Monday, April 18, 2011

Versailles {and my top 10 reasons to love Paris}

I spent the majority of last week in Paris with my mom and grandma. It was a great trip, but I'm not really going to do a recap of it here, as I've already written a post on a Paris trip and this would be extremely repetitive. I will, however, talk about one of the places I went on this trip that I didn't have time for over my birthday weekend.

As you may have guessed from the title of this post, that place is the Chateau de Versailles, one of my favorite places in the entire world. I have now been there three times (maybe four) and each time, I fall in love with it a little bit more and discover something new. Those are the same hallways that Marie Antoinette walked, and the same gardens that she spent her time in. It's like stepping back in time to one of the most opulent, extravagant eras of French history. But to see the Place de la Concorde, the former location of the guillotine, the next day, brings me straight back down to earth, as a memory of the poverty that was just outside those gates and of the reign of terror that followed. But today is about the beauty that is the chateau! This is going to be a very picture heavy post, as I believe the pictures speak for themselves. So, enjoy the glory of Versailles :)

I also promised a list of my top 10 favorite things about Paris! Oh, how I love list-making.

1. Marie Antoinette: Seriously, you could just have a Marie Antoinette themed vacation (that’s not a bad idea, actually…), and as most of you know, I’m just slightly obsessed with her. So yeah, she gets the #1 spot on my list J
2. An authentic croque-monsieur: my favorite sandwich ever. Yes, it’s pretty much a glorified ham and cheese sandwich, but somehow the French manage to make it so much more than that.
3. The architecture: I don’t know how it works, but Paris manages to be breathtakingly beautiful even in bad weather. The roofs of Paris against an overcast sky, everything draped in a thousand shades of cozy gray…it’s just gorgeous.
4. Croissants and fresh bread: need I say more?
5. Joan of Arc: not only is she the coolest saint ever, leading an army and driving the British out of France at the age of 16, she also happens to be my confirmation saint, and I love seeing statues and paintings of her everywhere!
6. Macarons: The only reason they didn’t make it higher is because I can get Laduree in London, but still. I choose to believe they taste better in France lol.
7. Gardens: My free tour on Wednesday took us through the Tuileries, which used to be the site of a royal palace. Now, it’s a gorgeous garden. I love how well-designed and maintained French parks and gardens are. It just feels glamorous to sit in one.
8. Montmartre: Some of the best and most unique shops are out here, along with tons and tons of artists who will draw your portrait (sometimes for a very hefty cost). If you’re ever in Paris, definitely set aside a day to get out there and just spend a few hours wandering around.
9. Crepes: My advice, get a banana and caramel crepe from one of the vendors next to Notre Dame and eat it while walking around the square people-watching. Sooooo delicious and a great way to spend an afternoon.
10. Being able to use my French: Although I’ve stopped taking French classes, I still love the language. It makes me feel so accomplished and happy when I’m able to speak to people in French and carry on a conversation. I wouldn’t want to do it forever, but for a few days, it’s really fun!

Oh, and just because I don’t like following directions, even my own, here’s one more.

11. The fact that about half my list is made up of food: How did one country get such a monopoly on good food? That’s just not fair. It was so sad to go back to London food.

Paris, I miss you already. Just one more photo for good measure. See my facebook page for more Paris goodness!

Je vous aime,

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