I am including this picture of a simple glass of water for one reason - it was hard to come by. It's a fairly easy thing to request a caraf of tap water (much cheaper than bottled water). The waiter brings it by quickly and there you go. What makes it a little more difficult, is that you may not see your waiter for the next 20 to 30 minutes at which point, your group will have downed the contents of said caraf within the first few minutes and you are all sitting there eyeing the last few drops of water in each other's glasses. That morning, Elena and I had an entire caraf of water to share between the two of us and we felt smug and happy about it.
And we got there bright and early around 10 am. Nice! Just look at those lovely lines! Actually, is was a huge line, but it was moving very fast and we didn't have to wait more than 25 minutes. We did have the crowds though.
Below, is the King's chapel. He worshipped each day facing forward and his nobles worshipped with their backs to the altar, instead facing the King. If that's not going to make you feel like the center of the universe, what will?
19 prince and princesses of France were born in the bed pictured above! All the births had to be wittnessed by numerous members of the nobility in order to attest to the fact that the baby did, indeed, come from the Queen's womb.
Caroline stands in the spot that Louis XVI stood when he saw the French "republicans" storming the palace. I don't believe that he and Marie Antoinette ever saw Versailles again after that day.
Speaking of Marie Antoinette, here she is. According to Rick Steves, this painting was comissioned as a public relations stunt attempting to depict her as a concerned and devoted mother. I just think she is fascinating! And I'm sorry she was beheaded, as I don't think she was responsible for much of what she was accused of.
After visiting the main palace, we visited the Grand Trianon - the King's private residence. I think we enjoyed this tour even more than the palace tour because the building was fully furnished. It was easy to imagine the rooms filled with people. Below, is an example of the bright colors the last King and Queen favored.
The gardens at the Grand Trianon were as formal as those of the palace. Caroline informed us at this point, as she was reading what Rick Steve's had to say, that these gardens were replanted every night so that Louis XIV would have fresh flowers every morning.
Below is the interior courtyard of the Petite Trianon, which was Marie Antoinette's favorite retreat. While staying there, she developed the idea of building a little hamlet that would be run by local families and become a functioning farm.
It is at the Petite Trianon, I think, that you get the best impression of Marie Antoinette. This was her haven and was built to suit her tastes. Below, you can see the gardens. She asked the landscapers to convert the garden at the Petite Trianon to the "English style", which was a marked departure from the formal, stylized gardens found at the rest of Versailles.
No one was allowed to visit the Hamlet without her express invitation.
We then toured the Grand Basin and I believe the above photo is the Neptune fountain? The many fountains are turned on over the weekends. Sadly, we visited on a Friday.
Um, I'm not even going to say anything. Just look at the cheese, please.
The fondue pots were hot and steamy. As evidenced by my and my sister's gleaming faces in the above photo.
Vicki showed us a wonderful time. It was great hearing about her life in Paris and if you're looking for a quick and easy recipes for dinner hop on over to funny spoon - the website she co-created. Again, the photo below includes nothing special in the background, but I think Shalyn look fabulous in the photo!
And so ended our evening in Montmartre. It was a real highlight of our trip.
We spent the walk home having a competition over who could take the most "romantic" photo of Shalyn on the city streets posing with the aforementioned rose from the Italian. I know Elena will disagree, but I win. Also, it's my blog and I can post what I want to. ha!