Our $32,000+ Honeymoon in Paris for only $2,000! – Day 4 in Paris; Versailles & Rue Cler

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Paris Day 4
In the Gardens at Versailles
Emily Jablon:  The next day, we woke up early (no more sleeping in until 12!), ate breakfast and left the hotel by 8:15 am to take the train to see the palace of Versailles. Daraius:  It was  cheap (~7 euros in the morning with no traffic) & quick to take a cab from our hotel to the Musée d’Orsay RER train station and catch the C train to Versailles.  The RER train comes every 15 minutes, and after a few minutes of waiting, we were on the train.

I used the time at the train station to experiment with the automatic ticket machines and found that I could buy tickets using a US-issued Chip & Signature card, but could not buy them from the machine with a regular US-issued card without a Chip.  Of you could also just go to the ticket office and buy them as well.

Emily Jablon:  We took the train to the last stop, got off, and took a right out of the station.  We then took the first right out of the station onto the main street, and made our way to the palace.  The crowds were not too bad in the morning—we followed Rick Steve’s advice and went early in the morning on Wednesday, when it is less crowded.  But the trade-off was that the fountains were not running. 

We reached the palace by 9:30 am (just 30 minutes after it opened), but there were still lot of people there.

Paris Day 4
Outside Versailles

We went through the security line (we skipped the line to buy tickets since we had our Paris museum pass).

Paris Day 4
Daraius and Emily in front of Versailles

Soon we were going through the tour of the palace.  We went through several rooms, then finally made our way to the chapel.

Paris Day 4
Inside the Chapel
…the Hall of Mirrors…
Paris Day 4
Emily in the Hall of Mirrors
…the King’s apartments…
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The King’s Royal Bed
 ..and the Queen’s apartments.

It was very neat to be standing in the middle of history, though we did feel like we were cattle in a herd!

Paris Day 4
The Queen’s Royal Bed

At the end of the tour, I stood in line for ~20 minutes to use the ladies’ restroom.

I should have waited until I reached the gardens because there are several outdoor restaurants over there which also have restrooms—without the long lines.  While Daraius was waiting for me, he got a sandwich from the cafe along with Nestea peach iced tea.

Daraius and I walked through the gardens following the map in the Rick Steves’ Paris book.  The gardens were HUGE and designed to showcase the power of a divine right king.

I stopped at the restaurant in the gardens and  ordered a ham and cheese Panini, an espresso, and Daraius got a bottle of water.  We then went to rent bikes for biking around the gardens.

Daraius:  This was my second time at Versailles, and what stood out during my last visit was biking through the vast grounds behind the palace.  So I was eager to bike around the grounds with my new wife!
Paris Day 4
Bike for rent in the Gardens
Emily Jablon:  Getting the bikes was our favorite part of Versailles.  The gardens are actually more like a pruned forest or national park, they are so huge!
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The Endless Gardens

We had a picnic with the leftover sandwich and chips and just sat on the grass and stared into the sky.

Paris Day 4
Emily at the end of the Lake in the Gardens

We biked around the entire lake, and finally returned our bikes.  We didn’t go into the petit trianon and the other smaller palaces, because we were so relaxed from biking and didn’t want to brave the crowds again!

Daraius:  We biked for a little over 2 hours and loved every minute of it.  You do have to leave photo id when you rent the bikes, so carry your drivers license, and NOT your passport.  Licenses are a lot easier to replace than passports!

We left Versailles at about 3:00 pm, and on the way back we decided to go to Rue Clere, a street in the Left Bank filled with small shops, including a fromagerie (cheese shop), charcuterie (meat shop), boulangerie (bread shop), and a pâtisserie (dessert shop).

Daraius:  As we were walking from the Pont de l’Alma station to Rue Clere, we could see the Eiffel tower pierce through the skyline.
Paris Day 4
What’s That?

We stopped at a French consignment shop where you could buy gently used Chanel coats for “only” 1,200 euros!  No thanks.

Emily ran into the fromagerie as soon as she saw it!

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A Happy Emily

And couldn’t decide what to get!

Paris Day 4
Emily and her Other Love, Cheese
Emily Jablon:  Daraius and I picked up some cheese, meat, caramel wafers, and I got some cookie butter (like peanut butter but cookie flavored).
Paris Day 4
The Loot

We saw the French version of a hot dog!

Paris Day 4
French Hot Dog: A Baguette with a Hot Dog and Cheese on Top

And I almost bought flowers to take back to the hotel!

Paris Day 4
Emily at the Flower Shop

It was fun seeing all the nice foods for sale.  Everything was arranged so beautifully!

For dinner, I had a crepe and Daraius got shrimp, duck & rice at an Asian take-away restaurant.  It was so nice walking down the sidewalks and seeing kids playing on the streets, friends kissing each other hello, and people walking their dogs (yes, including poodles).

Daraius:  There were lots of other folks with the yellow colored Rick Steve Paris travel guide going in and out of the shops on Rue Cler as well!

After dinner, we entered a small shoe shop which could fit only about 4 people.  The elderly owner talked to us in French and gave the “thumbs up” sign and a big smile for les Americains and later gave the thumbs down sign and bemoaned aout how expensive it now is to sit in a café, compared to the good old days!

We got back to the hotel by 9 pm, worked on our laptops and went to bed relatively early.

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