Sunday, January 8, 2012

In The Queen's Estate

Most of the sights during my Europe trip consists of visiting architecturally “eye-candy” churches and museums. I love admiring their architecture and their details. But admiring them can be handful at times, and I crave the haven offered by nature - in the form of parks. The grandest garden I’ve been to was the Gardens of Marie Antoinette in Chateau de Versailles.

After exiting the castle, I tried to look for a place to eat. There a decent restaurant but I didn’t really want to shell out €20-30 and eat for the next two hours. It was almost 1pm and I have to eat or my big intestine will eat my small intestine, if that is even possible.  Good thing they have a cafeteria to cater to the more budget conscious people like me. I got a salmon sandwich at €5 and a bottle of water for €1.50. Geez, the water was probably purified out of a golden purifier.
A bit of history as I understood it. France was ruled by a rich and powerful family using the taxpayers money to build their own playgrounds. There was hunger and starvation in the outskirts. The lower class hated it. Then came the upheaval. They overthrew the government. That's it - in a very small nutshell.

You can enter the garden without purchasing another ticket. If you want to watch the fountain musical, that’s when you have to shell out for additional fee.

Gloomy skies.
See the that end? I walked going there.
Despite the two layers of wool stockings, I still felt the cold bite of the wind. It may be nice to dress up for a cold weather but I’d trade it for the beach and warm weather back at home at that moment.

Feelin’ like a queen much.

From the movie Marie Antoinette staring Kirsten Dunst

You’ll have all the nicely manicured lawns and bushes to admire.

Too much of a pa-cutesy pose. Too much head titling.

Despite the cold weather, I took a leisurely pace and took pictures, of course. The gardens were still filled with tourists, although they are few and far in between. I had to stay in one spot and wait for a kind stranger to walk by and take my picture. There was this Japanese couple who I think was on their honeymoon and we keep on bumping onto each other in different spots.For two shots in their SLR camera, I get four shots in my point and shoot camera. Hahahahaha.

Autumn was here to charm me again.

You had to pay another €10 more or less to enter the Grand Trianon, Petit Trianon and Marie Antoinette’s Estate. They offer discount to minors and students. There were actually these two European-like looking girls who showed their passport. They were requested to step aside because it was found that their student visas expired (I overheard using my sonic ears).

The Grand Trianon had this ongoing exhibit on nth century clothing with a modern twist.

A very elaborate gown.

Out in the garden

At the far side of the garden of Chateau Versailles lies Marie Antoinette's Estate. It was a huge estate. I had a map on hand but, it was big. Humuguous. Actually, in my opinion, it will take you another full day to fully enjoy the whole premises.

Map of the estate

I remember wanting this set of toys when I was a kid. I wanted to build some Barbie land (which my mother did not buy). This live and real estate reminds me of that. And it is the property of a queen, thanks to the taxpayers money. I am both awed and disgusted at the same time. More awed actually.

The estate was so huge that I think some people get tired and they don't wander very far. I was quite lucky to still see some tourists to take a picture of me. 

That served as my haven during the light rainshower

Half in autumn, half still in summer

It was a wonderful (I am overusing this word) sight to simply be in. Be still. Inhale the chlorophyll. Synthesize with nature. Thank God for this wonderful world.

"Hansel and Gretel House"

Really now, that wheel works?

Again, this is all courtesy of the taxpayer’s money. Funny how they didn’t burn all of these down during the French Revolution. 

To complete the charm of the place, there were even some live animals.

Wabbit wabbit

This house just screams "country"

Old Mac'Donald had a farm....

Those wires have live current

I was aware that I was lost. I have no idea where I've been but I was already looking for the nearest exit. There were no signs and there were no people to ask. I just followed the direction of the two human beings that I saw.

I eventually found my way back.

The lake

They offer these annual pass if you want to come and visit anytime. I guess the joggers use that. There were joggers in that weather. They must have really warm insulation there. How do they sweat? *shrugs*

The gardens are quite huge to fully appreciate in a single day. If you are love exploring nature, this would take a huge chunk of your visit in Chateau Versailles. Make sure you have comfy footwear and drinking water (but the lines in the toilets are long). And learn how to read their map.

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