Our last day in Paris included a day trip to Versailles and the great Chateau de Versailles ~~ home of Queen Marie Antoinette and her royal husband King Louis XVI. The palace has over 1200 rooms…of which we saw only 8!! The palace was just beautiful…the gardens breathtaking. At one point I was walking down a stony garden path with tears in my eyes thinking that Marie Antoinette walked the very same path. Evelyn, our tour guide, was an amazing source of knowledge about the palace, the Royal Family, and Paris in general. I was proud that I could follow her tour and know exactly what she was talking about because I had read a couple of Marie Antoinette biographies last year.
The famous Hall of Mirrors was under construction…but what a sight! Mirrors from ceiling to floor and 6 ft tall candleabras of real gold. Stunning. In terms of today’s standards, the room would probably not be so striking. But at the time of it’s extravagent construction, mirrors of that size were unheard of..and very, very costly. In between sections of the mirrored panels, were strips of gold. What a sight it must have been ~filled with fine royals dressed in fancy ball gowns, dancing and cavorting, and trying to show up one another.
I was saddened by the end of the tour…and walking away from the Palace, I felt as if I had been a part of a pivotal turning point in French history. To walk the same cobbled paths that led the French to storm the Palace at the beginning of the French Revolution is amazing. I can’t even come up with new words to describe the feeling.
Chateau de Versailles
After Versailles…it was back to Paris and dinner at an Italian restaurant ~~ De Mezza Luna (the half moon). I had the best lasagna ever. Conversation was upbeat and loud (I kept thinking that the French were really irritated by how loud and obnoxious we sounded when we together as a group).
The rest of the afternoon/early evening was ours to enjoy. Michelle, Rosemary, Heather and I hailed a taxi and went back to the hotel to hang out until it was time to leave for the train to Nice. We passed time by shopping along the street of the hotel. It stayed extremely hot all day long and I was extremely uncomfortable and ready to leave hot Paris behind and move on to Nice, Monaco, and the rest of the French Riviera.