Versailles is an utterly amazing spectacle. It is grand on a scale that I’ve never experienced before. Standing there, looking out from the Palace to the Grand Canal is a glimpse into a very different world.
Versailles is a bit of a trip outside of Paris proper. We took the RER train (basically the commuter rail), leaving early enough to get there when the palace opened at 9:00. We only had a bit of a wait at the ticket window (because we’d decided against buying any of the passes that would have allowed us to bypass that), and the line at security wasn’t that bad either. I’d also found out that of the days we would be there, Wednesday should be the least busy (it’s closed Monday., so there’s a definite surge of people on Tuesday). Still, even arriving that early, there were a lot of people. I definitely enjoyed seeing the inside of the palace, but it was nice to get outside, where you could control your exposure to the crowds a bit more.
We did stop at the Angelina tearoom inside the palace, for a pastry and espresso break. (Actually, we had lunch at Angelina too, but at the Petite Trianon lunch counter). I had a wonderful concoction called a Millefeuille, which involved a whole lot of cream in some really lovely puff pastry.
The gardens outside were amazing. The scope is breath-taking, and it’s really hard to take it all in. There are actually a ton of little garden rooms that you can’t even always get into. It was definitely one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been to.