Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Palace of Versailles

I thought I had seen castles. I thought I had seen and been to palaces. I thought I had been blown away by their grandeur and brilliance......Then, I went to Versailles and saw the palace there. Now I know why people come to visit Versailles. Wow.

Versailles is the most gaudy, massive, elegant looking palace that I have ever seen. I was amazed by it and blown away by how these people lived and what kind of pampered lives they must have had. Until they all were killed by their own people at least.....

But let me skip ahead a little bit....
On our way to Versailles, Nate and I had the worst luck ever. We had something terrible happen to us that definitely was the low part of our whole 3 week trip. I guess you win some and you lose some.

On our way to the bus station......
We each got a ticket from the transportation police, I guess you could call them. Yes, we both got tickets while we were in Paris. No, I am not joking. I wish I was. When we first got to Paris, we bought week long unlimited travel cards so we could ride as much as we wanted. The guy who sold them to us told us that we needed to sign our name on the front of them, go get our picture taken, then print one off to put in the little box on our travel cards. He didn't explain why we needed the picture or what it was used for. So we didn't think it was a big deal. Apparently we were wrong.

So we went the whole week and we were fine. We didn't understand the whole getting your picture taken thing and putting it on our pass. We didn't think it would be a big deal because we were only there for 6 days and what were the chances of someone noticing that we didn't have a picture. Plus, we didn't know where to get a picture and we can't really ask anyone because we don't speak French. So we just left it blank. On our last day, (we were going to Versailles) we got the metro like normal. Then we got off and went to transfer to another metro to go to Versailles. There were a ton of people walking down this set of stairs, and I noticed a man checking people at the bottom. I didn't think anything of it, because I knew we had our passes and honestly paid for them and everything so I wasn't worried. Then right before we got up there it hit me. HE WAS CHECKING FOR PROPER PICTURES AND SIGNATURES! I turned to Nate and whispered to him twice that he was checking for pictures......but it was too late. He had seen our cards and pulled us aside. We were both fined 25 Euros each. No matter what we said or how sweet we were, nothing worked. We grudgingly handed the man a 50 Euro bill and walked away. We were in shock. Ouch. He told us we needed to get the pictures by tomorrow, but we were leaving the next morning, so we decided to not get them because we were fine for the current day. The whole thing was just a matter of getting unlucky and happening to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when they were holding random checks. It put a damper on our day that's for sure. So heads up.....when visiting Paris, you probably should take the time out of your trip and pay the money to get your picture taken and put on your travel pass. It will save me quite a bit.

Anyway.....On a brighter note.....Here are some of the beautiful pictures we took at Versailles:
The gardens were the amazing part of Versailles. They were huge! It would be a perfect place to hold a huge party or a wedding reception. There were fountains everywhere and huge ponds. There were statues and beautiful landscaping with flowers and bushes carved into cool shapes and designs. In the huge ponds towards the back you could rent a boat to row around in. You could also rent a golf cart to go around the gardens in because it is that big. Kids were renting ponies and riding them on the trails. Such a fun place to just walk around and enjoy life.

Nate and I got some sandwiches and drinks at the little cafe and sat in the gardens enjoying the beautiful scenery. We were blown away by everything that we saw.

The gardens of Versailles have their own water fountain show every 15 minutes like in Las Vegas at the Bellagio Hotel. They had opera music playing in the background. It was so fun just to sit on the grass and watch the water do some tricks to the music. We watched it a couple times.....

Isn't the palace huge in the background?
Imagine walking through a gold gate like this everyday to get into your house. What a life. These people had more money then they even knew what to do with I think. 

We had a great day and enjoyed seeing this amazing historical site. Besides getting the tickets earlier that morning, it was an amazing day! :)

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