Monday, May 23, 2011


We took a perfectly sunny day to go to Versailles and were able to enjoy it the way I imagine the tragically fated French royalty once did. Versailles is one of those places you visit and really get a feel for how things once were. Strolling through the palace's many rooms, you can almost see the young Marie Antoinette going about her daily life. The gardens and palace are truly excess and grandeur at their best. My favorite, though, was Petit Trianon and the Queen's Hamlet. About a mile from Versailles, accessible by either walking the great gardens or taking a petit train, sits Marie Antoinette's smaller, cozier palace that she used to escape the business of Versailles. Also on the estate is a working farm that has been completely restored to run as it would have in her time. Marie Antoinette would oversee production of the farm herself and loved to throw rural parties where she would serve food grown in the gardens and cream from the dairy. It is a beautiful retreat and anyone can see why it was so dear to her.

Versailles with a baby thoughts: you are not allowed to take your stroller inside Versailles palace or any of the other buildings. This was clear on their website. It is easy and quick to check your stroller or any other small bag at the entrance. We used an Ergobaby baby carrier and it worked great except that Harris is a particularly hot-natured baby and it was a warm day. There was a decent breeze flowing through the palace, but it was crowded and stuffy. Harris had enough of being hot after about an hour which was only about half through the palace. After the palace, you may collect your stroller for the gardens. We did not do this as we wanted to do the other buildings, but this was a mistake! The other buildings also have an easy stroller check with no additionally queuing. There is quite a bit of walking around the grounds, even if you take the petit train out to Petit Trianon and Grand Trianon. The stroller would have made everyone much more comfortable. An even better option on a warm day would have been to rent a little golf cart which you can drive to all the other palaces and around the grounds. They were all rented when we arrived. I believe it was around €30/first 2 hours, plus additional for more time but I can't remember. This would not only have been a slightly cooler option to the queuing in the sun of the petit train, but also much faster. There is too much to see at Versailles so any time spent waiting in lines is wasted time. Even without kids the cart seemed like it would be the way to go.

Location:Versailles, France

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