Oh, Versailles!

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Versailles. Do I need to say more? No, I don’t. But I still will!

Literary genre: A travelogue

Atmosphere: The most romantic warm and sun-felt day in October

Background: The most romantic palace in the world

Plot: A girl walking to where her dream comes true, through a battle with the society, overcoming personal weakness, to the fulfilling achievement and enriching experience.

I bow to His Majesty, King Louis XIV and walk  the 350-year old cobble stone courtyard (if stones could talk!) to the Gates.

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20141014_131221It’s time for my first challenge. I have to combat impatience and wait the line to be admitted into the Heaven on Earth. This is what the 17th century nobility must have experience waiting for Le Roi Soleil to grace them with his appearance.

Elbowing through the rooms of the palace is a battle with time and society. Though it’s past the peak season, the crowds are insane! A natural thing like private space ceases to exist in this blinding splendor. A simple desire to be left alone, to absorb the moment, to admire – or at least to take a good look! – at the beds, chairs, clocks, vases, mirrors, crystal chandeliers, golden statues and the artwork that were every day life trifles for the King and his court becomes irrelevant.

But everything comes to an end. The palace did, too. Releasing me from the heat and the frowsty grandeur to the pearl of my dreams – the Gardens of Versailles.

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This is where previous diligent planning payed off. It was the Musical Gardens Day! I walked all the way to the end of that canal, stretching up to the horizon. And though I have not seen some fountains at work, the music from each of them transformed a piece of reality around it, taking visitors back to the days of luxurious dresses and wigs and courtesy and everything a girl has ever dreamed of.

The Gardens of Versailles are filled with fountain-hugging statues, fountain-lounging statues and free-standing statues. Some are more impressive than others. Don’t be surprised if you see statues of children torturing someone or something, or a child chained by the neck. Some scenes are openly cruel to a modern day observer. How that could have been a pleasing sight I know not. But there are only a few of those. Most are delightfully mythological!  Like these ones:

Garden babes

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Speaking of statues, my Love has made an acquaintance with “America” and seems to be feeding her crocodile

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 While I prefer the company of Seasons: Madame Summer and Monseigneur Winter

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The Grove of Enceladus is the most mythological and the most impressive. To us, even more than the most well-known and all-time favorite Apollo’s Chariot. 20141014_162005 20141014_162334

According to the Greek Mythology, Enceladus was a Giant, son of Gaia and Uranus, one of many who rebelled against the Gods in fight for Cosmos. He threw rocks aiming to kill the Gods on the Mount Olympus from the Earth, but he rocks, cursed by the Gods, would fall back down and bury Enceladus. Thus, Mount Etna in Sicily was formed.

Apollos’ Chariot is just that – no less.  Emerging from a sizable body of water, mounting a chariot of numerous horses, Apollo is magnificent! This fountain breathes physical power such as I would not want to stay in the way of.

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Apollo’s Baths Grove is an unexpected sight, the more likable for that, of course.
20141014_170856A close up and information for the curious:

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This lonely fountain seems to have forgotten its role, making a perfect setting for a dreamy fall day in the woods.

20141014_155728It was almost sunset when I came to this corner of the Gardens, and though I did not manage to take good pictures, it was a wonderfully peaceful and people-less end to an unforgettable day spent in a garden

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This post was in large inspired by Restless Jo and her impressions of Versailles. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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11 thoughts on “Oh, Versailles!

    • Amy, my heart stands by the old film cameras! Every photo counted back then, in a way, those were more real than the digital shots. Of course, there was no flexibility, we could not take 35 shots just in case, to pick the only 1 good one after 🙂 But the good shots on the film were worth the effort!

  1. Thank you so much for the link 🙂 And the whimsical and sunlit look at the gardens. We were combating grey skies much of the time but I was so fixated on the fountains I only just acknowledged the rain. 🙂 Reading your account, I’m glad I didn’t attempt the house. I don’t have the necessary patience with crowds. Thank you for the memories so generously shared. (and please don’t think it out of turn if I say what a very cute love you have 🙂 )

    • Jo, I only wish I could post more photos of the gardens and fountains and statues – it is a magical place, indeed! But those mostly include Love and/or myself. And Love (I’ll give him your remark 😉 ) strongly opposes being posted on my blog, so I gotta respect his privacy!

  2. That is definitely the best and most exhaustive walk through the gardens I’ve seen, Jouena – and you didn’t have the benefit of the fountains playing !
    I simply LOVE the two-shot: it’s easily the best you’ve posted. Now that I know where you’ve been, I can understand your blogging silence !!! 🙂

    • M-R, and these are far from ALL the fountains I took pics of! The day was a bliss, as close to my kind of Heaven as I have ever imagined. Thanks for taking me back to the community after a long silence. I have more treats in store!

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