Thursday, August 1

Paris, 2: Royalty, Clocks & Locks

In my first post of Paris, I promised you that we had something 'special' planned for our first day.
And, well, I do hate to disappoint!

Having awoken at the crack of dawn, we quickly got changed in our sweaty, little hotel room and headed downstairs for some fresh croissants and baguettes for breakfast.
We knew that we needed to leave early as we had three metro trips, a train journey, and a lot of tourists to arrive before.

So where exactly is this mysterious place that we heading to?




Well ladies and gentlemen.... Welcome to Versailles!
The palace and gardens of King Louis XVI of France, (before the Revolution kind of killed off the monarchy in 1789 of course!)
Nevertheless, I visited a few years ago with my family, but wanted to see this extraordinary place with fresh eyes once again.


Even though we set off early, the crowds and tour parties obviously were up at the very crack of dawn. The queue was insane. See this line above? Yeah. There was 8 in total.
On the plus side this meant that we could bask in the sun for a while and take a few photos!



Finally when we were inside the palace, we trundled around with our jaws hitting the ground.
Prowess, wealth, and gold leaf are to be seen in every single inch of this vast space.
For a royal family, showing off the wealth and ability of their power was everything; the ceremonies, the court life, and the building itself.
And by George, did we get an inkling of such splendour from just the rooms alone.
Prepare too be amazed!





Amongst the chandeliers and portraits, we even found some scrawlings from the time hidden away behind the curtains.
I know it might be lame, but for a historian, this is like Christmas!


But finally, it was the room we had all been waiting for.
If you have heard of Versailles, chances are that you will know about the Hall of Mirrors.
Windows and mirrors were the highest signs of wealth in the 1700's, and as you can tell from this room, they certainly wanted to show off what they had!




A huge, stretching room covered in bright mirrors, candles, gold leaf, and flung open windows as high as the ceiling.
Oh and the view outside was not bad either....!



(The beautiful Kathy & Anna under the crystal chandeliers)
Seeing this room again was definitely a highlight of my day, (except dodging the foreign tour parties did dampen it a bit as you were shoved left, right, and centre!)






After we had checked out the Queen's bedroom and the marble staircase, we headed outside away from the hoards of people into the fresh outer air.



Versailles' garden's are vast, stretching through woods, over 20 different formed gardens, and encompassing the Queen's own private estate.
Just a small plot then...





Sadly, when we arrived they were dismantling the famous fountain right in the centre of the walkway with a huge crane.
No fountains for us today, but at least we had blue skies all around!


Each individual garden is like a mini maze with a fountain or monument within.
As you can imagine, we got a little bit lost, but amongst such stunning scenes we didn't complain.





Before heading off home for a rest after a manic day of sightseeing, we found some freshly squeezed orange juice to sip sweetly on, made right in front of your eyes.
Unbelievably fresh and oh so moreish!




But sadly it was time to say goodbye to Versailles.
Our stomachs were rumbling and we had a lot more planned for the evening!


After freshening up and having a quick nap, we picked up a few fresh treats from the boulangerie next door to our hotel and embarked back upon the metro.
Since the weather was just so incredible, we decided to take our suppers and have a picnic amongst the gardens at the Tuilleries.





Fresh, succulent salads, crusty baguettes with a fluffy inside, and sweet, juicy peaches.
Could a picnic in such an incredible setting be any more perfect?!



Yes, yes it could.
But only when topped off with a top quality strawberry crème patisserie tart.
Oh My...
I cannot put into words how INCREDIBLE this tart was.
My mind and taste buds were blown in every single nibble!



The Tuilleries were stunning.
Lining the sides of the Champs Elysees and leading to the Louvre and the River Seine, it is a grassy gem in the centre of the city.
Fountains decorate the squares and tiny boats are sailing upon them.




I mean, seeing the Place de la Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe standing stark straight in the distance?
Stunning.



