DAY 5 – Paris, France

Biking (and learning a ton of history) in Versailles – BEST DAY YET!!

The gardens of Versailles span an impressive 1,976 acres. Rather than exploring the sprawling grounds on foot, pedal your way around with an informative guide on this full-day Versailles bike tour from Paris. Discover a leisurely 10 miles of garden trails and tree-lined paths behind the palace, and reach parts of the grounds that visitors on foot do not frequent, including Marie Antoinette’s country-style Hameau, the Petit Trianon and the Grand Trianon. Stop by the Grand Canal for a picnic lunch before heading inside the Palace of Versailles. Highlights Versailles bike day tour Tour Versailles’ gardens by bicycles and see far more than visitors on foot Marie Antoinette’s farm-style Hameau, the Petit Trianon and the Grand Trianon Visit to Versailles’ market to shop for delicious picnic provisions Picnic lunch by the Grand Canal.

This wonderful tour which is detailed above was spectacular.  Our guide, Deklyn (Deck-Lynn) was from Ireland and was probably the best tour guide I have ever had.  He was patient, a great teacher and explained, and was very attentive. The tour started off with meeting at The Fat Tire Bike Shop in Paris and then taking the train to Versailles (which is actually not a place, but a town!) The town is about 80,000.  I had NO IDEA the history of Versailles (or of France in that matter).  This tour was extremely educational and stunning.  I learned so much and once again had the through, “Why is school not taught like this?!?!”

After arriving in Versailles we picked up the bike and then had an hour at the local market to gather our picnic lunch we would later enjoy….

Decklyn explaining the market, where the “good stuff” was and how to be proper in France.  A very good orientation and explanation.

Street band as I was walking from booth to booth.

Decklyn also told us important French words like goo and tranch to say “taste” and “slice”  This came in handy when I was trying to communication with a booth of non Enlgihs speakers.  I am glad I got the confidence from Decklyn to ask as it was well worth the struggle and being outside my comfort zone.
We were off!!

Biking through town on our way to the palace.
On our way to the palace we saw this Church which was put up by Louis XV. Louis XV was very promiscuous and he fell very very ill (many believe it was thought o be a STD, more here) and they did not think he would make it. So Louis XV changed his ways, dismissed all his mistresses and tore down his “passion palace” and built a church (which is still there today and is called Versailles Cathedral). After doing all this to change his ways, Louis XV got better…however went back to his ways shortly there after.

The first glimpse of the palace and our first history lesson spot

Selfie with Decklyn

The Canal that took 12 years to make (there is no water in the area so after they had to dig it, by hand of course, they had to find a way to bring in the water from The Seine)

Marie Antoinette’s Gardens… (or otherwise known as the Disney Land of the 18th Century).  To be honest I had heard of Marie Antoinette, but I had no idea who she was.  I learned so much about her life, struggles and history during this tour that left me wanting to learn more (and watch the movie)  here is more on her life

The swan is real…it made the perfect shot!

Touring Marie Antoinette’s house (this was the separate house she had from Louis XVI…who was thought to maybe have autism) She would hold parties here and play pool I guess, since there was a massive pool table in the living room (or one of the living rooms)
This was just her private house, at night she slept in the Queen’s Chambers which will be seen when I get to the palace (pictured below as we road there)
Picture from our picnicing spot (look closely you can see the Palace in the background)

the perfect picnic spot with cheese, baguette, champagne, fresh squeezed OJ for mimosas, strawberries and cherries, all from the market (I have been carrying that blanket around for days waiting for a picnic spot!)
finally made it to the gates of the palace

Hall of Mirrors

The Gardens reminded me of Alice and Wonderland “OFF WITH HER HEAD”

The last picture I took as I was hurrying to the train.  There are a number of trains that go back to the city however the soccer game was tonight (the final game between France and Portegal) and we had heard that this would be the last train (at 5:30 PM) that would stop in Paris as the city was getting too crowded…the game did not start until 9:00 PM!!!!

After running to the train and making it back to Paris at the right stop I hurried back to my hotel as I was staying only 3 blocks from where they were showing the game and only a couple miles from where the actual game was being played.  Even at 6:00 PM there were crowds and the energy was starting.  People on cars and screaming and loud blasts were already starting.

I ended up staying in my hotel (I had a great choice) and waiting the game at the hotel bar which being a Marriott was very low key. There were some people from Mexico waiting and I had fun talking to them in Spanish (while the French bar tender felt left out for the first time as he did not speak Spanish) I realized then just how much Spanish I know and how little French…looking forward to explaining on my Spanish as I feel like there is more hope there, in the end I think I learned only 10 French words, such a challenging language.

When France WON!  CLICK HERE to read entire article (Thursday night)

When they lost: CLICK HERE to read entire article (Sunday night)

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