Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Versailles à vélo

One of my readers recently emailed me about her bicycle trip through Versailles. It sounded fun but definitely not for this city mouse. All I could picture was falling and breaking my arm and ruining my trip. (Although, I could experience the supposedly superior French care system first hand.) But a few days later, as I was going through my old issues of Travel & Leisure, I came across an entire story devoted to riding through Versailles so maybe I'll give it a try. They say you never forget how to ride a bike! Just not sure I should try it while wearing Christian Louboutin flats so I might be forced to pack some practical shoes! Chic ones of course!

On a side note, the author of the Travel & Leisure article was Joan Juliet Buck, a contributing editor at Vogue. She plays Mme Brassart, the head of the Cordon Bleu, in the upcoming movie Julie & Julia! I really can't wait to see this movie and maybe check out the house that Julia Child lived in while in Paris! A bientot!


Mimi said...

The bicycle trip through Versailles sounds like fun...You may consider wearing a safety helmet and knee pads just in case you're afraid for your safety..lol! Not so chic though ;)
I can't wait to see the movie Julie & Julie myself..counting down the days..really.

Anonymous said...

Riding a bike around Versailles would be fun. The terrain is flat and the paths are wide.

On my first visit I walked to the Petit Trianon and the Hamlet from the Palace and it was a beautiful walk, and not too long, maybe 5 miles. The second time I rented the little golf carts they had, and I loved that. The carts were a bit expensive, but very fun. If they still have those I highly recommend them.

My favorite thing to do at Versailles, besides taking pictures, is to stand at the window in Marie Antoinette's bedroom and look out over the gardens. I can always kind of feel her personal history in that spot.

And for sure bring some chic but practical shoes. Not running shoes - the French do not wear sports shoes on the street, and you will be branded as a tacky tourist if you wear them. Find something sturdy and comfortable and suitable for walking miles upon miles every day.

I am excited that you are going, Heather, it will change you.

Oh, and the book, "My Life In France", by Julia Child is one of my favorites. A great summer read to get in before the movie!


An Aesthete's Lament said...

Joan Juliet Buck is one of the best writers on the planet.

Yansy said...

It sounds like fun, you should do it.

Milltini said...

You should definitely do it, C. Lous and all!

Marisa said...

I loved that article! Made me want to go back and experience it all again!

Brandie Herbst said...

I am envious that you are going to Paris. You will love love love it! And Versailles...forget it! You will never want to leave! I suggest rowing in a little rowboat along the river that is on the grounds at Versailles. It's exquistite. The Petit Trianon was gorgeous, also! You will spend the entire day there, so plan on comfortable shoes and not doing much at night as you'll be exhausted! You'll love it whether you're bicycling or walking!

Winston said...

Dahling Heather,

As you can pretty much see your friends are urging you to take a bike tour around Versailles. The thing is having a bike gives you a lot more access to the immense grounds of Versailles (and trust me its more tiring to walk the whole thing). There are secret gardens, fountains and alcoves everywhere (maybe a picnic with a dear friend perhaps). My favorite time to see Versaille is sunset, because the light flickers and everything shimmers. Don't forget Versailles is not that close to Paris (if I remember its about an hour train ride) so go early.

Also visit one of my favorite museums in Paris: Musee de Rodin. For shoes I suggest flats - I think any of the shoes from Tods are sublime (the leopard and crocodile versions for Fall are too delicious).

First Cohort Studies Workshop said...

Riding the palace grounds on a bike is wonderful; but if you get the chance, I highly recommend the row boat rentals in the Grand Canal. My husband rowed me about during our honeymoon trip on the most perfect spring day - it truly changes you forever. A note to the bike rentals, it will help you enjoy Marie Antoinette's Hamlet and le Grand Trainon at a pace that allows more flexibility than walking (i.e., you can still stop and smell the flowers w/o getting too pooped to take in the vast gardens). sigh...I'm thrilled for you to walk the halls that kings have before you. Bon voyage et plus bon chance!

beans and mango said...

Thank you for posting! I have a trip planned the first week of September and I am going to do this ride. I will let you know how it goes. Enjoy the weekend!

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