Tuesday, March 10, 2015

When can I move in?

Versailles is my favorite place in the world. I try to make it out there every time I go to France, so we put it on our itinerary for the Paris trip!

I have, you know, just a couple of pictures from the day. Here are a few of the outside of the palace.

We decided to start our day in the gardens. Winter isn't the best time to see them because the fountains aren't turned on and the trees don't have leaves... but it's still impressive! Thankfully, it we lucked out with a sunny day.

After some wandering through the gardens and eating lunch, we took the little tram out to the Grand Trianon and Petit Trianon. The Trianons are miniature palaces about a 30 minute walk from the main palace. 

Are you ready for a little dose of French history? The Grand Trianon was built by Louis XIV, and the Petit Trianon by Louis XV. Besides being convenient places for their mistresses to live (French people...), they were supposed to be retreats away from the court. When Louis XVI became king, he bucked tradition by giving the Petit Trianon to his wife, Marie Antoinette, instead of to a mistress. Marie Antoinette loved to come to the Petit Trianon when she wanted a break from Versailles and the stress of living in public.

The Grand Trianon:

And it's smaller neighbor, the Petit Trianon:

Next door to the Petit Trianon is the "Hameau de la Reine," or "the Queen's Village." Marie Antoinette had a little country village built so she could pretend to be a peasant. The angry starving peasants just LOVED that when they caught wind of it. In Marie Antoinette's defense, she really did grow out of loving the expensive, frivolous things that she's infamous for. After becoming queen as a teenager and going a little crazy with money and shopping, as Marie got older and had children she wished she could just live a quiet normal life with her husband and kids. 

Our last stop of the day was to actually visit the chateau! 

Get ready for some pictures with GOLD

As you can see, there's no surface that's not decorated with something. I've been here with some people that say it hurts their eyes, but Versailles just makes my eyes HAPPY :)

On the way back to Paris, we were planning on just going to the hotel before dinner. We both fell asleep for a little while, and then about a minute after we woke up we heard that the train was stopping at the Eiffel Tower. In a 10-second decision, we decided to go there instead! It was an excellent decision. We were there just as it was getting dark out, so we got to see it sparkle.

For dinner, we met up with my friend Claire and her boyfriend Lucas. She came to our house as an exchange student in the summer of 2005. It's great that we can still keep in touch! It was fun to see her again and to have a French-speaking dinner with everyone.

Can you see from my pictures why I keep coming back to France? So far this day wins the prize for being the best of 2015.

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