Day 5: 2nd Day Exploring Paris

We woke up bright and early today to meet everyone in the lobby for a trip down to Versailles to visit the beautiful palace of King Louis and Marie Antoinette. It was about a 20-minute bus ride over there and I couldn’t believe my eyes when we arrived. There were miles and miles of palace with gold-leaf over every thing imaginable. Gardens surrounded the palace with symmetrical, pristine, and trimmed shrubs and thousands upon thousands of statues dotting the grounds. After a quick line for tickets, using our 2-day museum passes to get in for free, Erin and I set off in a hurry (we only had an hour and a half to visit before we had to be back at the bus) towards the inside of the palace.

Outside Versailles


All gold front gate

The first thing we saw when inside was a magnificent chapel that was 3-stories high. The entire palace made if white marble and stone walls, with colored marble detailing and painted ceilings in every room.


Chapel


Incredible ceilings

We then preceded down the long main side aisle of the palace where we viewed numerous rooms, that including the kings bedroom, his receiving room, dining room, and the hallway afterwards being the queens quarters, which also includes her room, receiving room and rooms for her guests and ladies. As we walked through each room, there was so much detail, gold everything and the ceilings just got better and better as we entered each room.


Kings room

Queens room


So many people


Famous painting of marie antoinette!

We then entered the famous hall of mirrors which has such a beautiful crisp and sparkling feel to it, you couldn’t help but imagine walking down the hallway in a big embroidered dress and fancy hat, admiring the many exquisite pieces of art in the room, or lazily gazing out the window at the lush garden beyond.


Hall of mirrors

After touring the inside of the house for about an hour, we ran through the gift shop and I found my first souvenir! As I collect miniature shoes (the brand is called “The Right Shoe” if you want to learn more about them), I found the most darling and beautiful french pink sparkly shoe that would just be perfect for my collection!

 

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EDIT: My shoe now with my collection back at home

After the shop, we then headed outside and it was a crisp warm morning as we made our way down the terrace to a large fountain. Around us was intricate shrub mazes, statues of greek gods and smaller, more intimate gardens with more fountains and statues inside each one. Running low on time, we snapped pictures of what we could and then hurried back to the bus.


Backyard


Huge main fountain


More fountain pics

We had the whole rest of the afternoon to continue exploring, so after being dropped off at our hotel, Erin and I hopped on the metro and took it all the way over to the Arc de Triumph and Eiffel Tower. The Arc was amazing in that with having a large traffic roundabout, they have a tunnel for pedestrians to walk under it, as to avoid millions of tourists being hit by cars trying to get to it. We had the option of climbing the arch but decided against it, saving the view for the eiffel tower, and instead just walked around, marveling in its grandeur size.


Arc

Now starving at this point, we walked back under the roundabout and down the street to a small cafe and ordered pasta and a coke, which was beyond tasty and I’d like to complement the patient waiter who took care of us as we struggles to order off the all french menu.

Yum pasta!

Passed the bridge where Princess Diana was killed

We then walked over to the Eiffel Tower, in which we had the option to either pay to take the elevator or just pay €5 to do the stairs to 1st and 2nd viewing level. We chose the stairs and we felt so out of shape as we finally arrived on the 2nd level, huffing and puffing all the way. We waited about an hour for the sun to go down and then at exactly 10p, the tower lit up with a million little lights flashing creating a strobe effect as we viewed the scene from the ledge. After watching the incredible light show, we exited the tower, walked along the edge of the garden that fans from tower and took the metro back to the hotel where we immediately crashed after such a long day.

Cool building covered in plants


Tower


View from up top


Standing on the glass floor looking down


Eiffel tower at night

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