Au Revoir Paris

What’s the best advice for day four? Don’t get too ambitious. Yes, there maybe moments of overzealousness; but remember to stay calm. With most of the major monuments ticked off, it’s time to check out the Palace of Versailles. No trip to Paris would be complete without a visit to the Palace of Versailles. And since it’s located on the outskirts of the city – consider your day well spent exploring its sprawling estate.

You can take the RER C to reach Versailles. The Palace is a short walk from Versailles Rive Gauche station. Alternatively, you can take the Versailles Express to get there. It would be wise to choose a guided tour for the palace tour, as the audio guide pales out in comparison to the wit of a real guide. Most guided tours (we found ours en route) take you through the main palace – leaving you with ample time to discover the gardens on your own.

The Palace of Versailles, a UNESCO World Heritage Monument, was a hunting lodge before it was transformed into a opulent palace. Grandiose, luxury, decadence, and narcissism seem to be the underlying motifs of its erstwhile rulers. A walk through the King’s Grand Apartments and Hall of Mirrors are ample proof of this. History buffs might remember the Hall of Mirrors to be the place where the ‘Treaty of Versailles’ was signed. Stunning works of art, on ceilings and walls, elaborately depict scenes from the past – often exaggerated for added effect.

The sprawling grounds of Versailles may take the rest of the day to explore. And if you’re game to more exploration, there’s Marie – Antoinette’s Estate. For a lunch break, you can head towards the cafes, neatly tucked between rows of finely manicured trees.

If you have more days in Paris, you could stick with the original plan of spending the entire day in Versailles. Else, hop on a train and head towards Montmartre.

Montmartre is particularly famous for the following: The Basilica of Sacre Coeur, street artists, and a vibrant atmosphere. And there’s Moulin Rouge nearby. But, you’d need more time to see it all. Once again, the walk from the station might tempt you to get lost along the alleys. After spending half a day in Versailles, your feet might not be as cooperative as you thought them to be. The minute you spot street musicians and human statues, you’d know you’ve reached your destination.

The Basilica of Sacre-Coeur is definitely impressive. But, at the end of a rather warm summer day, it’s all-right to sit on the steps of the hill and sip on a cool drink. With cover bands belting out a fine collection of hits; it’s a fitting way to say goodbye to one of the finest cities in the world.

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Montmartre’s got its fair share of street celebrities. Even if you aren’t a football buff – it would be hard not be in awe of  Iya Traoré. And when he’s not balancing himself on a street lamp whilst dribbling the ball ; Iya finds time to make an appearance in Shakira’s music video.

How do you end the perfect last day in Paris? Shop for a painting (or two) from a street artist. That’ll make a lifelong memory.

15 responses to “Au Revoir Paris

  1. You beautiful photos of the Palace of Versailles and Montmartre have prompted me to dig into my digital gallery to relive some of my happy memories of Paris. Did I tell you that we did a tour of the River Seine and I pointed out the Lovers Lock bridge to my daughter as we sailed under it. The next day, I was shocked to hear that the bridge had collapsed under the weight of the locks! I am glad I got to see it before it gave way, and gladder still that it didn’t collapse on me the previous day! 🙂

    • Thank you Helene! Writing the Paris posts has been an enjoyable experience. The Seine River cruise must have been an enjoyable experience. You know, we never saw the locks on the bridge. And every time a see a movie, I wonder, how did we miss it! The bridge collapsed under the weight of the locks! Sounds unbelievable. Lucky that you missed it! 🙂

    • Becky, the Palace of Versailles is perfect for a day of exploration, considering the time you put in getting there. The Palace, itself, takes more than an hour of viewing time. And then you have Marie-Antoinette’s Estate and the gardens. We missed both as it was our last day in Paris and were in a mad rush. If you want to truly enjoy Versailles, I’d say a day’s good. 🙂

  2. Sighhh… Loved reading this and reliving our recent trip. Thank you for sharing and setting off the warm, fuzzy memories 🙂

  3. Oh, I wish i would have caught you while you were there! I used to live there, but have also advised my friends on a whirlwind, ‘we only have 2 days’ tour. I hope you loved it as much as I do. Love following your adventures!

    • Thanks a bunch! 🙂 I wish we could have stayed for longer. We absolutely loved Paris! And, I’d give the same advice to anyone visiting Paris! Although, back then, I had a full-time job and barely any leaves. 😦
      Cheryl

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