Our Europe Trip: Paris – Versailles

Day 5: Paris/Versailles

Despite everything I knew about Versailles, I was not prepared for how huge it was. The palace itself was remarkable, but the gardens were absolutely unbelievable. The craziest part about Versailles is that it was built as their country home to get away from the bustle of Paris and the Louvre. And then they built other palaces and a little farm community within the gardens to get away from the bustle of Versailles. Again, it’s obvious why there were 2 revolutions.

I was super excited to see the hall of mirrors, but the tourists everywhere made it a little less spectacular. And we went in the off season, so I can’t imagine how crowded it would have been during the summer.

Being there kept reminding me of Vegas – excess for excess’ sake. All these palaces were all about looking awesome. For the most part, there was no practical use for anything. It was all there just to impress. This became more evident as we learned about Louis XIV’s daily scheduled, which consisted of audiences sitting and watching him wake up, eat meals, “rule,” and hang out. But I was super impressed. So, mission accomplished, Louis!

Versailles took most most of the day, so by the time we got back to Paris, we were on a search for dinner and the Moulin Rouge. Since our hotel was pretty much in the red light district, the Moulin Rouge wasn’t too hard to find. It was probably ¾ of a mile from our hotel in Blanche Square. We thought we would try to eat there, but at 200 euro a person, we had to pass. It was cool to see the windmill, though. ☺

We went across the square to eat at an American-themed restaurant, comparable to Texas Roadhouse. I would have been upset about eating at an American restaurant in France, but it turned out to be quite the education on how the rest of the world does American food. They were pretty close, but it was definitely weird. For example, I ordered a dessert called fromage blanc, which looked like it was going to be some kind of panna cotta with fruit topping. Turned out it was unsweetened yogurt with some unsweetened fruit junk on top. It was not dessert, nor fromage.