Friday, July 21, 2006


One evening we decided head over to the palace grounds at Versailles to get a walk in:

There's just no way for a photograph to convey how immense this place is. I think I must have stood for a good couple minutes on the steps to the palace, bouche bée, staring out in amazement at the gardens, the woods, the Grand Canal.

The park is dotted with hundreds of topiaries and scores of marble statues, representing figures in classical mythology, great thinkers, symbolic references to other parts of the known world. "L'Amerique" was my favorite: loved the hairdo, loved her pet.

Wandered in the woods for a bit - was surprised to see all the chestnuts. Also noted two sequoia trees that mon ami told me Benjamin Franklin brought along as gifts during a diplomatic mission. Just past all this were two smaller palaces - the Grand Trianon (Louis XV's "getaway" palace) and the Petit Trianon:

The Petit Trianon was built for the Marquise de Pompadour, Louis XV's mistress and confidante. Though not of noble blood (she'd received her title from the king), she was reknowned for her grace, intelligence, aesthetic. Amidst all the grandeur of Versailles, I found her demeure a little gem.

Being a (naturalized) Bostonian, I do have somewhat of a fascination for antique colored windows. The copper in the French glass provided a pleasant change from the usual Beacon Hill purple.


After dinner, we took a tour around the city. In spite of all the little soccer yobs running around, draped in the either Portuguese or French flags and hooting, it was actually quite a pleasant walk. Came upon a memorial to a local boy who done good for himself:

and passed by the Church of Our Lady:

All in all, a wonderful way to spend an afternoon and evening.

No comments: