Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Paris the third

Versailles today. I had a whole smooth plan in place: first I was going to swan around as though I owned the place, just like the evil Leonardo DiCaprio in that movie. Then I was going to get a chemical peel, just like the good Leonardo DiCaprio in that movie.

Unfortunately, trauma was visiting Versailles today too. First of all the 90 minute wait to get in. Not pleasant, but acceptable, I suppose - it's pretty much the Disneyland of history, only it doesn't have to try because people will come anyway. And do they ever. The interior is amazing, but you have to fight through crowds to see anything that's not on the ceiling, especially if you're short. The ceilings are good, but still.

Then a young guy passed out right near me, just slid down the wall and crumpled into a heap. Then in the cafe where I was having lunch a small boy had a seizure (his parents were pretty collected about it, so it must have happened before, but it was still awful). It was all very, well, you know. Let's just say it made me lose my taste for ostentatious displays of wealth and power.

It did cheer me up quite a bit to see a sideboard with a sign on it saying "DO NOT LEAN ON THIS CONSOLE" and right above that, a painting of Napoleon, First Consul of France. Pun-tacular!

The top of the inner gates. The queue went up towards these, then down away from them, then up towards them, then away again so many times that I lost count. It was a conga line of grouchy, sober people.

I spent an hour and a half staring at this on the backpack of the Chinese guy in front of me.

The only photo I look inside - because photo-taking is not allowed (NOBODY obeys that) and because I did not want pictures of the back of strangers' heads. This is the Hall of Mirrors. Look it up, it's amazing. This is a good representation of how elaborate and over-decorated everything is.

Outside was much, much more tolerable.

Yeah, I used to ride a Sphinx to work too, but the stabling costs were outrageous. 

Some general outdoorsery.

This is the money shot, down from the top level of the gardens all the way to the end, although the perspective seems sadly lost in the photo. Also, all of these people have photos of me.

"Dammit Francois, you told me horses could swim!"

"We'll have to drink our way out!"

Back towards the chateau from about halfway down. Symmetry 1, Drowning Horses, 0.

Duchess Vodka of Vodka. By the end of the day I felt like joining her.

I saw this place in the main street of Versailles and my first thought was "Oh! Deka!" Right?


  1. It's all so damn pretty! I am aswoon in my office.

  2. I suspect the weather is contributing a lot to the gorgeous. The overcast London photos look kind of monotone by comparison.

  3. The London photos had their own grandeur, but nothing like the epic flamboyance of the Paris photos. Even if they're flamboyantly celebrating non-French things.

  4. Funnily enough, my bedroom looks JUST LIKE the Hall of Mirrors. I thought I came up with the design myself.

  5. Oh my. Versailles looks incredible and just like I saw on the movies these several times over the years.

    Just the sheer size of the grounds is pretty mind blowing.

    Although, safe to say, if I had to deal with those crowds for that long I would have punched someone.