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Saturday, October 29, 2011

A day out for Judi and Sharon

Well, I'm afraid this is where it all started......the slowly unfolding revelation of Judi's addiction......this was just the first time I was to see it on this trip.

Yep, a shoe fetish........there's more to come!

We had more or less set Wednesday aside to rest or venture out.......each to chose for themselves.  Judi and I decided we would get more acquainted with our neighborhood and do a little shopping.

Leaving Versailles..............

Here's Jan at the foot of the stairs coming out of the apartments.  The diamond shaped flooring (known as "Versailles pattern") was the waiting area for those wanting to see the king or queen.  They could not go up the stairs until they were summonded.

Here is Pat, Barb and Jan as we are leaving the palace.  The photo below shows one of the wings of the palace.

Ah, the golden gates.  ")   I'm sure at one time they really were covered with gold.  Finally off those cobblestones......very easy to turn your ankle on felt like we were trying to cross a creek.  Susan had to be especially careful of her ankle.

The Opera House and Chapel at Versailles

I took several photos in the Opera House, but it was so dark they didn't take.  Almost all the opera house has been reconstructed because it was so wrecked by the people during the revolution who came in and tore things out to take back to Paris with them.

I was barely able to snap this photo of the chapel as we left.  It had been so crowded when we came in that it was impossible to get a good photograph.  Now it was time for Versaille to close.

Windows, doors and art....

This was the first round window to be put into any building in France.  I love the work around  the window.

These really tall windows are as big as doors.   You know why?  Because it's so hot in Paris in the summer (esp. August) and there's no air conditioning!   It was the end of September when we were there and it was miserable.   The humidity was as high as the temps.  I'm telling you, it was a two-shower day every day.  ")

There were portraits in almost every room and paintings on the ceilings.  Everytime I tried to take a photo of the ceiling, someone would bump into me and knock me around and my picture would end up blurry.  It was incredibly crowded.  Pat has been several times and she said it didn't matter what day she's gone, it's always been that crowded.  I'm sorry, but I can't remember who the ladies are in these portraits.  I'll have to do some research and edit this post later.

This set of doors (sorry for the tilt :) was in Marie Antionette's room, but there were many sets of doors like this throught the apartment.

Gardens at Versailles

 I had really wanted to tour the gardens, but there were hardly any blooms left.  So I just took photos from the windows of the palace as I toured it.  ")
This small pond is part of the fountains when they are on...............only on weekends.......

This larger pool has numerous fountain spigots as you can easily see in the cernter of it.
 I love the layout of this pool and the longer one further down in the garden.  Louis XIII started the gardens about 1632 by appointing Claude Mollet and Hilaire Masson to work on the planning of these beautiful gardens.  By the 1660's, Louis XIV had appointed Andre Le Notre to make additions.  And then later, Louie Le Vau to plan the Orangerie, which allowed the palace to have oranges even in winter.

                                  I love this heart-shaped bed.  Too bad all the blooms were gone.  I'm sure it is quite gorgeous when all the flowering plants are in high season.                                                  

These little cone shaped trees look like little soldiers standing in a row.  Everything about these gardens are so symmetrical and so manicured.

Room at Versailles

This is the state dining room.   Kings and queens from around the world were invited here to dine with the kings Louis and their queens.

This is the bed where the kings slept.  This one is in the bedroom.  There was another bed closer to the chamber where important decisions were being made and the king could be summoned from his sleep if his signature was need immediately.

This is the bed of the queens.  Chambers for her ladies-in-waiting were close by so they could be at her majesties bidding.
 It was amazing how much gold and gold leafing was used throught the palace during the reigns of these kings. 

This is the breakfast room for the king and queen.  Naturally this room was close to their bed chambers.  Only those closest to the king or queen were allowed to enter during their meal.  The small red velvet covered seats lined up in the forefront were reserved for those invited into the breakfast room.

This is the famous Hall of Mirrors.  The windows and the chandeliers reflecting in that wall of mirros really make for a room filled with light.  The gardens seens from these floor-to-ceiling windows are beautiful to look at.  The gardens had already finished with their beautiful array of blossoms by the time we visited.

Objects of interest...............

The Bureau de Roi (the king's desk) was commissioned by Louis XV and started by Jean-Francois Oeben.  He started constructing the desk in 1760.  Oeben died before finishing the desk.  Jean Henri Riesener married Oeben's widow and finished the desk in 1769.  It is covered with intricate marquetry of various woods.  Louis XV and XVI carried out their daily kingly duties at this desk.  It was taken to the Louvre when Louis XVI and Marie Antionette when taken during the French Revolution and stayed there until the 20th century when the Louvre returned it to the Palace at Versailles.

Chandeliers such as these decorate the rooms and halls throughout the palace.  These lead crystal chandeliers were made in the north Bohemic region, known today as the Czech Republic.  Glassmaking in that area had been greatly treasured since the fourteenth century. 

This is another of the scientific inventions that Louis XIV had brought to Versaille.  It is one of the first to measure barometric pressure.

Versailles at last!

We had tickets for a 2:00PM tour.  When we finally reached Versailles, it was about 10 minutes before the hour.  We tried to get a taxi to take us up to the palace, but he refused.  Pat ran ahead (literally, and it was another of the UPHILL runs) to try to catch the tour for us and to see if they would wait for all of us to get there.  When she got there, the tour had just left.  Another guide ran ahead to stop the tour for us.  After we all got there, this lady also brought all of us a drink of water.  We must have looked like a ragged bunch!

Louis XIV was well known for his patronage of the arts and that especially included the sciences.  There are many scientific examples in the palace at Versailles.  This clock not only told the time but also the month, day of the week, and the year.  The globe on top also showed the phases of the moon and the astrological signs.

this is a close up of the date mechanism.  Notice all the gold?  Wonder why there was a revolution?

Off to Versailles!

 We finally made it onto the RER (trains going out of Paris).....after many, many steps in the Metro to get to our designated platform.  I've never seen so many stairways!
Susan and I were often behind.....the last little duckies in the line.  ")  She has had ankle surgery and I have COPD.   Needless to say, some of the walking uphill and up and down so many stairs was exhausting for us.

Jan also looks very happy to have made it on the train!  LOL   These photos are courtesy of Barb Wenkel.  Thanks, Barb!
Well, this ride only lasted about 15 minutes.......there was an accident and they shut down the RER for several hours.  We had to backtrack to find a Metro line that would take us all the way out to Versailles.

AND THE WINNER IS................................

..............Jan White!!!  Jan has won the copy of Stampington's newest magazine:  MINGLE!  Congratulations, Jan!  This magazine will be coming to you in the mail next week.  Thanks so much to you and your friends that participated in this contest.