Daydreaming in Versailles – A Day Trip from Paris

“Crazy tourists! Why did they all decide to come to Versailles at the same time?”

“When do you want to go back to Paris?”

“I’m tired! How long do you want to continue walking?”

“What’s there to see anyways? I don’t think palaces are really that interesting anymore! No, they are in fact BORING!”

“How many pictures do you need to take with that camera?!”

Ah, the sweet sound of the disgruntled and cranky spouse.

A whirlwind overseas trip would not be complete without at least one conspicuous sighting of the not-so-mythical creature.  Fortunately for me, the romance and grandeur of Versailles coupled with the unexpected gift of spectacular weather was enough to quell even the most disparaging comments from Mr. Travelbypoints, world-traveler extraordinaire.

No, dear readers, lest you think a trip to Paris is all honey and roses and romantic midnight strolls in the shadows of the Eiffel Tower, I am here to disabuse you of that notion – stat. Whirlwind travel is hard work and tiring.  And casualties of temper and countenance are to be expected.

So what to do when the spirit of the cranky traveler chooses to make an appearance during an otherwise delightful day?

Focus on the beauty around you and let all the other quibbles fall by the wayside.

Which is what I did as I cast a blind eye on my husband’s smooched up face and dragged him along on our very own haphazard tour of the luscious grounds of Versailles. Despite all the traffic centered on the main palace, the true Pièce de résistance  can actually be found in the charming nooks and crannies of Marie Antoinette’s playground and along the dirt trails of the extensive country estate.

We spent a delightful afternoon getting lost and then found and then lost again before finally calling it a day – feet weary from a full day of walking and spirit  slightly delirious from soaking in all the beauty and light from an afternoon of carefree exploration.

If you have a chance to take a day trip to Versailles as part of your Paris trip, don’t miss it.  The experience you will have is worth putting up with even the crankiest fellow traveler!

Here are some highlights from our afternoon wanderings:

Main Palace at Versailles

Manicured Gardens and Lake

Towering wall of trees en route to the Queen’s Estate

Water, Sky and a delightful palate of colors

Pedestrians and bikers enjoying the beautiful day…

Scenic stroll along the water’s edge…

Cobblestone path to the mini palaces

Royal chamber in the Grand Trianon

The Petit Trianon – the Queen’s private residence

View of one of Marie Antoinette’s playrooms…

Getting lost along one of many dirt paths…

Marie Antoinette’s Country Hamlet – Her Make Believe Farming Village

Another view of the Hamlet

Almost time to head back to Paris…

Contemplating Cupid in the Temple of Love (built to be viewable from the Queen’s bedroom in the Petit Trianon)

Stroll back to the main palace…

Grand Trianon fades in the distance…

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  • Artkorapin

    Great pictures, I could feel that you really enjoyed Versailles.

    • http://www.travelwhimsy.com/ Prana

      Thanks! It was the perfect cap to our Paris trip.

  • http://www.laviajeramorena.com/ Chanel @ La Viajera Morena

    Absolutely gorgeous, and it looks nearly empty! I am going to definitely be making a trip to Versailles during my trip :D

    • http://www.travelwhimsy.com/ Prana

      Thanks – we were blessed with beautiful weather and sparse crowds (once you get past the main palace). Have a great trip!