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Paris, Day 4

Day 4 was dedicated to Versailles.  Before taking the train to Versailles, though, we first had to move all our stuff to the new hotel.  Fortunately, that did not end up taking too long. Breakfast was eaten on the way to Versailles – the madeleines from le Jules Verne and some bread from Eric Kayser.  The train was packed, and we wanted to beat the crowd to the gates of Versailles.  It felt like the Amazing Race when we stepped off the train.  J and I reached the gates ahead of the masses, only to find that there was already a massive number of people in the square.

Snippet of the front gates

Our tour of the palace began with the Royal Chapel, where the king worshipped God, and (essentially), the people worshipped the king.

And then we passed through a series of rooms, all with grand, elaborately painted ceilings, gold gilding, impressive furnishings, and so on.  The rooms wavered between impressive and ostentatious – we could imagine why common Parisians may have wanted “off with the king’s head.”

Beautifully painted ceilings

See how the painted garland becomes part of a sculpture?

View of the gardens from the palace windows

Hall of mirrors

Chandelier

After touring several more rooms, we headed into the gardens.  What an expansive estate – the gardens seemed to go on forever.  By the end of the day, our feet sure were tired.  We happened to visit Versailles on a day when the fountains in the garden were turned on, while classical music flooded the entire outdoor space.  It all felt very…grand.

View of the gardens from the palace

One of many, many fountains

After walking and exploring for a bit, we stopped for a snack.  First we got a spec and brie sandwich (spec is a type of smoked ham).  We ate this while sitting by the Grand Canal, watching ducks and fish swim around.

Spec et brie sandwich

Then, we picked up a sugar crepe.  Not the most amazing crepe that we had in Paris, but still good.  I loved the loads of sugar heaped onto the crepe.

Post refueling, we moved on to le Domaine de Marie Antoinette – the Grand Trianon, the Hamlet, and the Petit Trianon, a series of miniature chateaus and buildings that served as a retreat for the king and queen.

The estate goes on forever!

Marie Antoinette's bed in one of the rooms in the Grand Trianon

le Petit Trianon

Part of the queen's hamlet

Later, we hightailed it back to the main gardens to enjoy the fountains.

View of the palace from the gardens

Le Colonnade

Awhile later, somewhat exhausted, we left to catch the train back to Paris.

Goodbye Versailles!

But we grabbed a snack at McDonalds first.  I wanted to see how McDo’s in Paris differ from those here.

McDo macarons

Vanilla and caramel

The macarons paled in comparison to those that we’d had at Ladurée.  Nothing special, just a sweet snack.

Espresso panna cotta

The espresso panna cotta (basically espresso topped with a mound of whipped cream) was actually pretty good.  The espresso itself was decent, and the whipped cream was sweet and airy.  Jason also ordered a batch of fries, and was quite disappointed.  Not crispy enough.

Upon arriving back in Paris, we biked over the L’as du Fallafel, which is supposedly one of the best falafel places in all of Paris.

Best falafel joint in Paris?

The eggplant was a delicious addition.

Biking around Paris

Later, we decided to bike over to rue St-Michel to try to locate a good creperie.  And we did.

Jambon et fromage (ham and cheese)

Nutella

Buttery, buttery crepes.  So delicious, and so filling.  After these two babies, we were stuffed for the night.

The last stop of the night?  We biked back over to the Louvre because there is a metro stop there.  Before catching the metro back to the hotel, however, we sat outside the Louvre for awhile to watch the sun set over Paris.

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