I forgot to mention a few notes from yesterday in my haste to get into bed! We learned about the unofficial memorial to Princess Diana while touring, it’s a golden torch that hangs out above the tunnel where the fatal crash occurred. So when we took our ride to our dinner cruise later, we were in cryptic shock when we realized we were traveling through the same tunnel. It does feel a bit eery! On our dinner cruise, I was given the privilege of tasting the wine for the table because I apparently said ‘bonjour!’ well enough in greeting that the waiter got confused and thought I was French, so take that mother! Also, the Luxor Obelisk I took a picture of in my last post also happens to be displayed in the same spot Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI were executed on the guillotine during the French Revolution. This last tidbit brings me to the start of our adventure this morning!
Like I had mentioned earlier, the Chateau de Versailles was one of my favorite things I had seen on my previous trip and I was excited for my mother to see it. I made her watch Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette film back home in preparation which, while not entirely perfect in historical accuracy, makes for a beautiful movie which I love regardless and the film was even shot on location! We arrived at Versailles early morning so we could get in before it got too crowded.
Opulent, yet faint with age, Versailles is still the pearl of France. Where once the extravagance behind its doors were regarded as gratuitously frivolous and enraged the populous into a rebellious frenzy, it now exists as a shell of itself–most of the inner furnishing lost, after it had all been removed following the revolution. Yet, you can still get a sense of the characters who once walked these halls–from the Sun King’s love of hunting proudly displayed in reverence to Artemis to what fun must have been had in the billiards room, it’s impossible to escape the shadow of greatness.
One of the things I did not get to see last time were the extensive gardens. We rented a cart to drive out back to see the Grand & Petit Trianon, and got to drive through the gardens all afternoon. It was a beautiful mid-60’s sunny day in Spring with a light breeze carrying with it a hint of moisture blowing off from the canal. So, perfect, basically. Within the Petit Trianon was the classic portrait of Marie Antoinette, who while alive, hated the lifestyle at Versailles. Kindred introverts, Marie would hide away from the court at Versailles in favor of residing at the Trianon or her cottage home created to emulate a simpler, quieter country life.
I have written about Marie a few times on this blog, if you want a taste of a bit of her sass you can read here or if you are curious to know what her famous last words might have been before being executed, check it out here.
Before leaving the gardens, we had to check out a fountain show too!
Now, onto some food! For breakfast at Versailles, we stopped into Angelina’s where I was determined to capture a video of the hot chocolate pouring into my cup because I’m cruel like that.
Then, after burning off all that chocolate walking around the gardens, we split a fresh club sandwich and replenished our supply of sugar with a Nutella banana crepe, all served within the gardens itself!
Nap time probably, but nope! We were now off to hit up the Louvre so we could say hi to Mona Lisa and get my fix of other historical people I really dig.
My answer whenever someone asks that question, “Who would you invite to dinner, living or dead?” That’d be my boy Marcus Aurelius!
And then there is his son Commodus, who is my favorite asshole. I wrote about this douche on my blog before which you can read about here!
More Joan of Arc ❤
And this handsome devil Antinous, thought to be one of the most beautiful people in the classical world, not unlike the male version of Helen. I wrote about him too and the ridiculous ending to his story here.
And, of course, the smile known around the world.
Last but not least, I ate a really fantastic burger and America should really get on this Ramen bun thing, I’m just Seine-in’.
It’s fascinating to me looking at the pictures of these historical locations that were once, like you said, considered gratuitously frivolous that they still somehow carry a certain elegance to them. A lot of modern architecture is more complicated, perhaps more interesting looking but I don’t think I’ve seen any that demand a sort of reverence. Could just be the associated age but even looking ahead I don’t see much of what we have now commanding the same awe in a few centuries time.
Also, that hot chocolate looks like syrup… damn.
I love your humor, knowledge and your funny pun at the end. It makes me so excited because on August 15th I will be strolling through Versailles !!
I think Versailles is still my favorite thing about Paris/France, so excited for you to see it! August will be perfect weather too, they should have the fountains running for you! Definitely recommend grabbing some hot chocolate from Angelina’s in Paris or Chateau Versailles if you have time, I have been looking up imitation recipes and craving it since!
oh cool! I am on this clean eating plan and have lost 13bs. I am going to do perfect eating until I get there so I will def splurge!!!