Europe

The unexpected change in Versailles

The previous post was about my first day in Paris where we visited Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Louvre, Arc de Triomphe and La Défense. We planned to go to Sacré Coeur and Luxembourg Garden the next day, but instead we changed it to Versailles. And we paid the price for the consequence.

Versailles – the change of plan

As yesterday we visited almost all of the tourist attraction and we walked till our leg fell apart, I planned to have an easier day today by visiting Sacré Coeur, Luxembourg Garden and eat something properly then go to the bus station to Brussels. However, in the morning my aunt suddenly wanted to go to Versailles. I wasn’t that happy as Versailles was more than 1 hour away from pur accommodation and we had a bus schedule at 5pm. Still I believed we could make it, plus I’m also interested in Versailles so we left. We left our luggage at the hotel and planned to come back at 1pm the latest.

We took RER C train from Bir Hakeim of Metro line 6 and went to Chateau de Versailles. We arrived at Gare de Versailles-Château-Rive-Gauche in 1.5 hours. It was totally different. There wasn’t too much people, the air was fresher. We went to the Palace but only to the Garden, as it is free and more interesting. And it was wonderful.

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There was a big pool behind the Palace with statues on it, then a big fountain and a bit further from there a square shaped big lake. Around was green forest and mountain. I learned once that according to Feng Shui a palace needs to be surrounded by mountain to protect the Royal’s palace and water to provide the strength and wealth. The way things are situated around the palace have their own meaning and purpose to provide prosperity to the Royal family.

The consequence

We went home after 1 hour of taking photos at around 1pm. We went back to the train station but it turned out the train wasn’t working. There were two girls who gave passengers information about travelling. I asked them for an alternative route. We had to go to another train station to Gare de Versailles-Rive-Droite by bus.

Also I had to buy another ticket as Paris is divided by zones. I only had 2-day pass in zone 1-3. But Versailles was in zone 4. I bought the ticket from the machine where I couldn’t use my card as it didn’t accept it. Plus I didn’t have enough coins. I had to buy a water to get some coins back with which I could only buy 2. So I tried to get 4 people up to the bus with 2 valid tickets. However, even that ticket wasn’t good for the bus. I still can’t figure out what sort of ticket I bought that time. But the bus driver validated for me so I didn’t have to buy another one.

The unfortunate part was that I mistook the bus and looked at another bus’ schedule. Therefore we passed the train station and had to go back. When I took the bus that went back I had to buy another tickets from the bus driver and I got 4 tickets for 8 EUR. We finally arrived to the trains station. But we had to buy another ticket again. The ticket machine didn’t accept my card and I didn’t have coins either. It was almost 2pm. I almost got nervous breakdown because of the machine. Fortunately the cashier opened so I could buy the ticket personally. We finally had the ticket, passed through the ticket control machine and got on the RER L. We went to La Défense from where we took metro line 1 to go back to our hotel for the luggage. We arrived at 3pm. Of course we didn’t have more time for Sacré Coeur and Luxembourg Garden.

I was totally exhausted. We had a bit of rest then headed to Gare de Bercy to take the Ouibus to Brussels at 5pm. On the bus I fell asleep. We arrived to Brussels at 9pm. I booked an apartment near to Gare du Midi, Brussels. But the area where we went, didn’t look so nice. The apartment was only acceptable. It was a shared bathroom. But we all were too exhausted by the adventure of the first 2 days. So we just crash till the next day.

Lesson learned

When you change the plan, always be prepared for the unexpected changes.

And only change the plan when you can cope with the unexpected happenings.

Useful advice

Paris is equipped with ticket control machines. When you put your tickets into the machine it knows whether your ticket is still valid or not. It only lets you in when your ticket is valid. On the buses you can only enter the front door where you have to validate your ticket at the machine right beside the driver. Therefore it is advisable to have a valid ticket.

Useful link

Paris metro map: https://www.parispass.com/paris-transport/metro-map.html

Paris public transport ticket and fares: https://www.ratp.fr/en/titres-et-tarifs

Paris Zone map (you can find link for the pdf map): https://parisbytrain.com/paris-transportation-zone-map/

Accommodation: https://www.booking.com/s/12_6/43c5848d (If you use this link to book your hotel, I get US$15 which I use to support my blog and you get 10% back from your booking)

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