Today we only accomplished one thing... but oh what a thing it was!
We took two metro subway trains, then a French National Train out to the Versailles Palace.I now really understand *why* there was a French Revolution... This place was way too much! What a HUGE waste of the French national resources. This 'palace' held more than 20,000 people. The King and Queen of course, but also an entire 'court' of french nobility, courtiers, administrators, cooks, cleaners, seamstresses, etc. All supported just to give the King a nice place to hold court. (one of many palaces actually)
A lot of history was here. From Ben Franklin's introduction to the court as the ambassador from the new United States, to where they mob's carried away and beheaded Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, to where the Treaty ending World War I was signed. All happened here.
The palace is huge, monster-sized courtyards coming up to the building, and then huge long wings. This was the largest palace EVER! - yep Ever!
On top of the palace, the surrounding gardens are even more immense! The maps and drawings of the gardens make it look like it is all gardens with low plants. And some of them are, but a vast majority is just huge tracks of land with planted trees. Groups of the same tree lined up in long rows. With roads and paths in between. In the center is a large man-made lake called the Grand Canal is over a mile long - in two directions. It's shaped like a large cross.
Even from this monstrosity of a palace the King wanted to 'get away' from the hectic life of court, and so built other smaller palaces, one for himself and his mistresses, and another for the Marie Antoinette.
The 'over-the-top' ostentatious and overly decorated rooms were way too much for me. Each room had a 'theme' as well as custom works of art, custom wall coverings, custom flooring, and everything was way expensive. Artwork and statues were everywhere! On top of roofs, scattered around the gardens, down walkways, in gardens, ponds, and fountains.
We walked around a lot of the palace and gardens, including the Trianon's - but then Jill, Ryan and Alysha followed Ryan's lead and walked around the ENTIRE GRAND CANAL!
I got in 18,500 steps today, they must have been up around 23,000.
So here come the pictures:
Jill and Alysha walking on paths between trees
View from the center 'cross' part of the Grand Canal back to Palace Ryan, Alysha and Jill made it to the end of the Grand Canal It looks much closer with the big zoom lens on my Nikon Resting after a long day in Versailles Kids zonked on the train ride home