Knowing we faced similar line issues as the Eiffel Tower, we woke early and grabbed our assortment of Metro and commuter rail to get us out to the suburban palace. At least we had tickets bought ahead of time.
We arrived and quickly made our way the few blocks to the main gate. We hopped in line just in time, large tour groups lined up behind us, quadroupling its length in a few minutes. It was 10 am and already super busy.
We were inside quickly after, and began our self guided tour. Words can’t describe how over the top this place is. Check out the Instagram photos, which I feel like a broken record saying yet again. It’s not much a wonder there was a revolution, superfluous opulence surrounded us.
It was also busy. Very busy. So much so we did feel a bit rushed and actually relieved when we made it to the open expanse of the gardens. And they are expansive. We spent hours more wandering outside before our stomachs got the best of us. We grabbed a quick lunch and then headed to the Trianon and Marie Antoinettes estate.
The grand and petite Trianon are both spectacular. They may not drip with gold leaf like the main palace, but they are every bit as impressive structures. They were also empty. The journey to a far corner of the ground must be daunting for enough people that we could finally take our leisurely time and take in these great surroundings.
By the time we made it to Marie Antoinettes estate and village, we were exhausted. It was over 90, sun out this whole time. So we began the almost hour long walk from this far corner of the grounds to the train station.
This put us back in Montmarte early enough to shower and head back out to dinner at a place that caught our eye the night before. It seemed slightly silly to come all the way to Paris and then have Brazilian food, but after our first bite we knew we had chosen wisely.
Chicken beignets. A seafood curry unlike anything else. Caramel pudding. And some thorough exercises in speaking French with the waitress who spoke nearly no English. A solid dinner.
We could get used to this.