Here is the 2nd instalment of my Paris trip. I'm glad you enjoy me being your tour guide...it is such fun sharing my travels with everyone. It's also great for me to look back at my journal and enjoy my holiday memories, kind of scrapbooking without the need of a physical scrapbook! On the Sunday of our break we had pre booked tickets for a visit to Versailles. We picked this day as it was the final of the Tour de France, which finished in Paris. Neither of us have any interest in cycling so we decided it would be a good day to chose to go out of town. We were so lucky to have done so as unknown to us this was one of the few weekend days in the year when the fountains "Play" at Versailles.
This incredible Palace was built and extended during the 1600s and was occupied by Royalty until 1789. Each successive King had grander and grander building plans and the end result is a palace, the like of which I have never seen. We were able to take the train to Versailles and as we took the 5 minute walk from the station we started to realise the sheer scale of everything.
The queue even with pre booked tickets was long but good humoured and we had to wait about 30 minutes before we were able to get through the gates to the buildings inside.
The exterior was so grand that we both agreed that it looked like a film set, which could not possible have anything as grand inside...how wrong we were.
We were able to collect a free audio guide each which took us around the parts of the Palace which are open to the public.
Our first port of call was the chapel complete with gold gilded organ and altar. Of course in its day only royalty was allowed in here. I am amazed how they considered this a Christian attitude!
We then followed through room upon stately room, each seemed to be more opulent than the previous. Every surface of every room, including the ceilings, were covered with masterpieces of art.
Eventually we arrived at the Hall of Mirrors.
This hall just blew us away. As the title suggests the whole hall is lined with mirrors and with the light streaming in from the gardens it just glowed. There were also countless crystal chandeliers which glistened and reflected in the suns light. It was astonishing!
After the State rooms we made our way to the Kings bedroom
He had a rail around his bed where he could "receive" his subjects...poor soul, how taxing it must have been for him!
In the Queen's bedroom we were intrigued to see the door from which Marie Antoinette fled at the start of the revolution. It is open on the left hand side of the photo.
How about that for a bed!
And this is the canopy of her bed..
After a couple of hours spent wandering around these wonderful rooms it was time for us to go outside to the gardens of Versailles. We did not think anything could improve on what we had seen indoors but my oh my what a sight there was in store.
The view above only shows a tiny part of the estate...I joke not! In the distance is the "Grand Canal" or Mini Venice.We walked down to the Grand Canal and turned right to also visit the Le Petit Trianon where Marie Antoinette loved to escape from the formalities of the Palace. In real terms it was still a huge grand building but set far away in the grounds.
Below is just the small tea house for taking afternoon tea in, it was bigger than our house...
And this was simply an out building in the grounds....oh to have a studio in the garden like this ;0)
Also near to this part of the estate was the Grand Trianon which was built in 1687 by Louis X1V to escape from court and to conduct his love affair with his mistress Madame de Montespan. Again our jaws dropped at the sight of pillar upon pillar of pink marble.....
The photos which follow show my favourites. I have taken some photos when they were silent as well as "playing" to show the details of the amazing sculptures from which the waters poured.
By the time this finished it was nearly 6pm and our legs felt shorter than they had started at the beginning of the day! We had walked solidly for 9 hours and were exhausted but totally enthralled by what we had seen during our day at the Palace of Versailles. If you ever get the chance to visit Paris I would put this on your "must see" list. It was a day I will never forget.
I hope this was not too long a post, I took 415 photos whilst in Paris and it is really hard to trim these down to 3 posts. I hope your enjoyed your visit with me to Versailles, I will be back with my last Paris post soon and it will feature our trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower.
Bye for now,
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