Versailles, My Kind of Place

Old Aug 11th, 2022, 11:06 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,326
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Versailles, My Kind of Place

Hi Fodor’s

I’m presently in Paris and wasn’t initially planning on doing a trip report as I didn’t think I was doing anything particularly novel and mostly otherwise was visiting friends. It’s my 5th time in Paris although the last time I will admit was 31 years ago when I was ready to move to the City of Light, so much for as I smitten.

Yes, I walked along the well-trodden and oh-so-crowded-with-August-tourists beaten paths in Montmartre and by the Trocadero. I did admire works of masterful artists at the Musée d’Orsay and the Musée Rodin along with thousands of others for which I purchased tickets in advance. Crowds thronged the best-known Monets and van Goghs. And yes, I did enjoy the outdoor cafes and festive people-watching with friends in Paris, taking advantage of the city’s Ve’Lib system to meet up, which demonstrated to me that getting around by bike is more feasible than I would have imagined those 30 years ago viewing the traffic chaos.

The place that drew me in the most this trip was not Paris itself, but the town of Versailles. And I don’t mean the Château of Versailles itself, although I did book a visit there some 2 days in advance. It too was mobbed with tourists as I expected, there to soak in the symbol of empire, obscene wealth and indeed beauty. I was glad I visited for the majesty of it, as the last time I was there was in 1979, when I was but a 8-year-old, with no understanding of the history, although I did remember the Hall of Mirrors from that long-ago visit.

So what was it that appealed about the Ville de Versailles, you ask? I liked its relative calm after the crowds and harried nature of Paris. Most tourists come in by tour bus or car to see the Chateau and leave immediately; even arriving by train, if you walk a certain route to the Chateau, you might miss the charming parts—many skip the town of Versailles altogether it seems. Versailles consequently had a more low-key activity, a pleasant respite after a few days of being packed in like sardines on the metro and in the tourist quartiers The neighbourhood known as Quartier Saint Louis was beautifully painted, atmospheric with history, not to mention I absolutely loved the sidewalk restaurant I ate at on rue de Satory, where the servers were warm and welcoming and I admired the stretch of restaurants and simply thought I was in heaven eating the most divine tiramisu!

Happy summer and travels to you all

Daniel W
Daniel_Williams is online now  
Old Aug 12th, 2022, 06:09 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 27,798
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Riding a bike (even motorized) in any large city earns you bravos, Daniel! Do you have some pix to share? Was it Pepper who visited Versailles town?
TDudette is online now  
Old Aug 12th, 2022, 08:29 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 23,226
Likes: 0
Received 6 Likes on 1 Post
I'm glad you liked Versailles and actually saw the city. Next time you might want to try Saint Germain-en-Laye at the end of the RER A. It is just as nice and definitely not overrun with tourists.
kerouac is online now  
Old Aug 12th, 2022, 09:07 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 11,540
Received 26 Likes on 4 Posts
My favorite place in Versailles is not the chateau but the nearby Potager du Roi. The day I was there I was alone for much of the time though now, years later, I imagine it’s been discovered by a few more. I’d very much like to return to see how it’s evolved since then.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pota...oi,_Versailles

MmePerdu is online now  
Old Aug 12th, 2022, 09:07 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 239
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You're right, Kerouac, about St Germain-en-Laye. We finally got to spend a day there a few years ago and loved it. We never did get to visit the archaeology museum inside the chateau, but we spent hours just walking the streets and having a quiet lunch. It was a lovely day!

Did the same thing in Neuilly a while back. Same thing.
frenchaucoeur is offline  
Old Aug 12th, 2022, 02:19 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 617
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sounds wonderful. We hope to go for a day to Versailles to do exactly as you have done. Another town I would like to see is Giverny. Wish I could remember the name of the murder mystery book I read about Giverny
cheska15 is offline  
Old Aug 12th, 2022, 04:01 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,961
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My daughter-in-law and oldest granddaughter (18) and a few other moms from Southern CA were in Paris in early May. They had a fabulous evening bike ride and picnic on the grounds of Versailles. Who knew??
aliced is offline  
Old Aug 12th, 2022, 04:29 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,084
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
100% concur, Daniel! Many years ago we got stranded in Paris by a winter storm and took advantage of the added days to visit the town. Still have a couple Christmas ornaments I bought on that visit. Loved that the merchants in town all got together to choose a theme and decorated their businesses accordingly. Also remember having probably the best hot chocolate of my life there. More recently, but still several years ago, we attended a masked ball at the Chateau that ran into late night/early morning so we stayed at La Residence du Berry which was delightful and spent the next day wandering through town.
Seamus is offline  
Old Aug 13th, 2022, 01:37 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,326
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts


Rue de Satory.


Peaceful park I stumbled upon
Daniel_Williams is online now  
Old Aug 13th, 2022, 02:08 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,326
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Error from trip report: “When I was ready to move to the City of Light, so much for I smitten much was I smitten”. That’s what I think I wanted to say? Lol. That’ll fix me, thinking I can do a trip report without editing on my I Phone while on the RER train.

Tdudette—Pictures above as requested. Ve’lib has both E-bikes and traditional bikes. I opted for the traditional ones; I was surprised but I actually found biking in Paris pretty relaxed compared to Montreal. Might have been the route I took (the route was the bike lanes followed metro line 6 rive gauche).
Kerouac, frenchaucoeur—Thanks for the St Germain en Laye suggestion; the closest friends of the friend I stayed with in Paris (my friend has an apartment in the quinzième arrondissement) live there, so there is a likeliness I’ll go some day.
mmeperdu—I missed the potager du roi. A reason to return to Versailles, not that I need one.
cheska15–Nice idea to plan a day. I really didn’t; just took the RER train from Gare Montparnasse early thinking I’d have lunch before my 2pm Chateau visit reservation.
aliced—Picnic and bike in the Versailles grounds? How fantastic!
Seamus—Christmas season sounds like a great time to be in Versailles. Masked ball in Versailles? That’s quite the life experience!
Daniel_Williams is online now  
Old Aug 13th, 2022, 04:06 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,682
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Last time I was in Paris was back in 2013. we did a bike tour of Paris. Started in late evening. It was the best experience. One of my favourite days.
Hopefully I will get to go back next year.
millie2112 is offline  
Old Aug 13th, 2022, 07:25 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,084
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Indeed it was a life experience, Daniel. It was part of one of our niece HS graduation trips. She must have enjoyed it as she wound up doing a Master's degree in Paris and is now living and working there!
Seamus is offline  
Related Topics

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information