I woke up this morning on a mission–I was finally going to see the largest palace in Europe. Since we had already previewed the Chateau while it was closed the day previously, we knew exactly when and where to drive, park, and stop for a quick cafe’.
So I was finally able to taste my first French coffee–cafe creme–and I was not disappointed. It was lighter than I had imagined, I was always told espresso in Europe was thicker, but it was smooth and perfect in every way (Just like Mary Poppins). One thing I’ve noticed, in France, is that coffee seems to be served with a mint on the side which is BRILLIANT. I have an irrational fear that my breath would resemble coffee so much that people would write about it in a suggestion box like they did for Michael Scott in The Office. I will find a way to carry on this tradition back home.
After that I ordered a plain omelette with a side salad. Sounds boring, but it was actually pretty fulfilling while also being light and fluffy. Really makes you reconsider the American standard bacon, sausage, hash browns, and grease plate. There was also a gentleman sitting across from us who was busy typing away on his Mac while his yellow lab hung out under the table at his feet (Dogs seem to be allowed almost anywhere). His pup was super cute and started to get a bit restless. I’m sure the dog didn’t understand English, but he seemed to respond to “Hey Boo Boo” and “Puppy Cutie” as he came to our table and sat politely staring. His owner got a little sheepish about it and packed up to leave with a friendly wave to us as Mister Doo Doo Tail reluctantly followed.
We were now ready to head to Chateau Versailles. The first thing you’re greeted with is a large statue of Louis XIV, also known as The Sun King, credited with being the main architect for much of Versailles. I didn’t snap a shot of this because I prefer to think of Louis as the dear Alan Rickman in the film A Little Chaos. Be right back, I’m still crying about that closing shot. Okay. The ground floor consists of the majority of the palace tour–unless we had access to areas we weren’t aware of further up or in, we don’t know because it was PACKED there. I actually don’t have much in the way of pictures to share because of how many people there were everywhere. I decided to visualize and take in what I could without trying to wrestle with a decent shot. Much of the main floor as been turned into a gallery to tour with spots intended for audio listeners to watch brief history bits of the palace. A lot of the information shared in the audio videos was, in my opinion, common knowledge. I was a bit diasspointed there wasn’t any scandilizing tidbits I hadn’t come across yet. I bought a book from the gift store that will hopefully be more interesting and I’ll update my blog when I return home accordingly since I don’t have much to share aside from the tourist experience.
My favorite part of Versailles was the sprawling gardens and outdoor portion of the estate. We had purchased a passport so that we could go explore Marie Antoninette’s estate which resided past the main gardens and Trianon and nestled somewhere near her hamlet and farm area. To get there, you have to either pay to walk through the gardens or go back around the street and through the city part of Versailles until you find the gate leading straight through. So we walked. AND WALKED.
We eventually made it to the Trianon Palace which, post French Revolution became renovated living apartments for Emperor Napoleon and his Empress Marie-Louise and now houses a modern exhibit for De Gaulle. Now, we TRIED to find Marie Antoniette’s estate–asked for directions 3 separate times, constalted every map, and walked for nearly 2 hours in the gardens alone but without signs pointing us the right way, we just couldn’t find it. We ended up giving up on the poor Austrian princess. My dear Marie, how I wanted to see where you partied. Au Revoir and hopefully next time my petite cake.