Paris partie un: Versailles and LV Fondation

From Munich we took an overnight train to Paris. The metro kept getting delayed so we had to take a last minute taxi to the train station and we ran to get on our train, but we made it onto the train which left around 3 AM. We got to Paris in the morning, left our stuff at Hotel Ampere which Chanrith booked on Hotwire, and then took public transit to Versailles.

Unfortunately, the most convenient train (RER-C) was under construction [late summer/August is not the greatest time to go to France FYI], so we had to take a bus and another metro to get to the station where we could finally take a very packed RER-C to Versailles. It probably took us over an hour to get to Versailles. After getting off the train we walked about 10 minutes to get to the Palace.

When we got to Versailles it was PACKED. The line was crazy and it was probably a 3-4 hour wait... for the hoi polloi. Luckily Chanrith is an annual pass holder- so we went to the front and cut the entire line.
But still among the hordes of Asian tourists...

It was slightly gloomy around 11 AM so we decided to see the interior first. The salons were extravagant and it was really warm inside with no air conditioning so we swiftly breezed through the rooms until the main event: the Hall of Mirrors. I was excited to see it since it was mentioned in Kevin Kwan's "Crazy Rich Asians" (and it was also mentioned in the movie by Auntie Neenah Goh!)

The Hall of Mirrors embodies opulence and why the French revolted against Louis XIV. Although I think it's too grand to model a living room after, it was cool to see it in person- just annoying to see it with hundreds of others during a peak travel season when it looks much more epic advertised as empty:

After finishing up the interior, we walked outside to explore the gardens. The gardens are HUMONGOUS.

I was getting hangry- so I demanded to eat at the restaurant in the garden. This was a mistake as it was super overpriced and I paid over 5 euro for a bottle of water. Also there were a lot of bees buzzing around. If you're carrying a backpack, I would recommend packing sandwiches or a baguette or croissants and picnicking in the garden. Around the gardens were random mini-Bellagio fountains, dancing with orchestra music- so you can even eat and watch the show!

After Versailles we went to Louis Vutton Fondation, a museum designed by Gehry in the Jardin d'Acclimatation.
Curves like Guggenheim and Walt Disney Concert Hall

The museum is 10 euro (student rate- carrying my law school ID is handy!), and features contemporary art such as pieces by Klein and Murakami.

The museum's most interesting feature is its architecture, although getting up and down was a bit confusing as I got lost sometimes alternating through stairwells and elevators. 

To end my first night of Paris- we went to the Tour Eiffel and waited through sunset and until 10 PM when there is an hourly night show, in addition to the yellow/orange lights- individual white lights sparkle like stars- brilliantly illuminating the entire tower. (for video, see my instagram). We left midway through the show since we wanted to beat the crowd and wanted to rest before DLand Paris and also since we slept on the train the night before. Bonne soiree! 


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