On Thursday…? I think it was Thursday, it’s so hard to keep track of time when you’re on vacation. I tried to keep notes the first few days but after a while it just became a blur.
I will have to split this day up into two entries, or else your computer will crash with the large number of photos I want to show.
Well anyway, we took a train to the Château de Versailles, which is where all the French royalty lived, all the Henrys and Maries.
We woke up early, took the metro to the train station and then bought tickets for this train with the nasty worn-out seats:
But at least we had views of the beautiful French weather to look out to:
And this guy’s music:
Notice how people are trying to avoid eye contact with him. The unspoken rule on public transportation is that if you take pictures, make eye contact, or even show any hint that the performer exists in the same reality that you do, you must pay or you are a douche.
Needless to say, we often paid to street/train performers in France.
I have other pictures of performers (accordionists are especially commonplace here), but for some reason I can’t find them in the folders I’ve uploaded.
The train dropped us off near here, which reminds me of Fantasyland at Disneyland.
Then we walked several blocks to the Palace. It was magical.
What? We were there around 10 or 11 a.m. and people were already leaving? Oh, these people… so difficult to please.
It was a longer walk than expected.
Wait, what? 15 Euros per adult to get in? OK, fine.
And we’re in:
OMG, we’re walking in, you guys…
And we’re in:
This was the official royal family tree. A lot of Maries. I guess they had to have a lot of them because they were always getting…never mind.
This was how the Palace first looked. And yes, I know there’s an elbow in the way. With the number of people visiting this palace, and how quickly my family was moving through the tour, it was hard taking a picture without somebody’s elbow, leg, neck, head, face, selfie stick, etc in the way.
Oh and I said before how I love archways:
This is just a random shot to show the kind of space we’re in:
And these royals, they will not leave any wall uncovered, will they? While their people are starving, they are sparing no expense on this place. “Let them eat cake, I must discuss my ceiling painting options.”
Oh look, it’s the War Room. “I’m going to trample you with my horse, you deadbeats! That will show you.”
And here’s the dining hall (I think). Gah, it’s so crowded. Move out of the way, people. Don’t they know that I’m taking pictures for an amazing blog that is read by at least three people?
Ah, some fresh air.
Oh look, here is the Peace Room. I’m not sure what they do here. Write up peace agreements? But did they really need a room just for that? “Let them eat cake. I must go discuss my peace room with the royal interior designer.”
And this is the queen’s bedroom. Marie Antoinette’s actual bed I think. This woman kind of liked florals, ya think?
This was the queen’s salon/waiting room. Guests would wait here until her servants finished doing her makeup for her, and spraying enough perfume to cover the stench of only taking a couple baths per year. “Let them eat cake. But preferably not in this waiting room. I don’t want a mess. Tell them to go to that big dining room.”
My mom said, “Quick! Take a picture of that, it’s Marie Antoinette!”
Another waiting room. Very exciting.
Regarding the following picture, my mom and my conversation went like this:
“Look, it’s Napoleon!”
“No, it’s not, mom. Napoleon is way short.”
“Well, you know how people liked to flatter themselves. He told the painter to make him look tall.”
“Mom, that’s not him.”
“Yes, it is.”
“No, look at the plaque.”
I’m now questioning if that was really Marie Antoinette.
And look at these princes. Is it just me, or does anyone else sense the privileged snottiness radiating through this photo?
More spiffy rooms:
“Ha, mom! THIS is Napoleon!”
Finally we walked out of the hall and faced a fork. One sign said “café,” the other said “restaurant.” Uh, come again? We just followed the crowd.
I will have to continue the “outside” part of Versailles in my next entry. So, I’ll stop here.
I will show you some old pictures of the time that Bénédicte and I went to Versailles years ago during a Jeff Koons exhibition (this is the artist Lady Gaga name-checked in her song). I know, these pictures are horrible. I blame it on my awful camera…skills.
The quality is even worse because these are grabs from my old Facebook albums (my hard drive and computer were stolen in the burglary as you know).
His famous metallic balloon sculptures:
And I’m still smarting from the burglary because I had not uploaded all my photos online and there was this topiary sculpture that looked like a toy horse that I liked but don’t have a photo of.
You can kind of see the back of it here:
Oh you know what, I’ll go online and borrow someone else’s photos. When I was a journalist, bloggers borrowed my stuff all the time. Might be fair to borrow stuff back. (The credit for the following goes to ifitshipitshere.blogspot.com)
This is Jeff Koons standing in front of that sculpture at Versailles.
Well, please come back tomorrow to see what the rest of Château de Versailles looks like.