🇫🇷 France: Paris and Versailles
There’s a lot you can see and experience in a whirlwind visit to France for a few days! My husband and I had just finished visiting my friends in Plymouth, England, when we hopped on the Chunnel and headed toward France for a few days to meet up with our other friends. I hope you enjoy my photos and adventures from 2015!
Located in the busy city of Paris, the Eiffel Tower is definitely a sight to see! It’s one of the most well-known monuments of France, and probably the world. There are people all around, mostly tourists taking photos, and street vendors trying to sell you a cheap (and cheaply made) selfie-stick or Eiffel Tower key chain. You zig and zag your way through the crowds, look up, and revel in the beauty, strength, and simplicity of such a grand structure.
Here’s another famous French monument, the Arc de Triomphe. It might be difficult now with our modern skyscrapers and towering buildings, but imagine how mighty and, of course, triumphant this masterpiece of design and art must have been to those who beheld it during its construction and completion. The Arc was commissioned by Napoleon, but he died before it was finished.
This is the underside of the Arc de Triomphe. What a work of art! The names of over 600 military officers and over 100 important battles of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic eras are inscribed on it. More information can be found at this website.
This is a view of one of the simple, yet elegant bridges that cross over the Seine River. This is Pont d’léna and it is one of 37 bridges, all beautifully and differently designed, which span the river in Paris. I took this photo because I thought the river, the bridge, and the girl feeding the pigeons all looked particularly charming together. Here’s a link to some more information about the bridges, if you’re interested.
🍷 When in France, one really ought to enjoy some fabulous red wine (which I couldn’t at the time because I was pregnant), aged French cheese (couldn’t enjoy this either), flaky, buttery croissants (of which I was able to enjoy plenty), and decadent desserts such as this crème brûlée. As you can see, my husband and I started digging in before I remembered to take a photo. We shared this while we people watched from one of the intimate little tables set up outside of the café.
This is a view of only part of the Château de Versailles and only part of the line (or queue as my European friends call it). This palace is over 300 years old! Obviously, renovations have been made to it for safety and historical preservation, but it is all kept authentic. We stood in this line and in the drizzly weather for what felt like ages, and slowly snaked around the courtyard to the entrance.
The things we do for travel and life experiences and adventure! …They are SO worth it!
Here’s a slightly broader view of the crowd in the queue. While we were waiting and slowly inching our way closer, it was neat to think about the various nobility (and commoners such as myself) who had passed through the ornate and golden gates you can see in the distance in the left of the photo. If you didn’t know, this was the residence of Queen Marie Antoinette of “Let them eat cake” fame.
The inside of the palace was incredible! Unfortunately, it was also incredibly crowded. This is the famous Hall of Mirrors, and I had to angle my camera upwards so that a million tourist heads would not be included in my photo. The whole palace is opulent and has a grandeur I’ve never seen before, but this room was just so beautiful! The sparkling chandeliers, the gilded wood work and carved marble, the magnificent paintings on the ceilings, the clear reflections in all of the mirrors… It was stunning!
This painting is called “The Coronation of Napoleon” and it spans almost the entire wall in one of the rooms at the Palace at Versailles. It’s really quite grand and beautiful. It is actually a second copy of the painting; the original is housed at the Louvre.
The gardens and grounds of the Palace are truly spectacular, as well. There were so many lovely ponds, unique fountains, old and weathered statues, and ambling walkways. I’m sure it would have taken us more than a few hours just to see everything outside!
Here’s a view of a corner of the gardens and a part of the Palace. Acre after acre of beautifully-kept landscaping, and room after room of wealth and opulence. In the end, though, King Louis XVI, Queen Marie Antoinette, and their children were arrested and taken from the castle. Both the King and Queen were executed, their son died in prison, and their daughter grew up an orphan.
This fantastic sculpture/fountain inside one of the ponds really caught my eye. In English, it’s called the Dragon Fountain. It sounds so much better in French: La Fontaine du Bassin du Dragon.
Merci d’avoir lu mon blog! Thanks for stopping by! ❤