It was a boiling hot day when we reached Versailles, we had taken the metro to a station that we could catch the RER line and were rather amused when we were confronted with a double-decker train! After queueing for what seemed to be a very long time we found ourselves battling the crowds to visit the various rooms open to visitors in the main palace. As a result many of my photos seem to be only pointed towards the ceiling as I tried not to catch the backs of twenty strangers' heads in my Versailles photos!
The Palace itself is amazing, so sumptuous - lovely parquet floors and brocade wallpaper. The pictures on the above right are of the Trianon which was the holiday home. It seems funny how their holiday home was basically at the bottom of their garden but then it is a very big garden!
I loved all the different styles; from the ultra formal fountains and long lime avenues to the little intricately planted parterres to bucolic vistas. It was a warm day so it was really nice wandering around, the gardens blend out to parkland which was filled with French families having picnics under old trees and enjoying bike rides along the cobbled pathways in the golden afternoon sunlight.
And then we were at the Petit Trianon, I have to admit I was looking forward to this the most! Having a nose around Marie Antoinette's little private getaway was sublime and I much preferred it to Versailles. It was very pretty in varying shades of eau de nil and pale blue with lots of delicate furniture upholstered in soft damasks and delicate spriggy fabric.
She also had her own hamlet made so she could go and play at being a shepherdess!
It was very sweet to walk around, although it felt rather odd and a little unreal as none of the houses were lived in and I doubt they were ever meant to be habitable. The gardens are all in use though and one was home to the most enormous pumpkin patch! I like to think of the numerous gardeners at Versailles coming along to the patch in late autumn and selecting their pumpkins for a lovely dinner at home!