Thursday, December 3, 2009

honeymooners, part 2: versailles

On our second day in Paris Rosco and I hopped on a train to Versailles, glitzy, rococo home of this famously ill-fated lady:

I had never been to Versailles, and it turned out to be one of the most interesting places we visited in France. Not so much because of the glitzy palace:

But because of the exquisite (and gigantic) gardens.

In fact, this canal runs for an entire mile. An entire freaking mile of man-made lake-thing, dug well before the advent of anything even resembling your Caterpillars or John Deeres or Bobcats what have you (side note: why is heavy machinery always named after small and delicate animals?).

After visiting the gardens proper we walked to Marie Antoinette's corner of the world, the Petit Trianon:

...and her hamlet. Basically, this woman designed and commissioned an entire working farm and village, just so she'd have somewhere picturesque to visit. But that sounds harsh: actually, if our trip convinced me of anything, it's that Marie Antoinette was mostly just an extremely unfortunate scapegoat. Towards that end I highly recommend this book and this film.

Apparently, in addition to her pastoral influences Marie was also into the classical.

Thus ends "honeymooners, part 2." Next week (at some vague and unspecified time/date) we return for "honeymooners, part 3: the loire valley."

1 comment:

  1. When I took the French Revolution class, Rick Jobs told me that Versailles was bigger than all of Forest Grove. I chewed on that for a year, decided it couldn't possibly be true, and asked him about it when I came back for the Holocaust. He was firm in his conviction that with the grounds, yes, Versailles is bigger than all of Forest Grove. It still blows my mind.