We all like cake. But really. Here you’ll see part two of my Versailles post (here’s part one if you missed it), in which we visit the Petit Trianon, Marie Antoinette’s home and the fake peasant hamlet she had built, the main Chateau, and then we did more stuff too. No wonder I’m still exhausted.
The guidebook gave us a nice walking tour of the Petit Trianon and Marie Antoinette’s Hamlet. (We had already followed the tour for the Gardens and the Grand Trianon, so we were just continuing along. We saw various buildings—not all are pictured.
The Belvedere, Rock, and Grotto. We were following the directions, and said to ourselves, hey, what’s a grotto. The answer is it seems to be a cave, because that’s what we found ourselves in. You can all see the Belvedere “palace” which is really just a glorified gazebo, I think.
It would be a cool place to play a gig, or have a wedding though.
Ok. Here’s my favorite part of Versailles, and frankly, in my opinion, the most ridiculous.
“Marie-Antoinette longed for the simple life of a peasant—not the hard labor of real peasants, who sweated and starved around her–but the fairytale world of simple country pleasures. She built this complex of 12 thatched-roof buildings fronting a lake as her own private “Normand” village.
“The main building is the Queen’s House—actually two buildings connected by a wooden skywalk. It’s the only one without a thatched roof. like any typical peasant farmhouse, it had a billiard room, library, elegant dining hall, and two living rooms.
(I imagine you picked up on the sarcasm?)
“This was an actual working farm with a dairy, a water mill, a pigeon coop, and domestic animals. Nearby are the farm and menagerie, where her servants kept cows, goats, chickens, and ducks. The harvest was served at Marie-Antoinette’s table. Marie-Antoinette didn’t do much work herself, but the “supervised” dressed in a plain, white muslin dress and a straw hat. Though the royal family is long gone, kid-pleasing animals still inhabit the farm, and fat fish swim languid circles in the pond.”
To me, THIS is what really explains the difference between the royalty and the regular people, and the sort of just craziness that makes you want to revolt. Palace, well, sure, everybody needs a fancy palace. FAKE PEASANT VILLAGE JUST FOR THE HECK OF IT?? That’s the true waste of money. Though, it’s actually a pretty cool place.
After the Hamlet, we went to visit the Petit Trianon, a smaller palace than the Grand Trianon, primarily used for “storing” Louis XV’s mistresses. Finally it was time to trek back to the Chateau. We decided to shell out for the “Petit Train” rather than walk another 30 to 40 minutes.
You can see Chris was thrilled. The “best” part of the tram was that they played Classical Music from the time, loudly. For instance, music that faintly like bad Rameau (implying that there is good Rameau) with lots of recorders.
Finally we made it back to the palace. We had a little trouble getting into the Chateau because the guard insisted we had either a) already visited the Chateau because “she initialed our museum passes” or b) we had obviously been given our passes by someone who already visited. I was about ready to lose it, but we finally convinced her that neither of those were true. What’s really weird is that I can’t find anything to say that even if we HAD visited already that day, that we couldn’t visit again on our pass, so I’m going with: the woman was an idiot.
The Chateau wasn’t as crowded as I thought it might be, but it was still annoyingly crowded. You all know how I hate crowds though—I love my off-schedule in life and am used to grocery shopping when no one else is, for instance.
The fireplaces were pretty big.
You can see the walls and ceilings are pretty decorated.
Where the King slept. Not too shabby, really. My bed is practically that fancy, but not as much gold.
I believe this was the queen’s bedroom.
Anyway, we greatly enjoyed the tour and generally our visit to Versailles.
We wanted a drink and a snack then, so we stopped at a little place that served crepes and gelato.
Then it was time to catch the train back to Paris!
The train station.
We decided to take the train to the Eiffel Tower, wander around that area again, and eat dinner nearby.
The sky was gorgeous so we tried to get some pictures with the Tower, to varying degrees of effectiveness.
Some guy saw us and asked us to take a picture of him with the tower, so we had him return the favor.
The ground was a little damp so we just walked around enjoying the view and the weather, trying to work up an appetite. We decided to visit a guidebook-recommended restaurant for dinner called Le P’Tit Troquet. We got there at 6:30 pm (American dinner time, ha!) and the restaurant was totally empty. The hostess said we could eat there if we were done by 8 pm because the table was booked then. We knew it would be no problem as we were already exhausted so we wouldn’t want to loiter.
My camera battery died after that—unfortunately it went from indicating practically full to completely empty in a 20 minute period of time. I wasn’t able to get a picture of our meal, but I had the Escargot special (on the above board as a special) and Confit de Canard. The restaurant had three courses for one price, so I had that and then cheese, and Chris had an entree, plat, and a sweet dessert (aka not cheese) so we split a little bit. I found I really enjoyed cheese for dessert. Chris didn’t as much. Naturally we also split a bottle of wine.
The weird thing was: right after we got there, another couple came in, same thing, done by 8 pm. No problem. The restaurant was really quiet so we were talking quietly, and we realized after awhile, the other couple wasn’t talking AT ALL. It was super weird and awkward. Chris thought it seemed like the guy was just really uncomfortable being out at a “fancy french restaurant”.
After dinner, we headed “home” to relax and plan out our last day in Paris. I was already feeling nostalgic!