We had the best tour of the Palace of Versailles today. Again we were picked up at the hotel and driven through the town of Versailles. Did you know that it's a town, and not just a palace? We didn't, and it's quite an expensive place to live. We were dropped off outside the palace walls and walked in. At first everything looks like grey stone, big buildings, and a huge plaza-like area out front. Then you see the golden gates. It's really gold, but not solid.
On our arrival a few clouds had started rolling in, and about an hour later we heard thunder & it started pouring. We thought we'd have to cancel the part of the tour walking through the gardens but by the time we came out it had stopped.
And of course I started taking photos of pretty dresses.
We looked out the window into the gardens and it was pouring outside.
Here is Marie Antoinette's bedroom with the door left open on the left side showing where she exited when escaping from the revolution. Also the cabinet on the far left is one of the few remaining pieces left after the palace had been ransacked in the revolution, and is priceless to the French people.
Our guide who grew up coming to Versailles told us many stories behind the history of France and its royalty, and the stories each painting told with all its symbolism. You could see the pride of his country in how he spoke of it, and their friendship with our country. Both of us didn't realized how supportive France had been of the US starting back at our nation's birth until now.
The palace was huge and the land stretched on forever. The Hall of Mirrors was my favorite but the miles of tree lined paths in the gardens that stretched as far as the eye could see in all directions most impressed me.
Before we left for lunch I asked if we could have 10 minutes to shop in the gift shop, and of course all the ladies raced in there.
There was lots of touristy things with Versailles printed on it, and little girl princess stuff. I looked through the postcards and found this 8x10 poster.
Then I got excited on seeing some small bottles of perfume, about 1x2 inches tall. French perfume! It was called Princesse Marina de Bourbon "Reverence". It has a light flowery scent and smelled nice on me.
Then the walking continued as we went outside down past the water fountains past the long lawns and to a small cafe in the gardens for lunch.
Our next stop was the Grand Trianon, the large chateau, built by King Louis XIV, as a getaway from the strictness of the palace. It wasn't as ornate as the Palace as that was intentional. But it was a pretty pink marble. The starkness of the front still amazed me.
The insides were still very beautiful and the brightness of the colors surprised us.
Walking outside in the gardens was again very pretty. It kind of made up for the plain exterior.
There was a pretty little Belverdere (a folly) out in her garden there. This area was more natural and not like the structured gardens of the other buildings.
We were then taken over to the miniature French village that was built for Marie Antoinette with all its ponds and houses. The small village was created so she could see how the rest of the population lived, and how livestock was raised, butter was made, and bread baked. It was an actual working village.
Marie lived upstairs here on the far right when she came to the village.
We really enjoyed this. The animals gathered in there were very entertaining too. Now I need to watch the movie of Marie Antoinette again.