Feels like forever since I last traveled, this term has been pretty busy and demanding, annnnd I had exams from July 13 – August 15. Not to mention Europe is damn expensive in the summer.
Flights in and out of Canada are cheapest from Paris. I went a few days before to explore the city. I took the train from Stuttgart to Paris and got in around noon. I had a hostel right right by the train station, not the best neighbourhood, but close to public transportation. I was there from August 19th til August 22. I had been to Paris before, for about a week in December 2012, almost 4 years ago. Crazy to think it was that long ago. So when i went to Paris this time around, I went to Versailles and just walked around the city. Didn’t really go to any museums since I had been to just about all of them before and the long long lines.
Versailles is about an hour and a half from Paris but easily accessible by RER C and you should spend a day here. I bought my ticket for the interior of the palace on line so i didn’t have to stand in line to buy tickets. I also left at 8am to be sure i’d get there early and not have to stand in line. The palace open at 9am and i got there around 9:30am. There was still a line, but it was constantly moving, i think i waited for about 15 mins or so.
Once inside they give you an audio guide (complementary with ticket) and i used it for about half the rooms. The interior is gorgeous and so impressive where every room is different from the others. And so much gold!! My favourite room was the Hall of Mirrors, but i was also so highly impressed with the other rooms.
After touring the interiors of the Palace, I went over the gardens, which you had to pay for. But the tickets are sold right outside of the gardens, not in the line up for the palace tour. Thank God, cause that line was huge!
The gardens and massive and go on forever! it’s a lot of water features and hedges that creates a labyrinth. There’s also Marie Antoinette’s Estate which is on the outskirts of the gardens and i didn’t even get close to it. And i think it also needs another ticket to even get close to it. I found the gardens were a little underwhelming, yes they are massive as well preserved, but seeing other places in Europe, I thought the water features would be a bit more grand, or something more than just water coming out of a nozzle.
The next day I walked around the city hitting all the major tourist landmarks of Luxembourg Gradens, Notre Dame Cathedral, Lourve, Arc de Triomphe, Sacre-Coeur and of course, The Eiffel Tower.
I had never been to the Luxembourg Gardens before and they did not disappoint. Fairly small (of course seeing as I just saw the Versailles Gardens the day before) but every inch of it was beautiful. They had those pink flowers everywhere which made the garden so lush and fragrant. I almost liked it a litter better then the garden of Versailles.
After the garden I walked to Notre Dame and then onto the Lourve. After the Lourve the sky was getting really dark and it was lunch time. I ducked in for lunch and when i came out it was raining and fairly cold. Hmm. What does a girl do when it’s raining, in Paris and is within walking distance of Champs de Elysee? Shopping of course! I went into various stores and into the biggest Sephora I have ever seen. It was such a lovely rainy afternoon shopping.
and of course the best for last: The Eiffel Tower