Welcome to Day 3 of my obsession with with all things Marie Antoinette. It all started when Beanie and I took the train out of Paris for an afternoon at Versailles this past Saturday. At first, I wasn't sure I even wanted to go. I'd been vacillating all week. Having been twenty years ago with my dad, and having been underwhelmed by the palace at that time, I really wasn't looking forward to going back and doing it all again. The only thing that had me second guessing my gut was that I knew Beanie would love to see a palace fit for a king and queen. But when my sister made the trek mid-week and came back and told us what she saw, I knew we had to go.
So much has changed at Versailles in the last twenty years. For one, it has a great *museum* giving you background and a strong understanding on the history of the palace and the royal families that live there. More rooms are open for viewing today and some of the original furniture that was given away during the revolution has been brought back and returned to its original home. Not to mention the Grand Trianon, the Petit Trianon and Marie Antoinette's 150% mind-blowing Hamlet (or Hameau de la Reine) are all now open for touring, making it an absolute must see!
After spending time in the palace museum and familiarizing ourselves with everything, we got to tour the royal apartments, starting with the royal family's church. Imagine that!
The king's bedroom...
...and the queen's bedroom, where we were nearly trampled to death by a mob of tourists snapping selfies in front of the queen's bed.
Hall of Mirrors.
Inside the palace was really the only place where we fought the crowds. Outside and beyond, we had plenty of room to move around. We took a tip from my sister and rented a golf cart to get around the grounds. At 30 euros an hour for rental, it was a bit painful. But it did allow us to see much more than we would have been able to see had we not. Thankfully an older German man offered to take this picture of us. It's one of my favorites. :)
I read somewhere that Marie Antoinette used to like to have blue ribbons tied around the necks of her sheep...while her people starved in the countryside! I'm looking forward to rewatching Sofia Coppola's movie on her, as well as some others I learned about during out visit.
The Petite Tianon - the Queen's private retreat from the palace...located just a ten minute walk from the palace. Get it? Ten minutes!!
What's not to love about the children's goat drawn carriage?
And of course, wherever I go, I always love to see the kitchen!
Sprawling palaces and massive retreats aside, the absolute highlight of our trip to Versailles was seeing Marie's Hamlet, her fantasyland built in 1783 to resemble a rustic village in the countryside. She would come here with her children and friends to get away from the constraints of palace life, and to be more connected to nature. It is even more spectacular in the late spring and summer when everything is in bloom and the veggie gardens are well established.