How to spend butt loads of money for 200 years....
Trip Start Sep 23, 2009
12Trip End Oct 04, 2009
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So, we started off with a stroll across the street from our hotel to get 2 freshly made croissants.
We jumped on a combination of RER trains and the metro and made it to Versailles by 10:30am. We then did what we do best and walked the other direction of the crowds. We wanted to find a famous open air market and we did. It was amazing to see all the fresh foods and everyone haggling in French. We found a nice little deli area and bought a fresh baguette sandwich, drink, and some caramel creme dessert.
We packed it up and went to check out the main palace. Mike at the main entrance:
We decided not to pay the extra money to go inside as we saw some amazing stuff in Windsor Castle and we knew we would be exploring other areas of the compound. We took our pics, strolled along the gardens and waterways and took this shot before lunch:
Lunch was on a bench overlooking a fountain. It was very nice but Harmony was pretty cold with the lack of sun and wind blowing.
So, now is the time for the question and answer session. When you think of an in law apartment or a guest house, you usually think of something small attached to your house or, if you are really rich you can convert the pool shed to a guest house.
Well, this King decides the massive palace isn't good enough for him. It's holds/sleeps/feeds 20,000 people but he needs something else. He decides to build a guest house for himself. A little old thing really. Something called the Grand Trianon. Yeah, its another palace but much smaller than the Obnoxious Trianon or whatever the hell they call that thing lumbering in the distance.
And where is this "guest house". Just a brisk 1.5 mile walk over yonder. Golly gee, this will be swell! We walked for a while but sometimes we walked along straight roads with perfectly shaped trees which was cool:
So, we get there and see that it is definitely opulent and very nice. Man, just look at the guys bedroom?
Yes, that is gold.
How about the "breezeway"?
Yeah, marble as far as the eye could see.
His gardens were very nice indeed. This may be why the queen (Marie Antoinette) kicked everyone out of there and made it her own.
It was off to the Petit Trianon next which was a smaller one build for Marie Antoinette. It was very quaint in a "hey, I make a trillion dollars a year and I want to buy a football team, a NASCAR track, and a yellow elephant. Can you make that happen?" Man, the place was huge and there was crap everywhere. Gold laced this, marble that, whatever.... The stair case was cool:
Then we are told you can go stroll the gardens. For me this means walking into my yard in flip flops, taking ~50 total steps, looking at a cucumber or maybe a sunflower and then call it a day. For them this means walking 10s of miles through endless gardens with hundreds of statues, etc, etc. We choose a unique batch that only gave us what we wanted. We found the statue of love:
Then we kept strolling because we heard this story that Marie Antoinette got bored with even the two Trianons so now she needed a retreat of her own. She hires a well known architect and painter and tells them to design a life size village like she remembers in Normandy France. Well, they succeeded. This place is unreal and pictures do not do it justice. It is like the Wizard of Oz meets Charlie and The Chocolate Factory which then both get Disneyfied. Yeah, it's that cool. I mean, tell me these buildings don't look like they came right out of Fantasyland?
This was our favorite one:
Note that there is a Saint Bernard there because someone lives there. He has to take care of the descendants of all the animals that were originally put back there by Marie Antoinette. There are cows, chickens, peacocks, pigs, donkeys, etc. It's awesome!
You keep walking and you start to smell amazing flowers and even fruit! You may even walk under a blueberry archway allowing you to taste them:
You start to find that these cottages have fully functioning gardens that grow everything from artichokes to chili peppers to pumpkins, etc etc.
The houses themselves are amazing though. This was Marie Antoinette's favorite one:
This was Harmony's favorite:
Here are some very strange fish that would just swim in circles with their mouths open hoping you would feed them:
Now we are back at the palace for some last shots:
Here's a quick video showing the palace and the "back yard":
Here is Harmony at the main gate with the sun shining off the gold.
We were exhausted and figured we walked 10-15 miles easily. We made it through another hour of trains to get back to the city. Then we hunted down another place we wanted to find. Specializes in modern French crepes. Harmony got ham, cheese, and mushrooms which was awesome and Mike got andouills (sausage) which was good. The dessert crepe was insane since it had homemade caramel, homemade whip cream, and bananas.
At this point, we just needed to get back to the room by 8:30 to get the last two blogs done and prepare for our final full day.
We hope you enjoyed it!
-Mike and Harmony
Where I stayed