So although there are pickpocketers (we would know, on the last day we were stolen from), crowds that make you feel like a smashed sardine, and the heat sometimes became unbearable, I had a spectacular experience in France. I love to travel anyway, and it was my first time in Europe, and I have nothing to say but good things about the trip! This little excursion was nearing the end of our trip and so we were a little more accustomed to the ways of the french in terms of how to get around, speak, act, etc. We were also with my sister's dancing group on this particular occasion so all we had to do was follow the red balloon. I know, cliche, right? So instead of taking various trips and switches through the metro (which was all fine and dandy, but with a group of 80, it could get somewhat difficult), we took a straight shot trip on a train. A train. Now it wasn't as fancy as through a countryside with mountains and villas because Versailles is in Paris (the city), but still! To say, "Ah yes, going to Versailles on a train ce matin".. there's just something glamorous and Parisian chic about it. So as we sat down on the upper level of the train and we began moving, the clichest of cliches happened. Accordions began playing. At first, I thought that it was just from the speakers, but when my dad told me to look behind me, sure enough, there were a couple of accordion players. That is what I call the ultimate traveling experience. And although they were obviously doing it for money, I say bravo and thank you! It was simply stupendous to be on a train, on the way to Versailles, with live accordionists playing french tunes.
Anyhow, upon arriving at the station, we took a short walk and then there. BAM. The golden gates of Versailles were standing there in all its opulence and glory. Let me just straight up say one thing about Versailles- it is one incredibly rich and overly decorated palace of excess and extravagance. I mean, there comes a point where six different drawing rooms each with a different color and style becomes a little bit much. And the size. I thought that the palace was just what was hidden behind those gates, but once you come out the other end, a massive runway of fountains, forested groves, gardens, and even a stream where rowboats paddle, lay ahead. There's more? No wonder the french beheaded Marie Antoinette. Living like this, even today, is completely absurd and selfish. Especially with the rest of the nation starving for bread. My goodness.
So we took a journey on down to the water, and after being helped into the paddle boats by some very lovely french lads, we were off. It's just incredible to imagine the queen of France out here at one point, followed by servants with her billowing dress and fans to cool her. To imagine that she stepped where we were, or sat where we were is such an incredible thought.
Over? Not exactly. Unbeknownst to moi, Marie Antoinette also had a little countryside village built for her to escape the pressures and glamorous walls of Versailles. Oh, much better! She had multiple little chateau's, a mini farm, passageways leading through the forest, and mini gardens.
Overall, the day was a stunner. It did involve tons of walking and being on the feet, but I think it was worth it. It was a history lesson for me, an eye shock as well (seeing all the extravagance that can be wholly possessed by one family), and it made me appreciate what I have. Truly, I had a lovely time witnessing the visions that Versailles had to offer.