Château de Versailles
Without a doubt, Versailles is the epitome of opulence and excess. Every room is adorned with gold, glass, and fine textiles, and each has a purpose and a story that describes the life of the palace’s royal residents. I also took a day out of my itinerary for the entirety of Versailles, to explore its main palace, many gardens, and adjoining royal parlors. I made the choice to visit with a guide, and it was completely worth the tour. I learned so much about the history of Versailles that I would not have gotten through my own volition.
Monet’s House & Gardens
My half-day trip to Giverny and the home of Claude Monet, the subject of his many acclaimed artworks, came to fruition thanks to the suggestion of my artist cousin. The bus trip was approximately 1.5 hours from the city center, a pleasurable ride, but Giverny is also easily accessible by train. The gardens and home were equally bursting with color and vibrancy, the feeling I got walking into the grounds is that Monet truly loved and cared for his home. Year round, there are different flowers in bloom depending on the seasons, so any time will be great to visit. A guided tour isn’t completely necessary as groups are not permitted into the house itself. Plus, this day trip is more of a visual feast, so I enjoyed making the most of my solo time at Monet’s home.