Versailles

Versailles – Room to Breath In the Gardens

We were all excited about the day-trip to Versailles, the gorgeous palace and estate and were most looking forward to the fountain show.  After arriving around 10:00 (a little later than planned) we rushed from the train station (what a mad house) to the grounds of Versailles.  We decided Troy would get tickets while mom, the kids and I waited in the entrance line.  And what an entrance line it was – about 2 hours and the longest line I’ve seen in my life.  But, we finally made it in and were welcomed with even more crowds inside.  It was should-to-shoulder, room-to-room, with no opportunity to enjoy what we were seeing.  After an hour or so of swimming through hoards of tourists, we decided to hit the gardens.  While we were waiting in line for our garden tickets, a “trip guide” offering to sell the couple behind us a couple of tickets left over from her tour group at about less than ½ the ticket price.  Of course they declined, but I was feeling a bit adventurous and took her up on her offer.  She seemed like she was telling the truth, and I was okay with the rick of losing 5 Euro.  And, they actually worked!  It evened our dishing out 10 Euro for a loaf of gingerbread in the palace (since they made us check our food at the door).  Speaking of the gingerbread, it was pretty good (maybe not $15 USD good) but Amelia only wanted to eat the sugary ginger from the top then give the bread to Elliott.  He didn’t seem to mind, so everyone was happy.

Once we finally entered the gardens, it was a night and day difference between the grounds and the palace itself.  Once we were outside, there was finally room to breath and stretch.  I wasn’t shoulder to shoulder with a thousand strangers and could actually let the kids walk around.  We could have spent the entire day in the gardens, there was so much to see and it was all gorgeous.  All the rave reviews about the fountains shows had my expectations high, and, honestly, they were a bit of a letdown.  Maybe if we had watched from a different vantage point.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s amazing that they could make so many beautiful, awe-inspiring fountains that are powered only by natural springs, but to me it wasn’t my favorite part of the gardens.  The entire magnitude of the estate is breathe-taking. There are boats to rent to row across the ponds, golf carts for rent to pout around from one end of the massive estate to another, paths for meandering, benches to rest and soak in the sun.  We had a great Panini’s for lunch, even if they couldn’t understand which one I as trying to order, I figured I would be happy with whatever kind I ended up with.  Sitting by the fountain, with the kids enjoying the outdoors was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon.

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