Saturday, February 19, 2011

Third Largest Painted Ceiling in the World

The Grand Gate at Versailles
One day trip that is highly recommended by all the guide books for Paris is the Palace of Versailles. I am a huge fan of that period in design and fashion. I loved the Marie Antoinette movie and was looking forward to seeing the Palace that Marie and Louis called home prior to the revolution. However, I had an experience at Versailles I would soon not forget and also learned a valuable lesson about hitting popular tourist spots in Winter.

You begin your journey to Versailles in many ways. You can take a tour which will give you a personal guide to the palace and teach you lots of interesting facts. (But the audio guides are free at Versailles.) The bonus to a tour is that they will help you with your transport to the Chateau. You can take the bus o Versailles or you can take the train. There are two train stops for Versailles. One will give you a short 5 block walk to the Chateau the other will give you a 1 mile walk into town. Make sure you take the right train!!!
The third largest painted ceiling in the world! Number 1: Sistine Chapel. Number 2: Caesar's Palace in Vegas.
When you arrive at the Chateau you will automatically notice the huge lines. The begin forming at about 9 am. I arrived at around 10 and found Versailles turned into a cattle yard! Also the front lawn is very slippery; be wary and walk carefully! With my museum pass I got to skip the huge cue for tickets and moved ahead to enter the chateau; once inside I fought for the lines for the bathrooms and the maps/audio guides. I felt like my entire experience of Versailles was spent in a giant line. People were everywhere and they were shovers. If you stopped to look at something you would get pushed from behind by some person also trying to see it. It wasn't that pleasant because of the amount of people inside the chateau and the amount of flash bulbs. Due to the ice and snow the gardens of Versailles were closed on the day I went, this only compounded the people problem inside the Chateau.
The best shot I could get of the King's Bedroom
Overall my experience at Versailles was a negative one. I couldn't absorb a lot of the ambience and I couldn't really enjoy the space because of the large number of people inside the chateau. I really feel that they need to regulate how many people are allowed inside within any given time. When you went to the Musee Rodin or to some of the other smaller Chateaus they limited the number of people allowed in; in order to make sure the people inside could really see and enjoy the art within the space. Versailles really needs to take this step as overall my experience was a bad one full of being shoved by Japanese tourists, flash bulbs to the face and getting my feet stepped on.
The Dauphine's apt. Great bachelor pad, eh?

No comments:

Post a Comment