Derek told me to keep Thursday open.
It was a surprise, he said. And wear comfortable shoes.
So I got up on Thursday morning, put on a comfy dress and slippers and packed a Diet Coke, ready for anything. Maybe a picnic beneath the Eiffel Tower? Maybe a boat cruise on the Seine? I had no idea what to expect.
Turns out, Derek had planned an entire day in Versailles, a small and affluent city about 11 miles southwest of Paris. This town, with less than 89,000 residents, is best known for its palace and gardens.
The Palace of Versailles is a royal chateau in Versailles in the Île-de-France region of France. When it was built in the 17th century, it became the center of political power in France when Louis XIV moved here from Paris in 1682. The royal family resided and ruled from Versailles until 1789, when revolutionaries stormed the chateau, thusly starting the French Revolution.
Today, it’s a museum that millions of people visit every year. While many come to walk in the footsteps of royalty in the chateau, I have always been more interested in the sprawling gardens outside the palace. We’re talking hundreds and hundreds of hectares of manicured bushes and flower beds, of tree-lined paths and mazes, of fountains and canals.
I couldn’t wait!
So here’s what our day in Versailles looked like:
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