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May 10, 2011

Escaping the hustle and bustle busy life of Paris, we spent one day biking in Versailles.  Fat Tire Bike Tours has a full tour to the area but this time it was just the two of us along with Jack and Leigh for a nice relaxing day.

In front of the Grand Canal at Versailles

After hoping the train with the bikes and getting out of the city, we rode to the local Versailles outdoor market.  In a fashion that was pretty typical of our visit to France, we walked around and picked up various items for a picnic (of course wine and cheese were on the menu – plus dried strawberries).  The market was great, very local, and completely shut down by the time we passed it again several hours later.

Shopping for the picnic at the market

From there we biked our way over to the entrance of the Versailles grounds, through the gardens, and all the way down the Grand Canal.  It was there that we had a fantastic picnic and were just able to sit, soak up some sun, and enjoy each other’s company in a beautiful setting.  Also, just to give you a little background, the Palace at Versailles was built largely in the 17th century with many additions and tweaks in the 18th century.  It was one of the primary symbols of the absolute monarchy that existed in France and eventually led to the revolution.  King Louis XIV had moved to the suburb of France in the 17th century and formed the center of political power in this suburb of Paris.  The grounds are incredibly expansive and where we were eating was at the end of a very long canal.

The chateau itself was absolutely massive.  Per Jack’s advice, we chose not to go in and view the palace, which was a great tip.  Everyone we spoke to said that they looked forward to the palace the most but in the end it was the most disappointing.  This was primarily due to the large crowds that descended upon the grounds, plus there was a bunch of construction around the front gate.

The four of us had a great time biking around the grounds and taking it easy.  The bikes really allow you to get away from everyone else and experience parts of Versailles that most people do not get to see (yet another reason to do a bike tour).  Once again, as I always say, a bike is by far the best way to get around and see a place.

Eventually we made our way out of the chateau grounds and put the bikes in a new storage spot.  From there we hopped back on the train and officially ended our second trip out of the city.  We would certainly go back and visit for another relaxing, care-free French day anytime.  Yet another reason why we will miss France a lot.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Carol permalink
    May 27, 2011 17:42

    Yea Jack! We totally agree that inside Vers. is a waste of time and euros

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