On the final day of our tour of Northern France, we had a sightseeing tour of Paris followed by a visit to Versailles to see the splendors of Louis XIV’s palace.
At a picture stop during the morning tour, I took pics of our Gate 1 driver, Sasha, and our tour director Anne with our day guide, Nicolas, who I think was an aristo in a past life. He had nothing good to say about the French Revolution or Francoise Holland, the current president of France. Anne and Sasha made our tour a true pleasure.
When we got to Versailles, we were given time for lunch, so Rebecca and I headed for a creperie/pizzeria. Rebecca ordered pizza and I had one last galette.
Because we were with a group we went through a separate entrance and skipped the ticket line. One of the perks of being on a tour. Inside, we went up a wide staircase an odd, modern Swarovski chandelier. It’s probably beautiful when lit and in a proper setting, like a modern hotel, but definitely seemed out of place in a 17th c. palace.
Our tour included the fabled Hall of Mirrors, which is beautiful. It also seemed crowded to me, but our guide, Nicolas, assured us that the palace wasn’t nearly as crowded as usual, tourism being down.
The rest of the rooms blur in my mind, but I have visions of gilt and rich fabrics everywhere. Some of the fireplaces were very interesting. Free-standing and backed up against a wall with a small door cut into the wall, so servants could light the fires and replenish them without being seen by the aristocrats.
After touring the palace we went into the gardens, which are extensive, but we were tired, so we walked a short way and then sat on the steps to admire the view. Then we went back inside for liquid refreshment at the cafe.
Back at the Marriott, we had an early dinner, finished packing and went to bed for our Sunday morning flight to Prague.
And next week, I’ll start sharing our adventures in the beautiful Czech Republic.