26 December, 2013

Château de Versailles: 29 October, 2013

The château 
I have always wanted to visit the famous Versailles, and I am very thankful for being able to see it :) 
I went to Versailles with Jenny, my sister's officemate (Ate didn't want to come with me because she'd been there twice already yada yada yada :P ). So I met up with Jenny at the RER Station near Notre Dame in the morning and off we went! 

I don't recall seeing any signs that led to the Château from the train station, and so Jenny and I just followed the crowd of tourists. In about five minutes, the castle was in sight. Jenny and I were so giddy with excitement!

Entrance to Versailles is free for me because I'm a student in France, but we wanted to do the private apartments & opera house tour, so I still had to pay the (discounted) fee for that. Before the start of the tour, we were given a bluetooth-enabled earpiece, which was connected to the microphone of the guide (pretty handy, since the tour guide's voice was very soft). 

Our tour guide was one of the main curators of Versailles and knew everything about French history and Versailles--from the first time Louis XVI got a cold to the number of plates currently on display in the main dining area of the palace. She was really amazing and clearly loved what she was doing. 

Here are some pictures of the private apartments:

Tired Jenny :P

The Clock Room

Passemant astronomical clock
 One of the coolest things in the private apartments is the Clock Room, which houses the (still working!) astronomical clock of King Louis XV from the 18th century. This clock shows the date, time, phases of the moon, and movements of the planets. It also has a bronze globe that features all the countries, engraved with the main cities. Created in 1749, it is designed to display the date until the end of the year 9999. 

The last part of the tour was the Opéra house, which was pretty fancy. It is still used today for some concerts and plays. 

And then, Jenny and I were left to fend of for ourselves and swim through the crowds of tourists. 

The Royal Chapel
The fancy beds were also a favorite of mine:

One of the many secret passageways in the castle
 One of the few things you get for free from visiting the Palace of Versailles: a stiff neck...from looking at all the beautiful ceilings! The paintings are simply divine!! (My pictures of them, not so much)

Our feet were already failing us, so we decided to just go see the Hall of Mirrors and go to ze gardens. 
The Hall was so b.e.a.uuutiful, but verrrry crowded :P

 When it was time to see the gardens, poor Jenny's feet were failing her. She had been sight-seeing in Paris for 3 days non-stop, and her feet were so blistered. So we hopped on one of the trams to transport us around the biggest garden I had ever been in. 

The time we were there, the Musical Gardens was taking place, so we had to pay to get in the gardens and hear classical music while strolling along hedges. 

It rained when it was time to go, but before it drizzled, we were able to bike around the Grand Canal. I had not biked in almost 7 years, so I was nervous. But you know that old saying about riding a bike... ;)

 Renting a bike for an hour was a little expensive. But hey! At least I get to say that I've biked at Versailles!

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