Friday, September 30, 2011
A Day Trip to Versailles
Versailles was beautiful and an easy day trip from Paris, but it obviously didn't make much of an impression. In the 38-page journal I wrote during the two-week trip, I dedicated exactly one paragraph -- 6 lines -- to Versailles.
The visit to the palace itself was so-so -- gigantic and lavish to be sure, but so crowded as to make us feel like heads of cattle on our way to the slaughterhouse.
The grounds, however, were immense and, in some places, completely empty. We wore out our feet getting lost in the garden paths (literally getting lost -- it took as a while to find civilization again) and finally finding Marie Antoinette's estate and the Petit Trianon.
Marie Antoinette's estate was my favorite part of the visit. From what I understand, the estate was Marie Antoinette's escape from palace life, and today it seems like an overgrown dollhouse, a little dreamy and a little unreal. This part of Versailles seemed worlds away from the palace -- no sheep or batches of bunnies there.
Versailles, only 40 minutes from Paris, was a cinch to get to. I'm glad we went, but I'm sure I would have enjoyed it more with some French history in my background. Until I get that, I'm not sure I would return.