Versailles, Versailles

The next day we woke up a little later because we were out so late at night.  We did have some things in the hotel for breakfast, but we really wanted some fresh baked goods.  The nice thing about our hotel was the location.  Location really is everything.  This bakery was right next door to the hotel, so we stopped in for some goodies to take on the train out to Versailles.
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Everything looked so good, so I had a hard time deciding.
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These are viennoise, and looked mighty tasty.
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We also got smarter and went with a half baguette to carry around for the day.  The whole loaf was good, but too big to drag around the whole day until it was entirely eaten.
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I went with the chocolate and orange viennoise.  Oh was this fantastic!
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Of course, we got some croissants too.  You have never had a croissant until you have had one in France.  It was super buttery and just melts in your mouth.
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Then we headed for the train.  This is the RER train that will end in Versailles.  It was about a 30 minute ride there.  This is the best way to go because it is cheap to get there and back.  Because so many people use this, it is a double layer train.
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Here we are.  We made it to Versailles.  No joke, there is a McDonald’s across the street.  The line for the bathroom was insane, so we got smart, and kept walking.  A little bit down we found a cafe opening up and just ducked in there.  This saved us a lot of time, especially because the line was much worse at Versailles.
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Not sure what this building is, but we passed it on the way to the Chateau at Versailles. 
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Here we are, making our approach to this extremely huge palace.  This is the Chateau from a far.  It was much smaller originally, but Louis XIV wanted to get away from the business in Paris, so he moved out here and expanded it greatly.
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Here we are with the Chateau, and the thousands of other tourists, behind us.
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Now we have gotten much closer.  Our Museum Pass covered admission and we did not have to wait in line for tickets, but there was still a huge wait to get past security to enter the Chateau.
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My tour booklet said the original gate had disappeared during one of the battles or wars here, and this was a recreation of the original gate.  This is probably why it is super shiny and so new looking.
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Finally, we entered the courtyard.
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We started off heading down in art galleries that displayed works of the Royal family and other religious depictions.  The took up most of the rooms on the first floor.  I am not sure what the rooms were originally used for.  The first stop along this path was the church in the chateau.
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The is the church from the top level.
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Now we are entering rooms that are decorated to show how it was back in the time of Louis XIV.
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The ceilings were impressive.
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I am sorry to say, but the French stink.  There was no A/C here, so we welcomed an open window for fresh air.  It also was a great place to see the expansive gardens.
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There were so many people going through, so it was tough to get good pictures.  After a while, because people would just stop to set up the perfect pictures, I would just lift up my arms, point my camera, press the button and pray it did not come out blurry.  Otherwise, we would have been there all day and all night.
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Here we are entering the famous hall of mirrors.
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You can see here how many people were crammed in this room.
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Behind the hall of mirrors was where Louis slept.
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A little further down was the queens room.  It said 19 royal children were born in this room.
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Again, a nice view of the gardens behind the chateau.
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Then we entered Dauphine’s apartment.  I believe Dauphine was the heir to the throne at that time.
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The next stop was outside to the gardens.  Even with a map, it was a little tough to navigate.
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This is the backside of the chateau.
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By now we needed to eat some lunch.  Luckily they have places on the property to eat.  But, at the same time, they can jack up the prices.
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We settled on cheese, basil and tomato paninis, plus french fries.
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After lunch, we strolled some more through the gardens.
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This is the grand canal, which is in the shape of a cross, with this section being 1 mile across.
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People were out there in boats.
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They have a fountain show here, like the Bellagio in Vegas, only smaller.
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This is the colonnade.  He built this because he did not have any ruins and ancient looking things there and he wanted to feel enlightened.  There were multiple security guys here watching and you could not get too close to the fountains along the edge.  I saw them yell at an older woman for stepping to close.
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Here I am as we headed back to the Chateau.  We did not see everything here, but we did see enough to give us a taste of Versailles and royal living.
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After a packed train ride home, I was dying to head back to Christophe Roussel for some fancy macarons.  This was on the same street as our hotel.  What caught my attention was the funky flavors, like blackberry with red pepper, and chocolate covered caramel with a little salt on top, and even lime with basil.  As these were certainly designer, they came with a lovely price tag, but I can honestly say, it was worth it.  These were delicious.
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Now, I did want to eat them right away, but Ryan convinced me to have dinner first.  We stopped back at Cafe Central, where we ate the first night.  It was just so convenient, and we were so tired now.
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I love how you can order wine in a variety of sizes, and when less than a bottle, it comes in a pitcher of some sort.
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Ryan tried the onion soup, but he was disappointed that it did not compare to the one the other day.  Plus, this had too much cheese on it.  I know, there is no such thing as too much cheese, but in the case of the soup, it was.  It made it hard to actually get to the soup without splashing everything out of the bowl.

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I had the poached eggs salmon.  It is like eggs benedict, but with smoked salmon instead of ham.
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On the way up the street to the hotel, we stopped in this store to check out their food goodies.
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Lots of spices and packaged goods, like soup mixes and risotto mixes, plus jams and honey.
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Once back in the room, I finally got to try a macaron.  This was the chocolate covered caramel, and it was SO good.
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Next on the agenda was a nap so that we were well rested for the evening plans.  Boy did we need that nap.

We really wanted to see a show, but all the 9 pm shows were booked, so we picked the 11 pm show at the Moulin Rouge.
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The current show is called Feerie.
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I tried to take the shot from the website page, but it is a little hard to see.  I noticed the line moving up, so I ran back to make sure I did not get left behind.
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Once inside, they collect your cameras because there is no photography or video allowed.  I really did not want to give mine up since I had been having that string of bad luck, I figured something bad would happen, but it was OK in the end.  I did take the memory stick out just in case.  I also took a few pictures inside before giving up my camera.
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I was impressed with the amount of people they packed into the room.  The ticket price includes 1/2 bottle of Champagne, so for the two of us, we enjoyed a bottle during the show.  The show was fantastic.  Yes, there were many topless dancers.  The costumes were insane.  It had some good music and dancing.  There was one lady who performed in a glass water tank, topless, with giant snakes in the water.  As this is Europe, topless is not really a big deal, but I was surprised that there were children there, especially at the 11 pm show.  I am glad we went and got to experience the Moulin Rouge.
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QUESTIONS:  Have you ever been to Versailles?  What is the largest building/tourist attraction you have ever been to see?  Have you seen the movie Moulin Rouge?  Have you ever been to a topless revue?

3 comments:

biz319 said...

Melinda - I love "traveling" with you vicariously through your blog - other than Canada, that's the only country I've ever been to!

Love that you went to the Moulin Rouge! Yep, love the movie - its one of my favorites, the music is incredible.

I've been to a topless beach near Naples, Florida, and my husband was disappointed because the average woman was 55 years old!

At first I was like "you can't have too much cheese!" but even that looks like too much for me - I love the broth of onion soup, I just don't eat the onions!

Astra Libris said...

Ohhhh, such glorious photos!! And such glorious macarons!! Thank you for letting us travel along with you! :-)

Emily said...

Yum! That bakery looks great. I'd love to travel to France. I love history and seeing beautiful architecture.

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