Paris, day 3. Eiffel Tower and Versailles, part 1

And so came the day three of our stay in Paris.

The morning plan was to visit the Eiffel Tower again to take some pictures of it in the morning and also climb up and take some shots of the Paris.

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In the park on the way to the tower we saw some big groups of people, fire engines and such. Turn out there was some sort of family sports/running festival or something on that day.

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We noticed and remembered this spot the previous night and decided to come here in the morning as the sun was supposed to be behind our backs then. And it did.

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And the tower in all of its vertical glory too.

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Fire engines as well. All operations and fire crew were surprisingly young.

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Got to the tower at last. Only to be greeted with a big line.

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Waiting in the line with nothing else to do...

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Armed soldiers walking around, no idea why.

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Can you see the plane? ;)

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Finally, we got our elevator tickets! Only took ~40 minutes. 13.40 euros per person for a ticket to the very top.

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Now another line to get to the elevator.

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We are really close ;)

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View from the second level of the tower.

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Still a lot to go up.

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And of course a panoram:

Paris panorama from Eiffel Tower

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Some views from the second level.

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Now it's time to get to the third level, which means we need to get into another line...

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Another 30 minutes or so later we are up at the third level which is the last one allowed.

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Some views from the third level of the Eiffel Tower.

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Office of Eiffel himself on the third level, reconstructing the world expo theme. Compete with some wax figures.

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Looking up - not so much distance left to the very top.

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People exiting from the elevator to the 3rd floor as we wait to get there.

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Elevator control rooms and motors.

Finally we are done with the tower.

Next destination is Versailles, a town outside of Paris where nobility used to live (and still a rich town to this day). Also home to Versailles palace - our main destination there.

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Hopped on a train to Versailles from Eiffel Tower train station. Our 2-day ground transportation ticked was good for it too. The trains have two levels.

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At the Versailles Gauche station.

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It was a lunch time and we made a big mistake of stopping by one of open cafes on the way to the palace. The pizza we ordered took forever to be prepared. Certainly over half an hour.

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Finally we have arrived.

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A nice massive golden gate.

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Square before the gate.

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To enter the palace first you need to buy a ticket. There is this huge line. But as it turned out most useful part of this line leads to the information desk. Nearby door leads to automated ticket machines where you can get a ticket with next to no waiting. Of course we only found this after waiting in the line for way too long.

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The golden gate from the palace side.

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The ticket price is 15 euros for just the palace or 25 euros for everything. Since we have arrived somewhat late, it was recommended to get just the palace ticket.

First place inside of the palace is audio guide pickup. Variety of available languages. All rooms are numbered and you can hear a brief explanation about everything while inside.

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This is the royal chapel that was used for service by the kings.

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Overall it was pretty crowded in the palace.

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Courtyard of the palace.

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Through open windows we have a view of the palace garden.

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The rooms are filled with various art and sculptures.

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Nice table with cloven hoof legs.

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Royal chapel again, this is the king's balcony, where he entered the service from.

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Hercules salon
. This room contains absolutely huge and fantastic drawings on it's ceiling and two more on the walls. The ceiling picture is that of Hercules and gave the name to the room

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This picture is called "Feast in the House of Simon", it was gift from Republic of Venice in 1664. The size of the painting is 4.5 by 9.7 meters (14.76 by 31.82 ft).

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Another Venetian gift is on the other wall. It's called Rebecca by the Well. Both pictures are by Paolo Veronese.

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And another look at the salon.

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A piece of a picture frame.

This room is absolutely marvelous and leads into the royal apartments section of the palace.

I think it's enough pictures for a single post, so the rest would be in another post.

To be continued.

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