Eiffel Tower to watch it shimmer. It sparkles & shimmers for 5 minutes on the hour every evening. I don’t imagine this sight ever get old.
Merci for taking the time to read about my Paris adventure!