Having left the incredible interior of the Palace to see what I could explore outside, I was surprised at the chilly turn the weather had taken. I am a bit of a rushed idiot sometimes- in that if i’m in a rush, I become an idiot- and had forgotten my jacket back at the hotel. Also, it had started sprinkling a bit and I of course had no umbrella. So I had the choice of either hunkering down around the palace for the next couple of hours before the bus came back to pick us up or just making the best of the situation.
I choose to button up my cardigan, wrap my scarf a bit more securely around my neck and venture out onto the grounds and into the gardens.
The further out you go into the expansive gardens, the less people you will find, and after the packed (if at least beautiful) sardine can the palace had been, I was eager to get more fresh air and less people. After grabbing a quick lunch at one of the many restaurants scattered discreetly around the grounds, I made the walk out to the Petit Trianon. This was the estate gifted to Marie-Antoinette by King Louis XVI and it was her refuge from court life. It is much smaller and as such a much more intimate experience than the Palace and while it is an extra cost you if you get just the standard ticket, I think it’s really well worth it for admirers of the young queen or anyone interested in the beautifully decorated rooms inside.
Leaving behind the Petit Trianon and it’s english style gardens, I meandered my way down some paths, got turned around a couple of times and then ended up coming out from the woods near the the Queens Hamlet. This area was another part of Marie-Antoinette’s escape from the pressures of courtly life and it was really interesting to view this area, walk around the farms and cottages and imagine the nobles who also visited the palace coming out here to attend the small parties hosted by the queen.
Of course, finding bunnies here was also a small highlight- I immediately snapped some pics to send to Julia back in Germany. Versailles bunnies are just as cute as regular bunnies and if they happen to have an extra air of specialness about them well, you can’t really fault them for that.
I did a bit more walking around, just leisurely following the paths that thread throughout the area, enjoying the scenery and feeling like i’d really gone back in time. Eventually though, I headed off with purpose, in search of the Grand Trianon and back to the palace to finish up the day.