Versailles

Just a relaxing hour by train from Paris, yet Versailles is undoubtably a world unto itself.

We wound into the countryside, sharing headphones and conversation over a lunch we’d thought to pack from the boulangerie just around the corner from our hotel in Le Marais. The time flew by and after a short walk from the train station we were at our destination. Past a snaking line of sightseers held at bay by formidable gold encrusted gates stood the palace, wrapped in layers of history yet timeless in it’s sureal grandeur.

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

We idled a bit in the cobblestone courtyard, a light breeze alleviating the warm summer sun as the expanse of architecture wrapped itself around us. Soon we dipped into the shade, entering the maze of intricately sculpted halls, expansive, painted ceilings and stuffy, ornate bedchambers.

Photocredit: Ruth Michelle

Photocredit: Ruth Michelle

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

I couldn’t do the history justice, and my descriptions of the art and architecture don’t come close to the real thing so with little interlude we include a few photos from our visit and invite you to make the trip yourself.

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Ruth Michelle

Photocredit: Ruth Michelle

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Ruth Michelle

Photocredit: Ruth Michelle

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

the infamous and glimmering hall of mirrors, floor to ceiling windows stretch the great length of the space and are met with a wall of reflections, the ceiling is punctuated with crystal chandeliers inviting light to make it’s way about the vaulted expanse with an effect that is truly magical.

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

We felt a deep sense of commiseration with this poor fellow (above left, found in the History of France galleries) who’s feet seemed to be the greatest of his worries despite his battlefield SURROUND.

After days on our feet, traveling and shooting, our tread was a little worse for wear to put it lightly. We felt three times our age as every time we sat down we’d moan in relief.

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

We were a little SURPRISED by Joan of Arc’s uncanny resemblance to Yara Greyjoy. (Above, Left.)

versailles-129.jpg
Photocredit: Ruth Michelle

Photocredit: Ruth Michelle

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Below you’ll see a more modern work of art - the Most difficult mirror selfie ever I think.

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

We emerged in the gardens as the sun sank low, casting long shadows over vibrant greens and shimmering pools.

We enjoyed the breathtaking views as well as the respite from our exhausting exploration of labyrinth now behind us.

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Ruth Michelle

Photocredit: Ruth Michelle

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Ruth Michelle

Photocredit: Ruth Michelle

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

Photocredit: Lane Oliveri

A more full discovery of the gardens would have to wait for another day, as dinner and refreshment lured us from our journey in time back to the present. We made our way to leave, the palace and the grounds glowing in evening light. Tourists had somehow disappeared as if some vacuum had removed them all on cue. An almost eerie air settled as we made our way over the now quiet cobbled stones so packed earlier. Standing just outside the gate was a man posted as if just for us, selling cold waters for a euro, an act of mercy or a brilliant business plan, who knows.

A final glance behind us left the gilded palace emblazoned in memory as we caught the evening train to Paris.