Early day today, woke up around 6:30 to catch the train to the Palace of Versailles. Quick history lesson: Versailles was the vision of Louis XIV, king of France in the 17th century. He came to power when he was 5 years old, and ruled the kingdom an astonishing 72 years. Louis XIV was pretty full of himself – he gave himself the nickname “Sun King” and moved out of the already humongous Louvre Palace into a mind-blowingly massive estate in the country, which came to be known as Versailles. Still, he was a capable ruler who worked hard, and I think it’s a treat to be able to visit and just gape at the splendor of kings of centuries past.
And my, was Versailles splendid. From our rail stop to the front gate, I felt like I was in some kind of ancient Disneyland. The plaza in the front, with all the buildings laced in gold rising up from it, was a sight to behold.
Inside was no different. From rooms filled with paintings, gold trim, heavily-decorated beds and dining tables, to large central rooms with painted ceilings, the palace is the epitome of opulence. My favorite place inside was the Hall of Mirrors, a huge hallway filled with mirrors, dazzling chandeliers, and gold trim all around. I could almost picture the procession of the king’s subjects walking around in fancy clothing and having a ball.
After lunch, we went to the king’s backyard, called the Gardens of Versailles. Except it was more like a forest, with tons of trees, fountains, and even a Grand Canal. Breathtaking – and quite tiring. We walked from one end to the other and reached Marie Antoinette’s estate. Yes, the entire palace is so large that the king’s wife had her own estate, with several huge buildings containing living quarters, chapels, billiard rooms, etc. Guess being a king’s wife back in the day had its perks.
By this point we’d walked 5 or so miles so we were pretty tired. Perfect time for a break – rowing a boat in the king’s own backyard on the Grand Canal! We had a lot of fun figuring out how to get the boat moving and just enjoyed the amazing scenery. Near the end of our stay, we caught the fountain show, which was basically all the fountains in the garden shooting up water. It didn’t help that it started to rain, so we took one last look at the Palace of Versailles and headed back to our peasant village.
Exciting day tomorrow – we’re spending the day at Louvre Museum!
Steps taken: 21,651 | Miles walked: 7.17
Live like a monarch at randomtidbitsofthought.wordpress.com.