Ah, the palace of Versailles. It conjures up images of wild opulence, jaw-dropping architecture, and outrageous wigs. And I’ve just witnessed all three.
But first, in case you’ve never heard of this place, the palace of Versailles was the main royal residence of France from 1682 until the start of the French Revolution in 1789. It’s about 20 kilometres (12 miles) out of Paris and it’s one of the top tourist destinations in the world. You know it, it’s where Marie Antoinette lived.
As for me, I went out there for an afternoon bike tour and an evening of dancing and fireworks courtesy of Fat Tire Tours.
With my wife, who some of you know as Lovely Lina, I went for a cycle through the Trianons, picnicked along the Grand Canal, and enjoyed some rare behind the scenes access when the palace was closed. Later in the evening, we enjoyed some period performances, water fountains set to music, and an impressive firework display.
The podcast episode
Of course, to get the full picture you should really listen to the podcast episode. It includes a chat with the tour guide Thomas who teaches me how to remember the difference between the three main King Louis and much more. And, if you’re so inclined, you could do the same tour that I did. Here’s the exact link for the full experience. More info further down.
To hear the podcast episode, simply press play below and please subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.
The music in the background of this podcast was (rather fittingly) called Invitation to the Castle Ball by Doug Maxwell.
Ten percent off your tours
Now, if you want to do the exact tour I did you better be quick, the fireworks show is only on Saturdays and only until September 21st. Here’s the link for the tour. Fat Tire does several other tours in Versailles, here is their full day bike tour with picnic, for example.
Remember: Fat Tire Tours is offering Earful Tower followers a ten percent discount on all their tours worldwide so be sure to use the code earful at the checkout (bottom left corner) and you’ll make a neat little saving. Here’s the link to all their Paris tours on bikes, on foot, on Segways, and more.
Pictures and videos from Versailles
Let’s be honest. The Chateau of Versailles has way better photos than I could ever take, so I used their photos above. But here’s what some of the dancing looked like in the palace after it was closed off to the tourists. I filmed this live on Facebook.
If you want to see a whole lot more of my photos and images, go and follow The Earful Tower on Instagram. I even filmed the whole fireworks display, but that’s behind the Patreon paywall. Go check it out if you’re a member (or why not become a member today?).
Lastly, if you enjoyed this “on site” podcast, you’d probably like the episode we did from Giverny at Monet’s garden. Check it out here.