We visited Versailles on the Second Sunday in June, during the Fontaines Musicales event. We entered the Jardins in the early afternoon and walked around all day long, under a 31°C sun. Of course, irish that I am, I crisped up like a sun dried tomato and ended up the same color as my favorite pink skirt (dispite having spent all afternoon longing the hedges, and hiding under trees and large statues for shade, like two suspicious little squirrels looking for nuts and berries).
We picnicked in the garden, enjoying a homemade Quiche Loraine we had whipped up the night before, slightly inhibited from an evening of Italian wine and cheeses, served with French Bread at Little Italy.
We visited the Petit Trianon, and the Domaine de Marie Antoinette, where we hung out with a wide array of farm animals: rabbits, ducks, fish, goats, donkeys, chickens, and cows, each and everyone of them more blazé than ever, in the royalest of little farms in the French Republic.
We crossed adorable bridges, and passed bucolic little houses where Marie Antoinette’s workers would live and work.
We walked along the long pond in the center, and watched people float on the water in lovely wooden boats.
We smelled the enchanting pink roses in the Orangeraie, that just made us want to stay there forever and ever. But we contented ourselves with bottling the aroma in the little glass bottle of our minds, so we could go back to it, every so often.
After a whole afternoon of walking in the sun (and green and white Stan Smiths), we decided we had earned ourselves a nice little serving of frozen fruit sorbet. We took our seats at La Flotille, and ordered three boules de Sorbet (Mango, Cassis and Lemon), with a nice cup café au lait.
We visited the Castle around 4:30, and (re)discovered the many rooms the kings and queens lived in, slept in, and ate in. We pathed out way through the luminous Palais des Glaces, before taking the train home.
Quick tips for Versailles Castle:
– Always bring sunscreen (& apply it generously ~ including behind the knees, a secretly sensitive area)
– Leave your extra bags at the Consignes, you’ll kill yourself tugging them around everywhere (there’s one at the entrance and one at the Petit Trianon)
– Arrive early (before 12), if you want to do everything, there’s a lot of walking involved
– Bring sufficient water during the day, and locate all the bathrooms in the Garden (There’s a few fountains in the garden to refill your water bottles)
– La Flotille is a delicious restaurant/café, and serves one of the best cups of coffee ever. It’s a great place to sit down and relax after a day of walking around Versailles.