I went to Versailles today with Carolyn and Vanessa. The weather was most obliging wth a bit of sunshine.
You know you're on the right RER train (C) by the 18th century decor, but it's a good idea to also be headed the right direction. We were not. The signs can be confusing...nevermind. Just get off and change tracks.
The fountains are on during the weekends so you might wish to wait.
I decided to just do the gardens at Versailles this time, with all the hints of Spring in Paris. Immersion in greenery and Mother Nature was quite appealing.
I ended up riding around on the little train all over the grounds without ever getting off. My plans to paint onsite a la Eugene Boudin were squashed by a lack of benches and maybe a touch of Spring fever inertia.
It may be too early for the flowers but the greenery is sumptuous.
I highly recommend reading Heather Stimmler's Secrets of Paris PDF on Versailles before you go. All the details are nailed. Definitely buy your entry tickets online before you go and a round trip RER ticket as well. You'll still have to go through a long line to have your bag checked before entering the buildings (not the gardens). Bring a book! Heather's monthly newsletter is full of treasures. Well worth subscribing. I wouldn't miss it.
I would also suggest you take lunch so you won't have to wait on more long lines or search for a place to eat. We picked up some goodies in the marche which proved a blessing.
There may not be many flowers yet but there are plenty of sheep and joggers.
The town of Versailles is charming and worth a promenade.
Look for the Cours de Scents - an elegant gathering of shops just outside the perimeter of Versailles including Guerlain and Diptych.
Lenotre has much needed ice cream cones after your jaunt through Versailles...
The gent behind the counter saw me eying the macarons and offered me one gratis! Is it that obvious that I'm a devoted macaron fan. This delicate creation is from their Printemps/Spring collection - almond with a dash of jasmine inside.
I passed a small courtyard and thought I better do a 'Cara Black' and waltz right in. An unlikely place for a murder but very pretty instead. Sorry Cara.
More gardens coming tomorrow with the l'Art du Jardin opening tomorrow at the Grand Palais. Get your shovels out and start planting PBers!