Armed with our Paris Museum Pass, umbrella and windbreaker, we headed out to explore Versailles! About 50 feet out the front of the hotel was the Grille de la Reine (entrance gate) for Versailles...definitely a fabulous location! Side note, if you're planning to visit Paris, the Paris Museum Pass is definitely the way to go.
We strolled through the gardens first on our way up to the chateau itself. Even in the drizzling rain, the gardens were lovely. As we made our way up the Colonnad, classical music began to play...just for us of course.
The flowers were changed daily to provide a pleasant "nasal cocktail" for Louis XIV. The pampering and excesses of Versailles actually explain a lot about the French culture of today...it's part of their history.
We finally made our way to the chateau and were a bit shocked to discover even with our museum pass we would have to queue over an hour...I did mention it was cold and raining right?
This pretty much sums up Versailles "Has All the Glories of France". Versailles is nothing if not excessive in every part of the house.
Once we made our way through the security line, we joined the masses for the Chateau shuffle through the house. A complimentary audio tour is available which is extremely helpful as there is just so much to see. Side note, bring along your own earbuds as it blocks out the crowd noise and you hear the commentary better.
No visit to Versailles would be complete without a walk through the Hall of Mirrors
At both ends of the Hall of Mirrors were two modern art hearts on exhibit.
They were made completely of plastic forks, spoons and knives.
After touring the chateau, we headed out to queue up for the palace tram instead of walking the two miles to Domaine de Marie-Antoinette (Marie Antoinette's private home on the palace grounds). She would often spend a great deal of time here to escape the formalities of Court in the chateau.
Having braved the cold and rain for six hours, we took the tram back to the chateau just in time to see some of the famous fountain show. A few pictures and then back to the hotel...no sense getting sick at the beginning of our French holiday.