Europe 2012: Paris Day 4

Our final day in Paris was a bit dreary and drizzly, but it was still a fun day. Hey, we were vacationing in France, how could we possibly complain!?

Château Versailles:

On a Tuesday morning we took the RER C train from central Paris to Château Versailles. From the Versailles-Rive Gauche station, where we departed the train, it was only a 5 minute walk to the palace.

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It was huge!BLOG_P1090226BLOG_P1090228

We toured the palace and learned about the history of Château Versailles.

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Every room was stunningly grand from floor to ceiling. Every inch of the interior was a piece of art.BLOG_P1090231

The Hall of Mirrors was spectacular. The palace was jam-packed with visitors the day we went, if you can’t tell!BLOG_P1090232

The King’s chambers.BLOG_P1090237

And the Queen’s chambers!

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Dining area.BLOG_P1090240

Gardens of Versailles

We were very excited to visit the gardens at Versailles, but unfortunately it was drizzling for the majority of our visit. The immense scale of the gardens just blew.my.mind.socket. I just did a Google search to find out the size of the gardens and discovered that they cover 800 hectares of land. That statistic means nothing to me. A subsequent Google search garnered the fact that 800 hectares is equal to roughly 1500 football fields.

Just trust me when I tell you it’s BIG, deal?BLOG_P1090243BLOG_P1090244BLOG_P1090245BLOG_P1090246

Wikipedia informs me that the gardens contain 50 fountains. FIFTY!BLOG_P1090247

We spent about an hour walking through the gardens, from the Palace to our next destination. Mind you, this walk was done very slowly, as we were sharing one umbrella. When the rain let up for a bit, we stopped for lunch at a small café. This pizza and panini were actually really, really good! And we are both now obsessed with Orangina.

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At long last, we made it to our next destination – the place I was most excited to visit at the entire Château Versailles:  Marie-Antoinette’s estate!

The Petit Trianon:

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“Louis XVI’s wife loved this place where she could return to the pleasures of simple, rural pursuits, away from the pomp of Versailles.

The Petit Trianon and its park are indissociably linked to the memory of Queen Marie-Antoinette. She is the only queen to have imposed her personal taste on Versailles. Sweeping away the old court and its traditions, she insisted on living as she wished. In her Trianon domain, which Louis XVI gave her in 1774, she found the heaven of privacy that enabled her to escape from the rigours of court etiquette. Nobody could come there without her invitation.” [ source ]

Inside:

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View of the gardens from within the estate:BLOG_P1090255

Music room / salon:BLOG_P1090256

Bed chambers:BLOG_P1090257

After exploring Marie-Antoinette’s estate we were able to hop on a tram, for a small fee, back to the entrance of the Château.

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Then we took the train back to Paris.

Crêpes!

An afternoon snack was in order! A crêpe with Nutella and banana. Mmm!

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St-Germain:

After resting for a bit in our hotel, we were back out on the streets of Paris – this time in the St-Germain neighborhood. We did part of a walking tour of this area, as laid out in my Frommer’s guide, which included visiting a couple churches in the area.

Eglise St-Germain-des-Prés:

The oldest church in Paris, dates to the 6th century.

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René Descartes’ tomb resides here.BLOG_P1090266

Eglise St-Sulpice:

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This church houses one of the world’s largest organs, with 6700 pipes.

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Then we continued our stroll.

Palais du Luxembourg

Formerly a palace, this structure now houses the French Senate.

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And…

Jardin du Luxembourg

I just loved these gardens! The weather even cleared up a bit.

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So beautiful. Loved all the yellow flowers. This place just made me happy.BLOG_P1090283BLOG_P1090285BLOG_P1090287

More St-Germain strolling. This was interesting area to explore! As my Frommer’s guide says:

“This neighborhood was the place to be in the 1920s. …On these streets Sartre fumed, while Hemingway and Fitzgerald drank and quarreled.” [ source ]

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La Mediterranée

We treated ourselves to a schmancy dinner for our last night in Paris, at La Mediterranée.

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The restaurant was beautiful inside – I loved the atmosphere. I wish I had taken more pictures of the interior. Their website has a few. We were seated at a big, round, plush booth facing the bar. Within minutes of opening at 7:30 PM, the place was full!

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We ordered from the prix fixe menu, and after nibbling on our amuse-bouche of radishes with salt and butter, with bread, the huz and I both began our meal with a bowl of fish soup. And oh my – it was incredible! Lusciously thick and packed with savory, rich, ocean-y flavor. I hesitate to describe it as fishy, because well, it was not. To me, “fishy” has a negative connotation. Ocean-y is a much better descriptor! We had garnishes on the side: toasted bread, rouille, and cheese.

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For my main dish, I ordered a white fish with the most delicious mushrooms I’ve ever tasted, in a creamy sauce with parsley, if I recall correctly. The fish and the mushrooms paired beautifully.

Speaking of pairings, with dinner I drank a light-bodied red wine. I know, I know; fish + white wine is what you’re “supposed” to do, but I just drink what wines I like.BLOG_P1090293

The huz had a filet of cod atop of mound of creamy mashed potatoes. It was yum!BLOG_P1090294

For dessert, we each had a crème brûlée atop a base of baked apples. I let our server choose a dessert wine for me to pair with this. Mmm!

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After our absolutely lovely, incredibly delicious dinner, we enjoyed one last evening stroll through the streets of Paris and along the Seine!

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In the morning, we would fly to our next destination! I’ll be back soon to tell you about it!

4 thoughts on “Europe 2012: Paris Day 4

  1. Pingback: Europe 2012: Day 5–Traveling from Paris to Florence « Meg.Goes.Nom.Nom.

  2. Pingback: Europe 2012: Day 7–Touring Florence « Meg.Goes.Nom.Nom.

  3. Pingback: Europe 2012: Day 11–First Full Day in Rome « Meg.Goes.Nom.Nom.

  4. Pingback: Europe Trip 2012–Two Week Summary « Meg.Goes.Nom.Nom.

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