On Tuesday we exhausted ourselves by taking the train out to the Palace of Versailles and touring the extensive grounds. I was particularly proud of myself because I had snagged us 2 for 1 admission through the Versailles website, so it was only 18 Euros instead of 36 (which really would have hurt to dole out, especially since I’d been here before). Though it was a Tuesday, the place was PACKED, and it was our first real taste of tourist bottleneck. We were actually kind of shocked, since we’ve been spoiled and had most sights relatively to ourselves on this trip. Usually I am able to crop other people out of pictures entirely, which lead my Uncle Nick to ask if there were ever any people around when we went sightseeing. Not the case with Versailles, as you will see.
We made it through the maze of tour groups to see the palace bedrooms, Hall of Mirrors and various grand drawing rooms and artwork, and then escaped the throngs by heading out into the gardens. We ate lunch and trekked down to the Grand Trianon (and pet a kitty on the way), and then to Marie Antoinette’s personal estate at the Petit Trianon. She chose to escape the rigors of court life in the palace by retreating down to her very own peasant village and farm. I’ll let that sink in. Remember, she was the one who is most historically credited with not understanding the plight of the impoverished French citizens…while she was literally playing at being a French peasant on her private acreage of an enormous palace. That lady was nothing if not consistently out of touch with the real world.
Still, her little farm was the most interesting part of Versailles for us, and we saw the fattest pig I have ever seen in my life, so that’s something.