We spent the rest of our evening soaking up the sunset on the Seine and having a muse around the Musee D'Orsay (Sorry- They were pretty strict with a no photo policy! But I managed to get one with the famous clock nevertheless!)



Having given our feet a rest on the epic sofa chairs in the Musee, we headed off for the metro station to get home. What we didn't realise was that we would find party boats, chalk boards, and lock filled bridges as it is a Summer festival in Paris at the moment.
They even have covered one part of the river bank in sand to create a beach!





It might not be the famous 'Pont Neuf', but each of these locks was still unique and representing something rather special.



So for a first day in Paris, I do not think it could have been any better!
We were absolutely shattered since it was so jam-packed, but with so little time to see so much, I think our feet forgave us for the torture!

I wonder what will be the next adventure in such a stunning city...?
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27 comments

  1. WOW I've never been to Paris, shocking eh?, but am totally loving see it through your eyes and with your jubilant voice describing all the little happy details to us.
    As lovely as the palace is, I feel the gardens are the highlight- pretty much empty and so tranquil.
    Thanks for sharing hun
    x x x

    {The Lobster & Me}

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    1. Oh Ibbs you need to go! Even if just for a day!
      That's exactly what Kathy & Anna said, they were suckers for the garden's beauty. But not going to lie, the mirros, gold leaf & splendour won the inside for me! xx

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  2. I was 5 when I visited Versailles, so all I remember is Marie Antoinette's room and the halls.
    I definitely need to visit again, your pictures make it seem more magical than I remember. Luckily it was sunny so you could enjoy the queue a bit!

    Teffy || Teffys Perks Blog ||

    Xx

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    1. Thanks Teffy! Thats exactly why I wanted to revisit too. I went about 6/7 years ago, but only vaguely remember it. So refreshing to see it after learning all about it! xx

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  3. good those photos are extremely stunning,,,,hope one day i will get my feet to Paris
    by the way girl i looove your hair totally adore it x

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    1. Thanks Pixylinan! Very sweet of you! Please do, pop it on the bucket list! x

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  4. Ohhh man! What a incredible place to visit, Emily! Ok, it knocks Burghley House out of the water. And then some.

    Flora
    www.twowithseven.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Yeah, but lets face it, we still love Burghley!!! xx

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  5. I think of Marie Antoinette when I see this, controversial but love her!

    Cashmere Times

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  6. Wow, your pictures are so amazing!.
    Would love you to check out my blog - I also did a blog post on Paris!
    splashofsilk.blogspot.com
    X

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  7. Your photos are so beautiful! :) I went to Paris this spring on a work trip, but I didn't get to see Versailles, so I guess I have to go back so I can go there as well :)

    xx
    Camilla
    kapteinmoe.blogspot.no

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    Replies
    1. Lucky!! Oh no, I bet you are just sooo gutted that you will just HAVE to return!? Have fun! xx

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  8. This place looks incredible! I didn't get to go there when I was in Paris myself but next time I will definitely try to go, especially the gardensxx

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    1. You would love it Paprika, especially if you have an arty background like yourself! xx

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  9. Ah, i just love Paris. I just moved here actually. Have to go see Versailles soon!

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    1. You live in Paris?! Oh Lea how I envy you!! xx

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  10. Ooh my goodness - you went to Versailles and didn't go visit Marie Antoinette's Trianon and farm village?? Save it for next time, it needs a day in itself it's so gorgeous! (sneak peek on my blog!)

    http://nicholawithanh.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/chris-visit-part-six-versailles.html

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    1. Ahh no, saving that for my next trip! x

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  11. Your pictures are amazing. Rose's blog has been my favorite, and yours is coming in at a verrrry close second. Maybe inching up to #1. You have a great one going! xx

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    1. Umm thank you!! That is such a big compliment! (I'm addicted to her blog too!) Hopefully I can keep it going for a lot longer! xx

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  12. Feels like a fairy tale with all those stunning places!

    Xoxo,
    REAlity Bites

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  13. You take amazing pictures!

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