Easter Sunday. Time for some more exploration.

In advance to our trip I have bought tickets for the palace of Versailles on their homepage. It was revommended, especially when you want to visit during major holidays. A ticket just for the pallace is not that bad, compared to other places. 21 Euro per person. Since we have a dog with us and they are not allowed “anywhere”, Lars will stay outside, while the rest is looking at our future home. 😀

We planned to go by train, but after the accident, my mother would not like to stand on crowded public transport. But I will go by tram and train, and the rest of the family by car.

I take the no. 9 tram. Our AirBnB is exactly between the metro and the tram. We have nice weather today. The tram is crowded, but standing for a few stops is not a problem. Then I have to change to the T3a tram to go to the Pont de Garigliano and from there the C-train directly to Versailles. The trams in Paris are nice. Easy to use (with the day ticket for the right zone), just a little but crowded. But nice weather and a holiday is a good combination for full trams.

The train from Pont de Garigliano arrives just minutes after I get there. Perfect – just my bloody app nearly lets me miss it. The train is not that packed, but not the newest and the most clean one. Me feet get stuck to the floor. Someone seems to have lost some soft drink.

Taking the train and not getting stuck in traffic means, that I arrive earlier than the car users. Did I mention that you have to book a specific time for the visit? You do have to! And then you can enter at that time! Not before, not after. Since I have some time I get a coffee and find some geocaches on my way to the castle.

A big parking lot in front. Not very royal, but there is not much around where you can park. What I see at once in a long – and I mean long – line in front of the gate. Since Lars send me a live position I can calculate that it might be a good idea, to get in line and they join me. All well and they even get a parking spot close by.

The line is winding like a snake and everywhere are people trying to sell the same crap as all the other touristy places. No thank you. This line is not the ticket line. It is just the security check, before you get into the courtyard in front of the castles. There you have different areas where you can cue up again, depending on the time on you ticket. More standing, another check of the bags you have. But then finally we are in.

The most dirty toilets you can think of. I told the information desk so and that they should not advertise with “The Pride of France” if that is what they present. She looked surprised. If you have thousands of people around every day, hire some cleaning staff.

There are several “tours” you can do on you own, with a audio guide or just as you are. Which is what we do. I will not talk you through every room. Just an overall conclusions.

Versailles is totally worth a visit. Interesting, big, historic BUT: Hordes of people that fill every room. Nearly impossible to see anything unless you are tall and can see over the heads. And everybody wants through the same door at the same time (those are not that big). My mothers broken arm was hit several times by stupid people that could not wait 30 seconds. People just taking selfies, pupils in groups that are definitely not interested and selfish people that don’t care that you are in a place. So while it is interesting and great, it loses on the amount of people they try to get through. That was not fun. Mass tourism at its best – but we are part of it.

Even here you can walk a lot. The buildings are long and you go through them several times. After we went through all we wanted to see there is the discussion if we want to got to the park (extra ticket) or if we rejoin Lars and Tilli. The feet say “don’t do it” but there is something else that screams “no”… a really black sky that is moving towards us.

We message Lars to meet at the car, but suddenly it starts raining. The sky opens and we were lucky to have umbrellas with us. People that don’t have umbrellas start running towards the small entrance we passed on our way in. And the ground is not the best to run on.

Outside the souvenir sellers have changed to selling umbrellas. They are annoying, but smart making money. A thunderstorm like I have not seen in many years. Lightning and thunder – in the end directly above us. We try to get behind the big statue in the middle of the square, away from the wind. Our big umbrellas are popular and we are joined by thankful people under our umbrellas. Lars has to wait, because Tilli does not like the thunder. After some time we make it to the car. We are soaked.

Since the weather is not the best now and we want to dry up and head back home. You must have some cake for coffee in the afternoon, so I jump out at a patisserie to get some good stuff, which is eliminated as soon as we got home. All dry.

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