Subject: Giverney vs Versailles
Hello Marta,

I notice that there's been silence on this subject to date. It's a difficult decision as they're very different options, and it would depend on the weather, and what you'd already been doing. We went to both places late April last year, and of course the travel industry was in a slump due to SARS and the war, so the numbers of tourists was small compared to a normal European spring.

Giverney in spring was an absolute delight, we were there in a light misty rain which enhanced the experience in our opinion, as it softened the light and added to the colours. We had plenty of time to wander the gardens and walk through the house, and as I said there were very few people. I have photos showing the gardens with about 5 people in view, friends who have lived in France have never seen it without at least 500 people in the same area.

Versailles was much more crowded, we were herded quite rapidly through the interior areas that were open to the public, especially Marie Antoinette's apartments. All in all we were a bit disappointed with Versailles, but we were comparing it to the Schonnbrunn Palace in Vienna that we had visited a few weeks earlier. I believe the gardens at Versailles have been a lot less impressive since that big storm a few years ago. (I haven't been to Fontainebleu but some of our friends say it is much more impressive). In saying that though, the historical associations at Versailles make it interesting in it's own right, irrespective of it's grandeur.

I think I'd research both options and decide over there - if you're sick of grand interiors choose the gardens, if you haven't had enough history, go to Versailles. Either way be happy with your choice. Regards, Sally (from still sunny Sydney)