I went to Versailles two weekends ago with a Frenchman.
He told me he would be fact checking this blog post, so I’ve decided to include an enormous amount of facts and maybe a couple that aren’t true. haha!
Here’s how the day leading up to Versailles went:
#1: I was given the choice of meeting at 8h08 or 8h39 … I think you can guess which one I chose… I am so not a morning person. haha!
#2: The super difficult decision of what to bring to the pique-nique. These things are important!
And then you stay up till 1am cooking in an itty bitty kitchen with one bowl, no tools, and a paring knife. Getting sewing lessons from mi madre over Skype. oh and drinking wine with your bestie because that’s what Saturday nights are made of!
But then you’re up at 7:06AM the next morning rubbing sleep from your eyes thanking the stars that you live close to the train to Versailles. oh and glad there’s no headache involved.
I arrived au pied promptly 3 minutes before Pierre- I think this is the absolute first time I’ve met him and been on time. I was just as surprised as he was. hm or maybe he was late? I conveniently can’t remember. 😉
And we were off!
Here’s some tips for getting to Versailles from Paris:
– Take the RER C – If you have a Navigo, it’s free for you on the weekend. Otherwise it’s about 9 euros and tickets can be bought at the station.
– Look for trains heading to Versailles – Rive Gauche and move to the top of the platform (the train is a short one).
– Take a look at the overhead listing (just like in the airport) to know when the correct train will arrive.
– The trains have names which are noted beside each listing. Our train’s name was Steve! Like Steve Urkel, Stevo, Stevie, or Stephan. 😀
– It takes about 30 minutes to get there.
Plenty of time for you to observe sleeping people, have your bag commented on, and chat with an American seatmate.. who happens to be the same guy that commented on your bag (hm..).
And not yawn! nope! I love early mornings! err
What wasn’t open? The annual ticket pass area aka the ticket I wanted to get. Don’t worry, it opened at 9:15, just 15 minutes late. How normal. haha!
We talked with the the lady you must get past in order to buy tickets. In French. I understood about 50%? I’m getting better!! 😉 It’s only when the topic changes from what I’m expecting in the conversation that I get super lost. Like agreeing to a tour of the private apartments in the chateau. But this was after I correctly understood that I didn’t need an annual pass because I could get in for free, at least for the next two weeks before I turned 27. Donc 50/50- not too shabby.
I would also like to add as a semi-related note that it’s a lot more nerve-racking speaking French to a French person! A lot of it is that I don’t want to make a mistake!
By doing the private tour and paying just 7 euros more, we skipped the massive line outside and got to see what few people do! Une bonne idea! Complete with top-secret headsets to hear the tour guide, even though we were usually the only group in a room at a time… haha! I didn’t wear mine. The opera hall! The antique chandeliers along the wall are actually just half-chandeliers, reflecting in a mirror!
Our tour guide.
This very cool clock that still tells the time and date (month, day, and year!) accurately until year 9999, and shows the rotation of all the planets, except for Pluto. Or maybe Pluto was there, I didn’t look too closely. nahh!
Then we did a bit of fast walking through the chateau because we were starving! And saw several short beds with ostrich plumes that would have been perfect for a nap. Beautiful doorways. And lots of gold embellishments.
Guess what I forgot? dun dun dun.. the bread. For the second time! I shall never be trusted with this ever again.
But it’s ok sandwich fixings can be eaten by their lonesome along with Croustades aux champignons and chocolate-sea salt caramel cookies. 😀
Mom- you’d be impressed, I ate cherry tomatoes! and they were good! gasp!
Then we wandered through the gardens sans map and nap- which is definitely the way to go. No stress! (a nap would have been good though- what? 7am is early! Scratch that, 7:06 is early!) and we discovered about 3 different gardens we’d never seen before!
I got orange juice at one of the two stands in the garden and a line promptly formed behind the one we went too, while the other remained completely free. haha! We were shooed off the grass. And helped three different sets of people in English and French. Quite multi-lingual we are. He just needs to brush up on his Japanese, because I have German, Spanish, and Italian covered, and we would be able to help all nationalities.
Ready to be impressed?
Ich ban ick en rosa kuh flecken!
aka. The only phrase I know in German besides Gesundheit, which means I would like a pink cow with spots! Useful in all situations.
My Italian is even better.
Then we headed back to Paris!
It was one of those days where you head home completely exhausted but with a smile on your face, oh and ready to take a nap. or a run- one of those.