Let’s start off by stating this, loud and clear: I am NOT a people person.
About 7 billion people on this planet, and I can only tolerate 30 of them. And not at the same time. So whenever I know I’ll be in a mingling situation, or an overcrowding one, I really have to put my filters on and work extra hard at being normal and not show that all I really want to do is get the hell out of there.
So my day out in Versailles was not nearly as enjoyable as I thought it would be.
“Too much people” doesn’t even begin to cover how crowded the palace was. A human mass formed at the very beginning, and slowly made its way together through the many rooms in a tight, locked, uncomfortable compound. A very firmly locked compound that I did not care for.
It was one of of the most infuriating experiences of my life. I had no willpower of my own. I could barely circulate between the people to get to the promised velvet rope in the hopes of snapping a photo without being almost pushed over. Sweat pearled on my forehead – I desperately wanted to take my coat off, but I didn’t think I could handle the crowds with just one arm available. I needed all the coordination I could get.
At some point I started to think Justin Bieber was probably hiding in one of the secret doors in the corner, because I could not find another rational explanation for the crowd’s behavior.
It was already frustrating enough being stuck there and not enjoying the visit one little bit – but I noticed just how much it sucked when I got back home and started editing my photos.
90% of my shots were ceiling shots.
The ceilings at Versailles are works of art on their own right, mind you – but I would’ve hoped for at least a handful of shots depicting just how grand and ornate the state rooms were. Not a chance. So here’s to Versailles’ ceilings, the only thing you are really going to see on your visit.
It’s a good thing they’re so pretty.
And for good measure, the few good shots I did get throughout the visit. Torrents of pushy visitors not included.
It’s one freaking chance the gardens are so big – I felt like I gained back my little personal space.
It was my second time at Versailles, and that’s probably what’s gotten me so riled up: it was just as worse as the first time. I blamed my first bad experience on the holidays (I visited on December 31st), and figured it would be better if I went back mid-week.
I was there on a Tuesday and people, it did NOT get better.
On the way back to Paris on the RER, I actually came up with a tip (this site IS called Eurotrip Tips after all): visit the gardens first, and beat the crowds. Maybe other smart people thought of this before I did, and to them I say, why didn’t you tell me before?
But since visiting the whole castle grounds will take you at least half a day, if not a whole one, you should probably start with the gardens – and enter the castle when the crowds are through.
Not that I will go back a third time to test this.
Have you been to the Palace of Versailles? Was it also overcrowded? How do you handle big crowds on your travels?