VERSAILLES, France – On our second day in Paris, we traveled south of the city to meet Versailles and oh how she seduced us. We first picked up a pair of bikes and rode to the famous city market to pick up the following supplies:
- 1 dozen oily French olives
- 3 types of stinky cheeses (one in the shape of a heart because why not?)
- 1 roll of water crackers
- 16 shiny red cherries
- 1 extra large flaky croissant
- 4 brightly colored macaroons
- 20 juicy blackberries
- 1 container of cold pasta salad
- 1 bottle chilled rosé
This was the picnic of a lifetime, I tell you. Mr. Wonderful rode beside me with these French treasures in a saddle basket as we cruised through the chateau’s enormous grounds, riding along the vast network of trails and tree-lined paths.
First, we got a good look at Marie Antoinette’s hamlet, along with the petit and grand trianons. And once we arrived at the end of the Grand Canal, we settled in on the banks of the lake for our French feast. The memory of this meal on this day with my beloved is wildly beautiful and a good reminder to be still and take it all in.
Later, we walked through hordes of tourists to get a look at the incredibly opulent Hall of Mirrors, the central gallery inside the Palace of Versailles and also where King Louis XIV greeted guests. This is where (centuries later) the Treaty of Versailles was signed to end World War I.Just outside this extravagant palace full of ornate sculptures and paintings is a meticulously manicured garden and a set of gilded gates. See that line? Hundreds of people waited in uncharacteristically high temps for a peek inside. Thankfully, we were allowed to bypass the line since we were with a guide. And we won’t soon forget the crowded walk through many of the 350 sprawling apartments inside this lavish royal chateau.