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I know that while you can repeat an activity, you will probably never have the same experience. I returned to Versailles my second time with Bryan.

We took the train in the afternoon…

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…yes, this was the train. We did a little reading on the way, so we could focus on where we wanted to spend our time.

When we arrived, there were no lines for tickets, and we thought, ‘This is going to be great…no crowds’, but sadly Versailles is a huge place (as everyone knows) and just fills itself very well. I thought to myself a few times that I was trying to look at La Joconde at the Louvre, but no, these were not flashbacks.

I really think the movie Marie Antoinette gives a much better idea of the Château than I ever could, so I bring you some details that delighted me. 🙂

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Beautiful chandeliers in The Hall of Mirrors.

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Small lock and doorknob on a massive door.

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Quiet hallway off the main tour route.

After being shoved pushed through most of the Château, we decided fresh air was in order. I was under the impression that the gardens closed at the same time as the Château, but they stay open hours later!

We took a leisurely stroll through some of the groves and found a small snack. And then, just as we were commenting on walking to the Grand Trianon, drip…drip…drip…of course. Rain, encore. It was not that bad and we were convinced that our umbrellas would be enough.

And then it was POURING!

We had to seek refuge, and wait it out. Luckily, the place we fell into was a restaurant. 🙂

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The restaurant, La Flottille, was pretty, with wine and more substantial snacks. The rain lasted so long that we ended up having some Côtes du Rhône, and watching the afternoon turn to evening, “stranded” at Versailles.

The interior had an old carriage that they were using to store table linens.

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I liked the exterior decoration and how the ceiling fabric was falling down. Reminded me of a certain diesel fueled VW from my childhood. 😉

After the wine, and the rain…we ventured outside with a hopeful radar prediction.

We were rewarded with completely empty grounds. It is difficult for me to explain…so I will show you, lest you think I am kidding…

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And we were there to see the lights come on at night. It was pretty spectacular. 🙂

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So, if possible, I would recommend going to Versailles in the afternoon on a day with predicted rain, seek shelter and wine in the late afternoon, and when you leave everyone will have vanished. For a few quiet hours, we had the run of the place. 😉 Magical.

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