Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Jour 8 Paris: Hameau & Trianon

Tie for favorite post is between today's and the one about Marché Saint Antoine. Marie Antoinette's Hameau (hamlet) is one of the sweetest, most Alice-in-Wonderlandy, Secret-Gardeny, gorgeous places ever. It's so frickin' dreamy. If I ever own a house with lots of land, I'm converting my backyard into un hameau. I have to.
We were kind of dumb because we whizzed through the Palace to head to Marie Antoinette's retreat and it turns out, it doesn't even open until noon. Luckily for us, there was a little seating area associated with the café so we just sat down for 20 minutes.
At around 11:50, people started forming a line so we hopped on the bandwagon and queued up.
You'll have to show your tickets to an employee - if you purchased the 'Passeport' package, you'll show the same exact tickets you used at the Palace.
It's a whole different vibe once you get back to the Hameau. It's calmer, dreamier, quaint and lovely.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Jour 8 Paris: Château de Versailles

As many times as I'd been to Paris in the past, I hadn't made it to Versailles, not once. The first time I was there, I was too broke to go. The second trip we just didn't have enough time. The third time, I didn't even think about it. So, finally, I got my act together and booked a couple of tickets online. I went for the 'Passeport' package which allows you to visit the palace, trianon, and Marie-Antoinette's digs and it cost €18 per person. You've also got to get yourself a pair of metro tickets that get you out there, which will set you back €6.90 per person. Now, normally, I'm not really into paid attractions in general - I'm pretty sure everything I've shared so far has been free - but I make exceptions here and there. And certainly, a beautiful palace deserves an exception, right?

The train takes about 40 minutes.
Once you get off the train, you don't even have to whip out your trusty map. You can just follow the inevitable hoard of people heading towards the castle.
The grounds are humongous and if you haven't bought your tickets ahead of time, you will have to wait on a stupid line. That's why I recommend you buy your tickets online. I also recommend getting there on the earlier side. It opens at 9:00 and we got there around 9:30, which was pretty perfect. There was definitely a crowd but it wasn't super huge.
The weather was a little less than ideal when we showed up and it was fickle throughout the whole day. There were several moments of sunshine but also some rain.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Jour 7 Paris: Coulée Vert & Tour Eiffel

Before heading back to Paris for the fourth time, I looked up "under the radar" types of activities and came up with a decent list. Unfortunately, a few of these were weather-dependent (like hopping in a giant tethered hot air balloon to get cool views of the city) so I had to cross a bunch off as infeasible. But, we did manage to hit up Coulée Vert, also known as Promenade Plantée, which was described by a few people as Paris' version of The Highline.
The park is all the way in the 12th, but it's easily accessible by Metro.

You can certainly tell that yes, this was once a railroad. However, it's a little bit opposite of The Highline in that you walk downstairs instead of upstairs to access it.
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