We were warned about the massive crowds an Versailles, so we woke up our first morning in Paris extremely early in order to catch an early train and make it to the Palace before it opened at nine am.
Imagine our surprise when we found the place totally empty! We would have probably been 8th in line to enter the Palace at nine am but because we had bought the Paris Museum Pass we skipped it entirely and made our way to the courtyard.
We plugged in our earphones and followed Rick Steve's Versailles audiotour as we walked through the Palace.
|The Queen's Grand Apartments|
On a positive note, in addition to it being fairly deserted, we did get to see some splendid fall colors in the gardens! We grabbed lunch off the only open food kiosk (Right before the canal, right by the bike rental shop) and sat on one of the benches by the canal to eat. From there, we walked through a pretty trail for about 30 minutes until we reached the Grand Trianon.
|I could close my eyes and imagine walking up to this view every morning @ Grand Trianon|
|The French Pavilion @ Petit Trianon,Versailles.|
|Temple of love @ Versailles|
The weather was not in our favor, it was extremely cloudy by the time we made it back to Paris, so cloudy in fact that the top of the Eiffel Tower was lost up invisible among the clouds. We postponed our visit until the next day, glad that we had not bought tickets in advance. At the suggestion of the Rick Steve's guidebook we settled on Le Bosquet for an early dinner. Highlight of the meal: the escargot... it was so delicious, I ended up ordering it again.
After dinner, we hopped on the Metro and made it to the Louvre around six pm (On Wednesdays the the muesum has extended hours until ten pm). We popped in our earphones again, this time to enjoy Rick Steve's Louvre Audiotour, which took us through the highlights of the museum.
|It was right around here where we stumbled across one of our good friends from college. What are the odds of running across someone relatively close to you, all the way in Paris in the biggest museum ever?|
At closing we raced around so Tomas could fulfill his DaVinci Code wish of seeing the inverted pyramid.
We had agreed to meet our friends at the entrance of the museum at closing and together we walked the blocks to Le Nemours, a charming little café with views of Place Colette. It was a nice place to sit outside people watch and indulge in a post-museum drink(s!). I learned afterwards that the café was the sight for the opening scene of Angelina Jolie’s “the Tourist”. We wrapped things up around midnight, exhausted after a very busy 18 hour day!
Read about the rest of our time in Paris:
3 Day Getaway: Paris - La Première Partie - Arc de Triomphe & Champs Elysee
3 Day Getaway: Paris - La Troisième Partie - Old Paris, Les Invalides & the Eiffel Tower
3 Day Getaway: Paris - La Quatrième Partie - Montmarte & Musée d'Orsay