Monday, May 18, 2015

Day 3-- Versailles & the Champes-Elysees

On the third day we took a train to the Palace of Versailles, which was beautiful, but overwhelming since there was so much to see.

Louis III first purchased a chateau here to be a hunting lodge, but Louis IV, the Sun King, expanded the chateau into the royal palace in the late 1600s, even moving the court to Versailles.

As I'm sure you could imagine from the impressive (and gold gilded) exterior, the palace had huge magnificent rooms.

One of the first rooms we saw when we started the tour was the Royal Chapel below.

The next notable room, the Hercules salon, connects the chapel to the grand appartement du roi (grand apartments of the king)).

Each room in the king's apartments were named for a Roman god or goddess:

(ceiling of the Venus salon, the statute at the bottom is of King Louis IV dressed as a Roman General)

(Mercury Salon, which served as the King's bedchamber)

 (Ceiling of the Apollo salon, the throne room of the king)

(Louis XIV in the Salon de la guerre (War Salon))

Perhaps the most impressive (and most well known) room in the Palace is the Hall of Mirrors, which served as a passageway for courtiers:

King Louis XIV later moved the kings bedchamber to be off of the Hall of Mirrors.

(King's bedchamber)

(Queen's bedchamber)

After finishing our trek through the royal apartments, we crossed over into the Museum of the History of France, founded at Versailles in the 1800s.

(Hall of the Battles)

(Sculptures of notable French persons)

After finishing the Palace tour, we started on the grounds, which were very extensive.  Sadly, we didn't get to see all the gardens--they were huge!  Here are a few highlights:

(Looking out at the Grand canal)

We stopped for a quick crepe lunch at an outdoor café in the gardens before continuing on our way.

One pool had a water show to classical music.  We sat on the grass and watched it for a bit, which was a nice little break before continuing on.

(la Colonnade)
Versailles is famous for its beautiful fountains, but sadly, only the one with the water show was on:

 (Side view of the Apollo Fountain)

The Apollo fountain is in front of the Grand Canal, where were started the third part of our journey.  There are also two additional houses--the Grand Trianon (built for Louis XIV's mistress) and the Petit Trianon (originally built by Madame de Pompadour, a mistress of Louis XV),--the grounds of Versailles. Our next stop was the Grand Trianon.

Notably, Napoleon choose to make the Grand Trianon one of his residences instead of residing in the Palace. 

 The Grand Trianon is made up of two buildings separated by a walkway. 

From the Grand Trianon, we walked down to the Petit Trianon.

The house even had a display of some Marie Antoinette's china.

The gardens around the Petit Trianon were lovely:

There was even a little chapel near the property.

There was yet one more area that we visited at Versailles--the nearby Hamlet, built by Marie Antoinette to be her a fantasy peasant village, with a mill, a couple of houses, a tower, and a working farm (even to today), to serve as a place where she could escape from the pressures of being queen.


The farm had the usual cows, goats, and chickens, but also had bunnies and albino peacocks. 

We headed back towards the Palace of Versailles passing by a bit more of the gardens.

(We stopped and got some sorbet, mine banana, to snack on as we walked along)

After taking the train back to Paris, we rested in the hotel before heading back out to the Champes de Elysees, which we explored a little until we reached the Arc de Triomphe. 

 284 steps later, we were on the top. 
After coming back down, we walked along the Champes de Elysees,

before stopping for dinner at a bistro.

This was my first "real' French meal--beef bourgeon.  It was both good and under 20 euro, which I thought was a pretty impressive buy.


  1. Another interesting post, Carrie. My son who visited Paris a couple of times, claims there is nothing like French food. An experience, he said. You surely had a fabulous trip!


  2. I have actually made Julia Child's recipe and the plate you were served looks deliciously like it. I am amazed at all these wonderful photos!

  3. I got tired just reading through this, haha. This was our record day for walking-- according to my pedometer, we covered just over 13 miles! And you probably had a bit more than I did, as you went and found the chapel near the Petit Trianon while I parked myself on a bench, haha. :-P. Thanks for including the photo of the chapel, though, so I can pretend I was there and saw it in person! Also, I feel like we went in and out of the Petit Trianon at least three different times, LOL.

    We also climbed 61 flights of stairs...oops. :-D

    Also, I just realized that I never got around to ordering beef bourguignon! Bummer. :( :(

    1. I use too many emoticons, haha.

  4. The palaces are magnificent, but I think I'd rather live in the cute little cottages (like the one with the light house beside it?) in the nearby Hamlet.

    I'm always a fan of food pictures, especially international cuisine! Hee.


Thank you so much for your comment! I hope you have a wonderful day :)