My Travel Blog

The Extravagance and Glory of Versailles

We’re off to Paris to meet our friends Bob and Kathi.  I love the French train system.  It’s just a shortone hour and forty minuteride from Dijon on the TGV, and you’re in the heart of Paris.  When we are in Paris I never take a taxi.  The Metro system is so much faster, cheaper and it’s easy to use.  If you are going to Paris I highly recommend you take the time to figure out how to use the Metro, or have your hotel show you.

Bob and Kathi met us at our hotel just as we checked in.  That first day we did the typical tourist things like the D’Orsay Museum.  If you like Impressionist artwork it is incredible.  The old train station that was going to be torn down, but was turned into a museum is worth the price of admission.

“Inside the D’Orsay.”

“Our friends Bob and Kathi.”

The next day we did the Fat Tire Bike Tour of Versailles. Our tour guide was Ania, and she did a wonderful job.  Ask for her if you decide to go.  We met at 8:30 AM at the Fat Tire headquarters not far from the train station that would take us to Versailles. From the train station in Versailles it was a short walk to the Fat Tire Office where we picked up our bicycles. Then it was off to the amazing Versailles market place.  The huge square was bustling with a line at every vendor.  We were given forty minutes to buy our lunch so we split up.  Bob and Kathi got the salami, pate and cheese while I went for the wine and a fresh melon.  Lisa supervised the choice of cheeses, baguettes and more. We had a great lunch.

“Mushrooms at the Versailles market.”

“Ania showing me the Louis XIV pose.”

“Maurice does such a wonderful blow dry.”

Our first stop was the village that Marie Antoinette had built. As queen she wanted to know what it was like to live as a peasant.  Unfortunately it was what she imagined a peasant must have lived like.  I guarantee there never was a peasant living as well as the queen did in her little village.

“Marie Antoinette’s peasant village.”

“Lunch by the lake with Versailles Palace in the background.”

Ania told us about the most famous of sayings attributed to Marie Antoinette.  There was a horrible famine.  When the queen was told there was no bread for the people, her response supposedly was, “Well let them eat cake.”  Apparently the meaning of cake at that time was not what we normally think of.  Cake was the burned pieces of bread left in the oven at the end of the day.  Most historians agree that Marie Antoinette never actually said it.  Her political opponents in an attempt to damage her reputation created the quote.   Proof that politicians never change.


“My Louis XIV look.”

“The famous hall of mirrors.”

“The private chapel at Versailles.”

“A room in Versailles.”

It was said that Lois XIV built Versailles.  Louis XV enjoyed it, and Louis XVI paid for it with his head.  It was also said that Louis XIV had 300 courtesans.  He even built a special castle just for his ladies. When I hear that he took care of 300 women there are only two words that come to mind.  I’ll let you use your imagination…

For another view of our travels check out my wife’s blog at:

-Tom Miller
Author of “The Wave”  and “When Stones Speak”– 
Chuck Palmer Adventure novels


About the Author:

Tom Miller graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Geology. He is a consummate adventurer with over 1,000 dives as a recreational scuba diver, and an avid sailor who has traveled 65,000 miles throughout the Pacific including the Hawaiian Islands. Miller has also cruised the canals of Europe on his canal barge and given numerous lectures on cruising the canals of Europe, as well as sailing in the South Pacific. Piloting is also an interest of Miller's, and He has completed over 1,000 hours flying everything from small Cessnas to Lear jets.