This has been a strange vacationing experience for me. Every other time I’ve gone abroad, every day was packed with things to do. I’d wake up early, be busy all day, and then I was exhausted come bed time. But being here with Joseph, we’ve had a much more relaxed pace. I blame it on him. Half of me enjoys having time to just relax, but the other half worries that I’m not seeing or doing enough. So, that’s why it’s already noon and we haven’t left the apartment yet.
Yesterday, we took the RER to see the Palace of Versailles. The RER is just an extension of Paris’s transportation system that travels into the suburbs. Unfortunately for us, it’s also a little more complicated than the Metro, so when we got onto the train we weren’t 100% sure we were actually on the one headed for Versailles, but we were. Once we got out of the train station we only had to walk a minute, following the château de Versailles signs and then BAM it was right in front of us before we knew it.
The Palace was actually smaller than I thought it would be, not that it was small. I guess I thought it would be obscenely ginormous because its opulence has always been emphasized in History class. But, it was very, very grand and opulent. I especially liked that many of the rooms were themed by Roman gods. So, for instance, the antechamber to the King’s room (I think) was dedicated to Mercury, whose likeness was painted on the ceiling.
We strolled our feet off in the gardens (which unlike the Palace, was bigger than I thought), through many tree-lined paths. The fountains, unfortunately, were all off, so we didn’t get to see the gardens in all their glory.
We also toured the Grand Trianon, the Petit Trianon, and walked through Marie Antoinette’s estate. The Grand Trianon also had an exhibit “dedicated to the influence of the 18th century on modern fashion.” There were designs from Vivienne Westwood, Christian Lacroix, Alexander McQueen, as well as original 18th century pieces. I found it all really interesting, but Joe must have been bored out of his mind.
Also, we fed some creepy fish and a duck. Oh, and there were lots of sculptures by Bernar Venet all over the place.