The Palace of Versailles (the royal château or simply Versailles) may be crowded.
Even though this building is a true monstrosity, the narrow thresholds cause major bottlenecks, precluding movement from room to room at times.
That is why we like the Gardens. It is a major open space which we only visit in the dead of “winter” (but we always see mud more often then snow) The leaves have dropped, the statuary covered for the winter.
We choose to be at the front guard-house when it opens at 8:00 – for a Run. You pass through the front courtyard, around the side of the Palace, into the Gardens. We start among the fountains, run down through through the landscaping, finally around the canal. We finish, with the Palace approaching in the distance, ascending to Versailles at dawn.
When we return to the front courtyard, the tourists have assembled in line for the Chateau. But for us, we have found magic in the gardens