Thursday, October 27, 2011

Paris: Day 5 Part I - Versailles

Here we are. Our last day in Paris. I had to split it in to two parts because Versailles is freaking huge. We'll do the inside this time and the outside/gardens next time. Deal?

We got up and went to catch the train to Versailles (about a half hour outside the city). But, the train was down at our stop, so they told us to walk down a block to catch a bus to another station and then get on the train there. Oh, European public transportation.

We got to Versailles about 10am and the line was already super long, but it moved pretty fast (see how it wraps around below?). The gates were covered in gold and the palace looked huge from the outside.

Yep. There we are. In our sweatshirts. Not looking like tourists at all.

Once inside, they had free English audio guides (thank goodness). We got to learn all about Louis XIV, XV, and XVI and of course, Marie Antoinette. Did you know that Louis XIV was King for over 70 years; so long that his grandson succeeded him as King, Louis XV?

This is the main chapel. So pretty but we weren't allowed inside.

Louis the XIV and his daughter? maid? who knows...

The view of the gardens from inside.

A cool painting of the whole layout of Versailles. When I say Versailles was huge, that is an understatement!

Here's the view walking through all the different state apartments in the palace. The bad part was that you kind of felt like a herd of animals walking through. There were so many people! So. Many. People. And I don't do well with crowds. It was wall to wall people and very slow moving, but we made it through.

I loved all the different colored wallpapers. It was more like fabric on the walls. I really liked this room with the green velvet-y wallpaper and the fancy desk and chair.

Next up was the King's chambers (none of our pictures really turned out in there) and then the War Room. The War Room was at the end of the row of state apartments at the corner of the palace. It was one of Zach's favorite spots and had this crazy statue.

My favorite part of the palace was the Hall of Mirrors. It was breathtaking. The ceiling was completely painted and everything was lined with gold. Hanging from the ceiling were probably a dozen beautiful chandeliers. The room was at the back of the palace and had an amazing view out on to the gardens lined with huge floor to ceiling windows. On the opposite wall were huge mirrors that mirrored the windows. Whoa. Pun intended. I can only imagine what it would be like to attend a fancy ball in this room! SO AMAZING. The pictures don't do it justice.

On the other side of the Hall of Mirrors (the other corner of the palace) was the Peace Room. Louis or Napoleon or someone must have wanted to soften up the palace after making the War Room. Next was my second favorite room, the Queen's bed chamber. It was fabulous. Lots of gold and floral. And of course you have to have feathers on your ginormous canopy bed.

The famous painting of The Coronation of Napoleon as Emperor. It must have taken up an entire wall of one of the rooms.

Here's the view from the outside... more on that (and the never-ending gardens) next time!

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