This is Kara striking a pose in front of our new vacation rental. Ha! Just kidding. Obviously.
To say that Kara and I loved Versailles is an understatement. When Kara watched the movie Marie Antoinette for the first time, I’m pretty sure she forced me to come over and watch it the very next day. We, like Louis XIV, felt that it was time for a break from city life so we headed out to Versailles. The palace was home to France’s Royal families from 1682 until 1789, when the angry mobs forced the royals out and back to Paris during the French Revolution. Some parts of the palace have maintained their celebrity status in modern history, like the Hall of Mirrors, where the treaty to end WWI was signed. (Also known as The Treaty of Versailles…AP European History was springing to life throughout this trip.)
Then we saw Marie Antoinette’s bed, and when our audioguides told us that she fled through the door on the left when the peasants stormed the palace, I’m pretty sure Kara and I both almost fainted. HISTORY. HERE! And now we are HERE! When we got back to the hotel that night, Kara and read up on the details of the French Revolution/the storming of the palace/Marie Antoinette’s execution, and continued to be amazed by our proximity to such historic events.
Then it was time for even more of Marie Antoinette’s sleeping quarters! The picture below is from her bedroom in the Petit Trianon, which is a smaller palace on the grounds of Versailles that was given to Marie as her own personal home. We were basically twitching with excitement at this point, especially because we had just taken an awesome tram ride through the massive gardens to the Petit Trianon and were just filled with the splendor of Versailles. And now we were standing in Marie Antoinette’s bedroom. We also couldn’t help but notice that all of the beds were so small. Seriously, had the “Queen Sized Bed” not yet been invented?
Then we continued to stroll through the gardens until we came upon this cluster of houses and a little farm. At this point, we were calling Versailles our own personal Disneyland (although Kara will say it was BEYOND Disneyland and CANNOT be compared to such a thing) because it simply had everything. To add a farm to the mix was completely overwhelming, in a good way.
This is Kara trying to befriend the donkey and the donkey having none of it. But then we discovered that Kara can communicate with goats, so that was a little weird and hilarious. (Look at them! They are having such a connection!)
After spending five hours at Versailles, it was time to head back to the city. There was food to be eaten! We got off the metro in the Madeleine area by the Opera Garnier, and it was the perfectly adorable Paris that we were hoping to see. We stopped outside of the Cafe de la Paix, where famous writers and artists used to hang out, but ended up getting nutella and banana crepes at a student-budget-approved cafe nearby. We then headed back to our hotel, got sandwiches to feel as though we had eaten dinner, and then went for dessert (round 2, if we’re being honest with ourselves.)
This cafe was SO GREAT. The inside had exactly the feel we would have expected from a nighttime dessert stop in Paris, and we felt that we could understand at least 30% of the menu, which was a definite step up from some of the other local cafes. Kara finally got her Cafe au Lait and a chocolate cake/caramel creation, while I opted for the super-sweet and creamy ice cream.
The next morning we were off to the airport, where we would head our separate ways. Kara back to the US, and me back to London. We had such a fun week, and it was weird and sad when it came to an end. Travelling is always exhausting, and after visiting so many places in the past few weeks, it was a relief to be back in my flat with a more relaxed (though more academic) week ahead of me. (Is that the first time you’ve heard me mention academics? I thought so. I promise, I have actually written papers since I’ve been here!)
Also please note that it Paris was covered in clouds of doom and gloom while we were sight seeing, but magically cleared up right as we were leaving. Needless to say, London was not this blue-skied when we landed. It’s actually snowing here right now!