Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Day 13 - Versailles, France (2011)

Our 4th day in France and what better way to spend a leisurely day but to visit the famous Chateau de Versailles. It's not that far from where we were staying so we didn't really rush to do the morning drive there.

although it looks like a cross country drive on this google map, it was actually just around 40mins drive from Neuilly-Plaisance to Versailles, guided by our trusty GPS

When we got to Versailles, we immediately looked for the parking place which was just in front of the main gate of the Palace grounds. Parking fee was Euro 11.20 per car (caching!). I guess we were still pretty early (almost lunch time) cause there were still some available parking spaces (or did they go to FREE parking lots nearby???).

 the parking lot in front of the palace grounds

the side building of the palace where tickets were being sold

The sun was out today and it was a good weather to explore the Palace grounds (if you are wearing sun block, sun glasses, and a hat or umbrella). 

walking towards the main gate with the clear blue sky above us

 tourists queuing up to see some of the exhibits in the Palace

Chateau de Versailles gates of gold

first of the many gardens that we saw today. 
This one is located just after the entrance (to the left)

first of the pools in the Palace

entry point was in the corner of this building (right in the middle there)

Bassin d'Apollon (left side)

Bassin d'Apollon (left side)

gardens to the left, if facing the main palace building

our little girl posing with one of the statues

how heavy can this be????

We didn't plan to explore the inside of the Palace cause it won't really appeal to the 4 kids (and some adults), so we decided to just take the mini train around the Palace grounds. It's a cheaper alternative to the golf buggy they were renting out (Euros 30 for one hour/4 passengers). For the mini train, we paid Euro 6.70 per adult for a round-trip ticket. Children under 11 can ride for free. It was a big ground to cover and we didn't want to walk under the hot sun, and it was a really convenient way to get around.

mini train ticket (back)

mini train ticket (front)

The mini train went around the Palace ground, from the side of the main palace, going down the side gardens and pools, and stopped at 3 of the major attractions. First stop was at Petit Trianon. We didn't go down. Just had a glimpse of the small palace and took the train to the next stop.

 the trimmed rows of trees 

second stop, Grand Trianon

again we just stayed in the train, looked over at the building

and grabbed the photo op without having to go near the building

approaching the last stop before the train headed back to the main palace

boat rental

final stop, Grand Canal. This was our stop. The place the appealed more to the kids, and where we could sit down, rest and take in the scenery.

it was a good weather for the kids to run around the grounds - cold but sunny

Tita Malou directing the niece and nephews for the photo shoot....

this time, taking the sticks away from the kids before they hurt themselves (or each other)

the boys, all by themselves

hubby showed the boys where the wild ducks were

the wild ducks realized where the food was coming from

I, on the other hand, was at the other side of the Grand Canal, balancing my steps as I took their photo using zoom lens!

view of the main palace from the Grand Canal. It wasn't that far after all.

bus loads of tourists exploring the chateau grounds

on our way back to the main entrance... bye bye, Grand Canal

passed by Bassin de Neptune

overlooking the Grand Canal

panoramic view of the Palace from the park

After Versailles, we drove to Paris city center to bring my sis-in-law to the main train station. She needs to work for a few days, and meet up with us again in Switzerland.

While the other car, with my other sis-in-law, my bro-in-law, their 2 kids and Kelvin, decided to drive home, hubby and I thought we wanted to drive around Paris and take snap shots of some of the attractions we haven't explored yet. We didn't plan to walk around though cause our passenger, Ira, was already sleeping.

Armed with a Paris city map and my navigational skills, I instructed hubby on where to turn for us to explore Paris till night.

It would have been nice to watch their live show. Would it be in French????

Moulin Rouge

a windmill in the heart of Paris

passed by Arch de Triomphe and the experience wouldn't be complete without driving around the  famous roundabout

I've always wondered how the cars could go round and round and not hit any of the cars or cause a gridlock. My questions were answered. This convertible car almost caused traffic jam.

We drove a few rounds, following a sports car which we thought was advertising for nintendo or something, then decided to stop for a while, just in front of the Eiffel Tower at the Trocadero.

view of the Eiffel Tower from the other side (northwest, if my directions are correct)

there were more tourist flocking this area than where we were the other day

of course, we had to drive under Eiffel Tower

we have been looking for this bridge and now we found it. The bridge where there was a commemorative flame for Princess Diana. This was the place where she had the fatal car accident. Passing thru this bridge gave me an eerie feeling.

nothing historically important in nature...
 i just loved the juxtaposition of the lamps and the stop light

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