Versailles questions

Old Mar 6th, 2007, 05:51 PM
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Versailles questions

Am re-posting since I didn't receive any responses to my first post. My husband and I will be arriving at CDG on Tuesday, 8 May. Unfortunately, I was not aware when I made the booking that 8 May is VE day in France. We are renting a car at CDG and will do Paris on the end of our trip. We have booked lodging for the first night in Giverny. I had hoped to do Versailles on our arrival day but have concerns that the crowds on a public holiday will be overwhelming (also E25 for a holiday passport admission seems very steep). Chantilly chateau would have been a nice alternative en route to Giverny but that is closed on Tuesdays. I need to find some viable sightseeing options for our first day that will not be so crowded. So far, I have only come up with Senlis and possibly Beauvois and its cathedral. I learned about Ecouen chateau and St. Germain en Laye chateau but they are closed on Tuesdays as well. If we did decide to try for Versailles, is there a place to park and an entry point to the gardens and Marie Antoinette’s estate that would allow us to bypass the long queus and the long walk to that area or are tickets to that area only sold at the main entry point. Also, some information suggests that the gardens are free and others say admission is charged. I also wonder if there would be enough for us to see in the garden area alone before Marie Antoinette’s domain opens at noon. We will probably reach Versailles around 10 am. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions on worthwhile sights to the west of the airport that will be open and not too crowded on 8 May. Also, if anyone can shed light on the Versailles situation I would be most grateful.

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Old Mar 6th, 2007, 09:30 PM
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There is no reason to expect the French to fill up Versailles on May 8th. While most of them will have the day off, in the morning they will either be sleeping late or shopping, since the stores will be open.

Just stick to your original plan. Yes, there will be a lot of people at Versailles, but in May that is always the case.
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Old Mar 13th, 2007, 10:06 AM
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Here's the website for Chateau Versailles home page. At the top you can choose English. It's got all the info you need.
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Old Mar 13th, 2007, 10:15 AM
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And at Marie-Antoinette's domaine you can buy a perfume that approximates one of the Queen's favorite perfumes - with hints of rose, iris, jasmine, tuberose and orange blossom - but it also has a royal price:

$10,000 for the prestige version

and only $450 for the 'standard' version.

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Old Mar 13th, 2007, 02:12 PM
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When you plan your trip to Versailles check to see if the fountains will be on. We weren't aware that the fountains weren't always on and were disappointed when we visited. It costs more on the fountain days.
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Old Mar 13th, 2007, 02:28 PM
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If you're a Van Gogh fan, you might consider Auvers sur Oise. It's an easy drive from CDG (take the Francilienne highway in the direction of Cergy-Pontoise). You can visit the Auberge Ravoux where Van Gogh spent his last days, and stroll through town to look at the church and the mairie, both of which he painted; also Vincent and Theo both are buried in the Auvers cemetery. Auvers also has a chateau containing a rather hokey museum about the Impressionist movement. All of the above is open on Tuesday (closing day is Monday). After Auvers you could continue across the Francilienne until the turnoff for Poissy where you could then pick up the autoroute out to Giverny. Another nice place to stop along the Francilienne is the barge town of Conflans St Honorine which I and others have written about in other threads. Bon voyage!
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Old Mar 14th, 2007, 06:27 AM
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About fountain show rpowell mentions:

Les Grandes Eaux Musicales
is an elaborate musical fountain show where normally dormant garden fountains (except for major fountains, many others don't seem to run during the week it) are brought to life on some weekends Apr 1 - Oct 2007.
Versailles' fontainiers continue a tradition stretching way back to the heady royal days at the palace's gardens to produce a symphony of playful splish-splashing fountains.

The magical atmosphere is enhanced by piped in melodies especially orchestrated by the composer Jean-Baptiste lully and selected by the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles.

For 2007 dates:
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Old Mar 14th, 2007, 06:31 AM
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We were in Versailles on a sunday when the fountains were on. It was a great experience.
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Old Mar 14th, 2007, 12:21 PM
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Le Potager du Roi, the vegetable gardens and orchards that formerly supplied succulent fresh produce for sumptuous feasts (whilst many Parisians were starving) and daily living at Versailles in its royal heyday are still there. Cultivate these jardins to get an insight into the culinary aspects of the Sun King's Court.
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Old Mar 14th, 2007, 12:41 PM
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Hi B,

Malmaison is also closed on Tuesday.

However, Vaux Le Vicomte is open.

It is located in Maincy.
See www.viamichelin for driving directions Roissy/Giveny via Maincy.

Enjoy your day.

ira is offline  
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