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August 10th 2013
Published: August 12th 2013
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Crowd at Chateau de Versailles.
Day three in Paris and we headed off to the Chateau de Versailles as planned. We did our homework and between the internet and the hotel concierge we worked out which train we would need to catch to get to Versailles. All good except when we got to the station at Musee d'Orsay it was closed . . . for maintenance works. Awesome. Our good fortune was an Australian passer by who must have heard our accents and seen our forlorn faces. He suggested we walk to the next station at Invalides which, although some distance away, would deliver us to Versaille without having to change trains. So, weary from the previous two days of trekking around Paris, off we went. The station was an experience all of its own. There were ticket machines everywhere and plenty of information . . . all in French. Now we're not talking a choice between two or three lines here. It's not as simple as a choice between the Fremantle and Midland line. Looking at the rail map is a bit like trying to find a needle in a haystack. The information booth? Unattended. Down the escalators to try and locate a rail official
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Chateau de Versailles
and yes they are there but . . . behind the gates that you need a ticket to get through. Back up the escalators and now the information booth is attended. Tickets at last!

The trip from Paris to Versailles takes around 30 minutes and was a good opportunity to see suburban Paris and a little of the French countryside. Suburban Paris is all about old high rise apartments, bleak and grey, but when you reach the reach the outskirts of Paris it is quite different with pretty picture book cottages and beautiful gardens. Just gorgeous.

The walk from the Versailles train station to the Chateau was short. We were not prepared for what we saw when we got there. No, not the magnificence of the Palace but the sea of people in front of us . . . literally thousands. As we approached the ticket booth advised that they would not be selling any more tickets that day. Thank goodness we had pre-booked our tickets online! We were advised that, in spite of having tickets, the wait to get into the Palace would be two to two and a half hours but that there would be very
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Inside Chateau de Versailles.
little wait to get into the Palace Gardens and Marie Antoinette's Estate. The gardens cover 800 hectares and it felt like we walked every one of them. It is not possible to describe the beauty of the gardens but hopefully the photos will give you some idea. Marie Antoinette's Estate is equally beautiful, a small palace in itself.

We left lining up for the Palace as late as possible hoping that the line would have shortened and that the wait would not be too long. It took 50 minutes which, in the scheme of things, we didn't think was too bad. The Palace is 67,000 square metres in size and has 2,300 rooms. We're not sure how many are open to the public. We saw them all and calculate no more than about 50 and that took over an hour which should give you some idea of the size of the Palace. Everything about the Palace screams opulence and excess, the size, the decor, the furniture, the paintings . . . everything. It is beautiful but the extravagance makes it almost ugly especially given that the French were amongst the most impoverished in Europe at the time French Royalty
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Inside Chateau de Versailles
were in residence. No wonder the French Revolution!


Additional photos below
Photos: 9, Displayed: 9



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Inside Chateau of Versailles
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Marie Antoinette's Estate
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Gardens of Versailles
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Gardens of Versailles.
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Gardens of Versailles


13th August 2013

Versailles
Great to hear all about Versailles, as we didn't make it there. What a trek.... looks like it was worth the pain though. I'll bet you're exhausted. Can't believe what you've crammed into a few days! XX
13th August 2013
Versailles

Gorgeous Pics Henny!
I love the Chateau de Versailles and the gardens are stunning. Wouldn't like to do the weeding there! Sounds like you are having a lovely time. Take care. Rose x

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