confession · favorite things · hither and thither · http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post · Paris · Violently Happy in Paris

Royal Château Versailles

I don’t know if you may have heard of this tiny, old castle called Versailles. A little girl lived there a long time ago and she has been misquoted to have said the greatest phrase ever “Let Them Eat Cake!” We took a tour there and I am overwhelmed by the opulence, the beauty and the history of this place. Words cannot describe the feeling when you see the sun shining on the gold leaf fence, the massive size of what was once just a hunting lodge for the king of France. There is so much more I could have photographed but I was mesmerized by everything. I only took one thousand photos. We were allowed to take photos but no flash permitted so of course every photo I took came out fine with exception to my homegirl Marie-Antoinette‘s bedroom. It was extremely crowded and dark in there and I couldn’t capture the light as I would have liked. I have always found her to be fascinating and the awesome film by Sofia Coppola has only increased my curiosity about her life. Our tour guide, Sandrine, was quite knowledgeable so I enjoyed walking around while listening to her give us facts about life at Versailles and gossip about the royals  on my headphones. What I find incredible is this palace is so extravagant and such a symbol of French aristocracy yet now it is full of mostly American tourists stomping through it en mass with giant ipads attached to our faces. I would love to return on a less crowded day so I can experience it at my own pace and walk in the gardens.

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I’m still learning how to navigate the city, it took quite some time to find a taxi.

Lately Olivia likes to be in charge of reading our map.

She has become an expert at finding the Eiffel Tower.
Waiting for our bus.
Hooray for clean, air-conditioned tour busses!

We drove past some really boring landmarks, kidding!

DSC_2403So epic! I can’t believe we walked up the stairs to the top of this guy on our last trip eleven years ago.

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I am so happy we chose today to visit Versailles. The sky doesn’t look real after yesterday’s rainstorm and the weather was absolutely perfect.

Bonjour Sandrine!

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There were only two thousand royals who inhabited Versailles but up to thirty thousand workers!

DSC_2439Aimee! Look who’s back! Souvenir vendors are annoying.

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The front door wasn’t too shabby.

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Every month there is a new art installation featured in this hall.

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Darn you glare from the sun! I wish I knew how to photograph interiors better.

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You know, just this mural painted from some dude, no big deal.

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Are you kidding me with this crown molding detail??!!

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Could you even fathom getting wood for these fireplaces?

It was impossible to capture every detail, the crown molding and artwork brought tears to my eyes.

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Of course we had to get a gold crown for our Princess

This is a painting of Marie Leszczyńska *our tour guide called her ugly* she totally had a mustache situation.

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Almost everything Sandrine told us about the Kings of France was they were insecure, jealous and always wanting what they couldn’t have. Yeah, that sounds about right.

I thought the beds were small because the people were so short back then but Sandrine told us it’s because royals slept sitting up so they do not resemble dead people. You know they just want to keep their wigs on!

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After an hour of pushing past people we finally made it to MA’s bedroom!

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That canopy and chandelier!!

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Of course her rooms were the most crowded so it was difficult to get a clear shot.

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Marie’s portrait was painted by Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun *funny, my name is Elizabeth Louise* possible ancestor?!

La Salle des Miroirs/ The Hall of Mirrors

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Are you kidding me??!!

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This is without a doubt the most beautiful room I’ve ever stood in.

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My best selfie to date!

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I am so grateful to experience this with these two!

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I was pretty sure some Secret Service agents were going to tackle me for wearing my mask in the palace. I guess they dig my creepy bunny.

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Several of the rooms were closed for restoration, This is an example of a room being worked on. The mommy part of me was already thinking what a cool job that could be for Liv.

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Painting of Napoleon & Josephine. I couldn’t fit the enormity of it all in one photo.

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Perusing the royal gift shop
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I resisted the gift shop. Well, I only bought post cards
The palace is in excellent condition given that it is almost four hundred years old.
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There is something artificial about the sky in Paris. It looks as if it had been painted.
 It’s good to be the King!

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Au revoir Sandrine, you were very entertaining! I must visit The Petit Trianon on my next visit.
 

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Olivia has officially declared Versailles as her kingdom!

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We stopped at a shop on rue de Rivoli in the 2nd to pick up some foie gras for Aimee.
Taking the Metro is so much easier *and cleaner* than I remember.
So, best vacation ever? Agreed!
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We booked our tour on Expedia via Paris City Vision. I recommend going through a tour to bypass the line (or as the French say, queue). Bring your own headphones because the ones they gave us were pretty wonky. I lingered as often as I could so I would be the last person in the rooms to get a clear shot with as few people as possible.
Chateau de Versailles
Every day except Mondays and 1 May
9:00 am – 6:30 pm
Last admission: 6:00 pm

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