First, I told Etienne about the friendly old man and he replied, "is he driving us to Versailles, then." Um, no, I don't know that guy, he could have kidnapped us and sold us into slavery for all I knew. Then I told Dave, who responded EXACTLY like Etienne. Oh, and Dave *did* see the movie, "Taken." Ha!
So, we left a bit later than we expected, but we all had cafe and croissants and that was a good thing. We arrived at Versailles at about 9:45am to find a pretty long ticket line forming. No worries, the line moved rather quickly. By 10:15am, we had our tickets. Now off to the Chateau! Wait, what? We have to wait in an even LONGER line to enter the Chateau?
Um, yeah...see the people to the left? They're ahead of us and we're not at the end of the line!
We finally entered the Chateau. Impressive? Yes. Decedant? Very. Gold and marble covered practically every inch. And the garden...!
View of the Jardin (garden)
Nothing can compare to the grandeur that was - the Hall of Mirrors. Just as the name indicates, one side of the massive hall is completely lined in mirrors, the other side is a stretch of windows overlooking the garden. King Louis XIV created the hall of mirrors so that when the sun shone into the windows, the sun reflected off of the mirrors to remind everyone that the sun king lived there.
Entering the Hall of Mirrors
The arched ceiling was lined with paintings of different scenes; old Greek scenes; party scenes; war scenes. One thing I noticed, as I meandered through the hall, like rushing water through the crack in a dam (yeah, it was crowded), was that Louis Quatorze was the center piece of every painting. It made me laugh. I hear ya Louis!
Taking a picture of the Hall with the massive windows overlooking the garden behind me.
Jardin from the Hall of Mirrors
After walking through the Chateau, I couldn't help feeling sad that so much of the original contents were destroyed when the French stormed the palace. Oh, I completely understand...if I were starving, I would be the first to melt down curtains made with gold thread so that I could buy food!
Unfortunately, we didn't have enough time to take a stroll through the never ending jardin or check out the canal, Petit Trianon or Grand Ecurie, where the horses are kept. To really do Versailles right, it's necessary to arrive as soon as the doors open. Maybe even get there when the gardens open 2 hours before the Chateau opens. Not only can you beat most of the crowd, but can thoroughly enjoy all that the Palace has to offer! Maybe in Euro-Sprint, Part Deux!