Travel Diaries Part 3: Paris, France
13 August 2014
I bet you thought Part One and Part Two were it, didn’t you? That’s because this post, which is part three of our amazing trip to Paris, is long overdue. But truly, this was one of our very favorite days in France; the day we explored the city of Versailles, Marie Antoinette’s private village and the famous Palace — all by bicycle.To tour Versailles, we chose a company called Fat Tire Bike Tours.
In college, I had multiple friends work for them and I’ve only heard great things from anyone that has ever toured with them. It was so fun finally getting to experience it for myself. They really did live up to the hype.Versailles is the most quaint, beautiful little town that had all the French charm I’d ever dreamed of. Women strolled their kids around while carrying baguette’s, old couples walked around slowly in the sunshine, the streets were clean and white. It felt like a place out of a dream. Once we got our bikes, we were off! We biked past beautiful green fields full of goats and cows, stopping every few minutes for a story or educational tidbit from our guide. Then we spent over an hour walking around an old Farmer’s Market, picking out cheese, wine, fruit and bread for a picnic later on. I had a sea salt and caramel crepe from a street vendor and I swear.. nothing has ever tasted that good.
Then we headed to Marie Antoinette’s hamlet, a rustic retreat that was built for her in 1783. We learned that the Queen had this very private meeting place built to basically escape her day-to-day life in the Palace. It was strictly off-limits to anyone expect for her closest friends and was a total place of leisure. It contains a large lake, a classical Temple of Love and various cottages, all of which are rustic and decorated with a garden, an orchard or a flower garden. The way this space has been preserved and rebuilt is fascinating, and you can almost imagine the idyllic, fantasy-like life the Queen must have had here.
Our next stop was the Grand Canal, where we enjoyed our picnic lunch overlooking the water. There’s nothing quite like drinking Rosé while laying in the warm grass in France. Nothing.
For our last stop, we headed inside the Palace of Versailles for a stunning look at the Hall Of Mirrors and elaborately decorated bedrooms. This place was unreal. It’s hard to believe people once lived in these rooms, surrounded by such opulence. It was incredible to see in person.
Thankful to Fat Tire for such an amazing experience. For anyone planning a trip to Paris, I can’t recommend them enough!