Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Versailles Greens

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.
More gardens coming tomorrow with the l'Art du Jardin opening tomorrow at the Grand Palais. Get your shovels out and start planting PBers!


  1. We've been to Versailles a few times on the train but never come across a decorated train, how lucky. The signage can be difficult to follow, I can see how you mistakenly went the wrong direction. The gardens are so gorgeous fountains on or not, of course the fountains are incredibly special. I love your glimpses of the town of Versailles too.

    1. You could easily spend loads of time in the town which most people don't I'll bet. Very picturesque and pretty. It feels like the clock has stopped...

  2. Pretty much like here believe it or not..lush lush lush but mostly much rain..clematis are huge already..but few have buds and blooms..
    Of course..that would be a point of destination for me..

    How nice..the macaron:-)
    Pouring and humid here today..
    Glorious compared to -temps nevertheless:-)
    Love the aquarelle.

  3. Anonymous6:38 PM

    It cracks me up that even you get turned around!
    I will go there some day. Yes please, more gardens! merci.

    1. Sometimes you're not paying attention enough..the anticipation didn't help a bit

  4. Be still my heart!!!! You know how I love gardens! But the very best thing about Versailles is the public transport with appropriate decor!

  5. Versailles looks rather lovely, even if the flowers have not yet arrived. I very much liked the look of those clouds, Carol. Thank you so much for including them in your photos.

    A macaron gift...of course the patron recognized a true fan when he saw you!

    Hoping that you will be able to find a way to do some plein air painting. Is is permitted to bring a little folding bench of one's own? If not Versailles, I'm sure you will fine another parc to inspire.


    1. I think no one would have minded. Just laziness took over I'm afraid..where's a swing to romp and play on like in a Fragonard painting...

  6. Thanks for posting this. We were just in Paris and I love how they decorate the trains on that line. And I love how weirdly atmospheric and creepy the lighting is on those trains, too. Something about the double-decker thing. Versailles is so lovely and awe-inspiring. The Guerlain bottle is also quite Rococo like Versailles.

  7. When I was in Paris many years ago, the workers were on strike at Versailles. So we could only see the grounds. We could not go inside the building.

  8. Anonymous3:54 AM

    Those two Cara Black books were life savers!
    The line to get into Versailles was soooooo long, even with tickets. So, I just whipped those books out and we were happy as clams. We also read on the train home. Vanessa didn't think she wanted to read a murder book, but got hooked on hers and was torn tonight between reading it and the one she is about 3/4th the way through!

  9. Wonderful post! You are all over the place!

  10. Well I never - talking about planting, that's all I've done today but wish I'd made the most of your sunshine and done it yesterday. Good planning going to Versailles. Love that place. Lucky you with the free macaron - almond jasmine? Great idea. Hmmm.

  11. I love your painting at the top -- how lucky to have the macaron presented to you! Oh, that's another spot on the bucket list. One visit to France is never enough time! How lovely it is!

  12. Murder at Versailles, Carol? Hmm nearby is Satory, the HQ of the elite terrorist response team. Vanessa and Carolyn happy to be a 'lifesaver' :)

  13. Lovely. I'm glad that sometimes the spring fever strikes you, too. Just taking time to enjoy is important. I love Versailles---such a lesson in the "why" of the French Revolution!

  14. Anonymous11:39 PM

    Plenty of tidbits and your cookie looked Devine...I noticed how empty of benches for people to relax and enjoy the lush surroundings...

  15. What a wonderful trip back to Versailles!
    There was nothing we loved more than to go there for a lingering picnic and simply enjoy every minute.
    Thank you for this happy trip down memory lane!


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