We decided to go to Versailles on Saturday. It was the perfect day trip to some perfect weather. The entire day was note-worthy, minus throbbing feet and my wearing jeans. In my defense, the forecast had said that it was supposed to rain and be a little chilly. I thought my lavender pants would suit the occasion. My only regret of the day was not wearing a dress instead.
The Palace of Versailles was the first place where I literally felt like I was living inside a fairy tale. I felt so majestic all day, I wanted people to refer to me as princess. It was just unreal, the way the walls of trees are cut, shaped, and arranged so purposefully and ornately and how open the skies are. The fact that the walls of green are tall, but not overwhelmingly tall, make you feel as if you're encased within something larger than yourself merely because the skies press down on your middle ground, background, and peripheral vision. It's the simplest trick that produces an easily stunning effect. The weather was spot-on - sunny and bright, but not too dreadfully hot (thank God, because I wore boots too).
The French really have a thing for open spaces, floral decor, and fountains. You look out and all you see is a repeat of the same patch of marvelous, unless it's disrupted by the settlement of an even larger fountain, an even more ornate sculpture, or building.
We started off on the right-sided gardens, then had lunch by the Grand Canal. We then made our way to the Grand Trianon, then practically hiked our way to Marie Antoinette's territory. It was difficult because the directions on the map got really ambiguous. Eventually we found this small village area where I think workers lived, and apparently a hideout where she used to live also. By this time, we were exhausted. So we waited for the water show that never seemed to happen and finally hit the Palace.
The apartments, halls, and rooms are too overwhelming to explain. Every inch of each room is finely decorated. The color schemes, though probably unappealing today, worked just right in the rooms. From the velvety textures, to touches of light and color through the use of candles, light, and dark, the mirrors, and intricate gold-work and fabric-work, we were literally too exasperated to consume anymore than our brains had already digested. We finally left, got some cheap souvenirs, and enjoyed a meal at McDonald's.
It was easily the best McDonald's I'd ever had in my life.
Did I mention I also tried my first macaroon ever from Laduree in Louis XIV's kingdom? It was yummy. Delicately crisp, then airy, then slightly creamy on the inside. I ate them all at night and now use the box as an earring holder.