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Ever since I saw Sofia Coppola’s 2006 production, Marie Antoinette, I have dreamed of visiting Versailles.  For her movie, Coppola was given unprecedented access to the vast palace and grounds and it looked magnificent.

It was pretty grand in true life, although the billions of visitors made it a tad crowded. Nonetheless…

I wasn't alone wanting to see Versailles this morning. The palace was overrun with tourists speaking many languages. Photo by me

The Versailles Station after a ride through the "country" from Paris on the double decker train. Photo by me

Thank goodness I managed to catch an early train this morning from Paris. The 30 minute ride was very pleasant, and the ticket seller at the station actually was quite helpful. Luckily with internet, I had researched the excursion and sort of knew what I was doing.

I even managed to get through the gates of the Palace fairly easily despite the massive crowds.  Having the museum pass helped a lot I think.  The ticket lines were unbelievable.

And once inside I got to see this…

Inside Versailles. One of many spectacular chandeliers. Photo by me.

and this…

This bedroom might be a tad fussy for me, but you have to admire how they mixed prints. Photo by me.


And this…

Hall of mirrors. Photo by me

Enough of the gold and the crowds, I looked for an exit.

The corridors were lovely and mysterious. Where did they all go? Photo by me

I headed outside, and even though very little had even started blooming or budding “Le Jardins” were spectacular.

Versailles' back garden. Photo by me

I walked around the grounds for hours before escaping back to the Starbucks in town and the train home. Another day in Paradise.

Peace and quiet. The further I got from the Palace, the less crowded it became. This was still on the palace grounds. It went on forever. Photo by me.

I got back to the train station in Paris just in time to catch the last hour at the Museum d’Orsay. I managed to fit in their special exhibit, “Degas, et le nu” (Degas and the nude).

The main hall of Museum d'Orsay. Such a uniquely beautiful museum in an old train station. Photo by me

It was a spectacularly rich show including sketches, influences by other artists and final paintings, but no photography allowed so you’ll have to take my word for it. It even had one of Degas’s small sketch books on exhibit behind glass. Amazing.

The sun sets on Paris and the Museum d'Orsay. Photo by me

I walked back across the park for my last evening in Paris.

A final sailboat race on the fountain pond in the Tuileries. These are the first clouds I've seen all week. Rain tonight. Photo by me

I paused to watch a rousing game of boules. Photo by me

And finally crossed over to my hotel during rush hour. Photo by me

Good Night, Paris.