On our first morning in Paris, we hopped out of bed, went for a nice run around the neighborhood (about half an hour), went to the market to buy ingredients for lunch and hopped on the train for Versailles. Actually, we hopped on a few trains for Versailles, as I have no sense of direction. However, we got there in the end!
Versailles, the chateau of Louis the XIV, is about 40 minutes outside of Paris by train. Louis hired architech Louis Le Vau and artist Charles Le Brun to create the model for all future palaces in Europe. Its 250 acre garden is the largest of all palaces in Europe, and is quite spectacular. By the time we actually got to Versailles, it was lunch-time, so we ate a salad that we had made that morning. (Boy, were we glad we brought it with us, at the food at Versailles was not cheap.)
Then, we started wandering through the museum-like chateau, stilled decorated to the 9’s with furniture, paintings, and statues from the time of Louise XIV and Marie Antoinette.
The ceiling frescos throughout the chateau were divine. In every room was a different celestial scene, either of Mary and Jesus, or of angels, or of Greek Gods. Apparently, the kings didn’t particularly care which style of divinity they were cultivating, as long as they were powerful and colorful!
It was so sumptous, so elegant, and so…Queenly. I wouldn’t mind waking up each day in that room! (Unfortunately, if I did, it would involve being surrounded by a hundred strangers waiting to greet me. If they saw me drool, I might have to lead myself to the guillotine. (Too soon???))
We also loved the dining room set up, though again, it would be very strange to have people watch you eat every meal. I mean, with the amount of food I spill each day, it would be quite entertaining for strangers, but still.
After wandering through the house for a few hours, we enjoyed a stroll around the gardens. While they were beautiful, they were both freezing, and comparatively dead for winter. So, we said “adieu” to Versailles chateau, and started wandering around the town itself.
We stopped for a cup of tea and a vegetable soup for me at the most adorable little tea house. I really love tea on cold days, don’t you?
We wandered down this little street which had loads of adorable shops, antiquities, and markets.
Then, we enjoyed a stroll through our favorite tourist attraction – the markets! They had particularly lovely ones, filled with the freshest fish I’d ever seen. As in, I was scared it was about to jump out at me.
We were exhausted by the time we got back to Paris, but there is something we had been wanting to do since we started the trip. Something that was so decadent, so indulgent, so downright silly that I almost didn’t put it on the blog, for fear of mockery.
Adieu et bon soir, my friends!