September 9, 2010

Paris II: Versailles!

As promised, I’m posting more photos from our wonderful trip to Paris. Did you see the first set?

Ever since we got back from our trip, people keep asking us the same question: What was your favorite thing you did? Without hesitation, Sona and I both respond, “Versailles!” Truthfully, I didn’t know if Versailles would live up to my ridiculously high expectations. Leading up to our vacation, this was the one thing I planned for and dreamt about more than anything else. I battled my way through a 500-page Marie Antoinette biography. I watched movies. I read one too many entries on Wikipedia. I wanted to go to Versailles, and I wanted to know what I was looking at when I got there. (Yes–I may have a wee Marie Antoinette obsession.)

I know that saying “these pictures can never do it justice” is cliche. Though, in this case, it is the truth. I can’t even begin to explain the extravagance. We spent a whole afternoon with our jaws open. The interiors of the building are gorgeous, but the grounds are truly awe-inspiring. Hope you get a little taste of what we enjoyed through these pictures.

The first thing you have to understand about Versailles is that it isn’t a palace; it is a city. This is the main chateau. You walk up a huge cobblestone hill, pass through golden gates, and you are in this courtyard.

The Hall of Mirrors was recently restored. Both the King and Queen’s bedrooms were off of this hall.

Gardens behind one wing of the chateau.

This place was HUGE. It took us several hours in a golf cart, and we still didn’t see all of it.

I’m not kidding when I say that there must be at least 50 of these marble statues in the gardens.

This is the view behind the chateau. You see that rectangle pond in the back? There were at least 30 rowboats on it when we were there.

I was most excited about seeing Petit Trianon–Marie Antoinette’s private residence.

This is one of my favorite paintings.

This temple was outside of Marie Antoinette’s bedroom window. (Also, here is proof that I was actually on my vacation.)