Palace of Versailles: 5 January 2017

What a great day to visit Versailles! The weather forecast predicted sun all day and I was all for it. Still a little cold, but I’m getting used to that now.

Traveling to the Palace of Versailles is not straight-forward. It is about 18 km outside of central Paris and there are no direct Metro lines. However, the RER (local train) will get you to the town located near Versailles and private bus companies will get you there – for a price. I decided to try the RER. (55 Euros vs. 7 Euros)

When I arrived at the nearest RER station (next to the Eiffel Tower), I needed a little help purchasing the correct ticket for the trip and the information clerk at the station helped me out. Then, some young women confirmed which train to get on – so I was now on my way. (This process took about 30 minutes from when I left the hotel.)

It took around 20 minutes to get there, considering there were at least 10 stops along the way. Once off the train, it wasn’t too difficult to tell where to go since everyone at the stop was headed to the same place. Just follow the crowd.

At last. There it was. I knew that the palace was going to be big, but this was more that expected. You can’t imagine the scale of the place. It makes anything that I saw in the UK look like a cottage compared to Versailles.

The line to get in was long, but only 20 minutes to actually get inside where it was warm, then another 10 to get through security and have the audio tour assigned. Considering that this was the 5th day of January, there was a fairly large number of visitors and can’t imaging what it would be like during the summer.

Welcoming us to Versailles was King XIV himself in bronze.

The line to get into through the first security check point only took a few minutes. (Below)

Then we were in the Honor Courtyard. Vast! I took pictures from several directions because I couldn’t get everything into one picture.

The palace chapel is located in the center of this picture below.

The cobble stones were large as you can see when you compare to my big foot. Can be difficult to walk on – depends on your shoe.

The building at the center of the picture below was added only to give the buildings facing the courtyard symmetry.

Once inside, we went through a series of rooms – some with furniture and others with exhibits. I included some pictures of these rooms below. The first picture is a look inside the palace chapel.

 

One of the high points of the tour was the Hall of Mirrors. Of all of the rooms, this one was designed well from top to bottom. Maybe a little over the top with the gold gilding, mirrors, chandeliers, and painted ceiling – still, it is a perfect use of the space. Took several pictures to capture what I saw.

Below is the view from Louis XIV’s bedroom. It faces towards the east (he was known as the “Sun King”) so he could be welcomed by the sun each morning.

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There is a room that has these giant paintings, one after another, on both sides of the room. The one below was of Washington at Yorktown.

After the inside tour completed, I was able to get outside an see the grounds. I only walked around the grounds around the palace, but could see how they went on for a mile or so beyond.

Below is the outside view up to the Hall of Mirrors.

Hey, looks like Paddington Bear was at Versailles too.

The train back was easy. Thanks to the help I received at the beginning of the day, I was prepared to board the train on schedule.

Walked over 21,000 steps today. Boy that nap felt good when I got back to my room.

Then later, I went for a walk and took some pictures and a video of the tower.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNwX_bKUKfE

Tomorrow I leave for Zurich. Switzerland, here I come!

 

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