Versailles

Saturday May 19, 2018 at 10:00pm

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Strikes against French president Macron’s labor reforms overlapped our weekend in Paris. Metro workers did not strike, but workers for the French railways, SNCF, did, and this meant no train ran to Versailles on Saturday. In retrospect, we may have been able to take a bus, but it was a nice day, so we rented bikes.

The route Google maps picked from Holland Bikes near the Arc de Trimpoph (not far from our Aribnb) was about 17 km (10 miles) each way, climbing gradually toward Versailles after crossing the Seine, so the ride ends up being pretty much all downhill on the way home. We rode mostly through some beautiful parks and forest–which I failed to photograph, of course, so you’ll have to take my word for it. Most of the route was on separated bike or park paths, suburban bike lanes, and a few stretches on minor city streets. I very much recommend this as a day trip.

I failed to photograph the beautiful parks we crossed, but here’s a perfectly good suburban French bike lane on Rue de Versailles outside Paris.

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After a nice lunch in the town of Versailles, we visited the palace grounds and gardens. You have to pass a gauntlet of parked tour busses–they way I guess most people visit. The lines were long, so we opted not to wait, or pay, to see the palace interior.

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I assume the inside has more gold. Maybe we’ll see it next visit.

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If you want to spend hours wandering the gardens and grounds maybe don’t bike to Versailles. We enjoyed the view and conserved our energy.

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Somebody must buy these black market souvenirs, but I always saw more sellers than buyers. I don’t know–I’m speculating–but I imagine the men selling them are probably in debt to someone who takes a huge cut of whatever they manage to glean from the tourists.

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