Palace of Versailles
Initially, we weren’t sure if we’ll go to the Versailles, but as both Eiffel Tower and Louvre were completely sold out we found a few open slots for timed tickets to the palace and decided it would be a nice change of scenery.
After getting off the train and walking to the entrance we saw a huge parking lot filled with tourist buses and an endless line. We quickly went through a separate entrance for timed tickets and started a tour of the palace. Wish we knew better! Our tickets were for 1 pm — the busiest time on the weekend of the busiest month. Rooms felt more like a subway during a rush hour, but when you start walking through halls and chambers there is no way back and no exit until you get to the end. That environment made it impossible to enjoy the interiors and art. After finally getting out we felt relieved to get to the gardens.
The gardens, fountains, and ponds are beautiful and we enjoyed them just as much as we didn’t enjoy the palace. The area is so vast (over 900 hectares!) and filled with so many secluded squares and hidden alleys that even crowds weren’t a problem.
We rented bicycles and rode them to The Estate of Trianon, through Parc de Versailles, and all the way to the end of the Grand Canal. That was the nicest and the most memorable part of the day.
By the end of the day, my Apple Watch counted 22,000 steps and 16.7 km, which was the record of this trip. We stayed in the gardens until closing time, walked to a wrong a train station, then to the right one, and an hour or so later got to the restaurant in front of our apartment building.