Day 5 itinerary
Train to Versaille
Tour Palace of Versailles
Enter the gardens
Picnic lunch in the gardens
Lesson Learned: Move in a way that makes you feel your best, NOT for anyone else but yourself.
In France, people go about their day walking, biking and strolling. I saw a few runners here and there, very little gyms (although I am sure there are plenty) Little to no advertisements about supplements, losing weight, etc. This made my heart so happy! I loved seeing the French go about their day and actually enjoy it. Not forcing themselves to spend hours on end in a gym, most likely not enjoying themselves, just to look a certain way. Of course, there nothing wrong with the gym and striving to feel your best, but for me, it has been a challenge and something I needed to step away from. For me finding movement that my body enjoys and feels best with is what my goal is. Seems to be the same in France. Generally people seemed much more joyous. They went about their day walking or biking to where they needed to go/be , without much focus on how time consuming or strenuous it would be. This was true for us as well. We did not have a choice. We quickly became accustomed to moving how our bodies felt, eating when our bodies were hungry and resting when our bodies told us. France was an amazing teaching lesson reminding me to LISTEN to your body, not to what society views are “beautiful”.
What we did:
This was a very long day. We decided to travel to Versaille to see the Palace and the gardens. We planned this right after a trek to Giverny. I would spread this out more if I were to do it again, as it was very exhausting. Between travel, waiting in lines, taking everything in and of course WALKING, we were pretty tired by the end of our day and retreated back to our home pretty early.
We took the train to Versaille, which was over an hour. There were many stops and it was not as comfortable of a ride as Giverny was. Regardless, we made it! (This was always reassuring when we made our destination, not knowing the area, language, etc could be quite intimidating!)
We arrived in Versaille early, We stopped at a little cafe and as mom had her coffee and croissant I explored the shops in Versaille to look for lunch. Thank goodness I did as I would be been pretty miserable and “hangry” from the wait. I am not pleasant when I am hungry, ask my students, mom, dad…..anyone will tell you!
When we arrived at the palace, we thought we could use our Museum Pass to get ahead in line, however we quickly found out we were NOT exempt from waiting in line 😦
Our wait was over 2 hours. Of course this was a hot and humid day, so not very pleasant, but we were here and would not miss out on the beauty of the palace! We kept ourselves entertained with lots of people watching from line, and striking up interesting conversations with others in line with us! It definitely helped the time fly by!
This was also a great opportunity to grab a few photo ops !
Once inside it remained crowded, however it was moving (Thank goodness!) The palace is breathtaking. Beyond words, however due to the excessive heat, long lines and many people, I feel we were unable to enjoy it as much as we wanted to. We found ourselves taking quick photos as we were passing through rooms , only to look at the later. People were not unfriendly, but you were “prodded” along if you stood too long.
Finally we got to the much anticipated Hall of Mirrors this was so incredible and amazing! What a feeling to know that King Henri once walked these halls daily and received little messages and notes from people 🙂 I highly recommend reading some history prior to visiting! There are so many fascinating things that occurred here!
After we made our way through the palace, we had to pay an additional fee (which was NOT included in our museum pass) to enter the gardens. Here we had our picnic lunch. This was such an incredible experience! The gardens are HUGE. You can rent a golf cart to explore the area. There are many fountains, music, and trails to explore. I wish we had more energy because we were only able to touch on a few of the beautiful things!
We had some difficulty finding the exit, but once we did , we finally made our way out and back into town! We explored a bit (ok, so not intentionally, we got lost…again 🙂 ) and made our way back to the train to head back to Paris.
We got home pretty late, stopped at a market for some dinner and went home and rested for the night!
- Arrive early to avoid the lines and the heat
- bring/pack a lunch
- Be sure to check which day the museum and gardens are closed ( I Believe the museum is open daily but the gardens close )
- wear comfortable shoes
- be prepared for lines and crowds
- do some research prior!
- If you want to avoid lines and waiting, set up a reservation for a specific time slot
Day 6 Itinerary
Breakfast and Tea at Laduree
Shopping and exploration at Le Marais
This was supposed to be our last day in Paris. We usually grabbed a quick breakfast or ate it at home, but today we wanted to experience a little bit of “royalty”. We stopped by the beautiful Laduree, famous for its macrons and other tasty treats, for tea and croissants
It really was adorable! The tea and service was amazing!
After breakfast, we wanted to use our museum pass AND visit the Le Marais section for some shopping and food, so we decided to go to the Musee National Picasso
This was a very interested museum. It was beautiful but odd and difficult to navigate and figure out where to go! We did eventually figure it out and spent about an hour in the museum. Picasso’s art work you can just stare at in awe for hours on end!
We then made our way over to explore Le Marais. They had the most unique and beautiful shops and food!
I found the most amazing pair of sunglasses, but did not purchase them, and we were unable to find the shop again!
We walked, and walked and walked. We found these beautiful sculptures
Then decided on falafel for lunch. This was by far my favorite meal while in Paris! Go figure!! There were so many choices, however we ended up eating along Rue des Rosiers, the Jewish Quarter of Le Marais. This was a fabulous section! So many bakeries and food options!
The IT place for Falafel is Las Du Fallafel.
There was a huge line outside, and the fallafel looked phenomenal but we opted for a sit down falafel place instead. This was my favorite meal in Paris, in fact my favorite meal in a very long time! We sat down at Chez H’anna and were not disappointed! I ordered the falafel platter, served with a stack of warm pita
and my mom opted for a chicken curry stuffed pita
During our late lunch, I received a message that our flight for tomorrow was CANCELLED.
Of course my anxiety took over and I was in a panic. We decided to head home so I could grab my iPad and all of our information so we could figure out HOW we would get home.
This took several hours but we finally decided on staying one more day and taking an 11 am flight on Friday morning! Everything worked out perfectly, as our airbnb allowed for us to stay one more night! PHEW!
This put a bit of a damper on our plans, we did end up taking a bus to La Grande Epicerie, a lovely gourmet market in Paris that was on my moms “Must see” list. This place was magnificent and reminded me much of our own, Wegmans 🙂
We were thrilled to have another FULL day and night in this beautiful city! We planned to get a great nights rest to have the energy to see all the things we wanted to see on our final day!
To be Continued……………….