Our epic French adventure ended with an overnight stay in Versailles before flying back to the States.
Versailles is everything you dream and fear it could be (it’s as crowded with tourists as the Louvre), but the grounds are so expansive, if you take the right turns you’ll find yourself in quiet gardens and pathways. Even lovelier than the grand chateau was Marie Antoinette’s Petite Trianon and Estate – a country oasis still full of grape vines and livestock living an idyllic existence away from the hustle and bustle of the main palace. It actually makes you feel a bit sorry for the famously beheaded queen – as its rustic design and graceful grasps at tranquility render it clear that poor Marie was in way over her head and simply wanted to escape the madness of the royal court. It makes for a beautiful walk (the hidden grotto is especially hidden) that was a perfect way to end our epic tour.
The Spin’s Versailles Fun Tips:
- On the main palace grounds is a recently vandalized and closed-off sculpture (of immense size) from Anish Kapoor that, I kid you not, was originally described by Kapoor as “The Queen’s Vagina!”
- Versailles is more than just the gargantuan palace grounds – it’s also a splendid Parisian suburb you can walk to from the palatial hotels/resorts that boast far more reasonably priced restaurants. Exhausted (and in a light evening rain) we fell into a lovely and casual Chinese restaurant (Le Canard D’Or at 30 Bis Rue des Réservoirs) where we enjoyed decent food and wine and overheard a wedding rehearsal party go through a parade of touching speeches in French – I think I understood about 33% of it – and it made for a perfectly unexpected and interesting final evening in France.
Written and Photographed by David H. Schleicher
The Spin’s Five Part “France, Je T’aime” Series:
- Part One – Paris – Rues et Jardins
- Part Two – Paris – Musees et Monuments
- Part Three – Le Paris Macabre
- Part Four – Colmar et Strasbourg
- Part Five – Versailles