We stopped to buy food from a local baker in the morning in order to take to Versailles so that we could avoid buying the expensive food sold there. The train ride to the palace was mostly uneventful, except for a phrase of grafitti that I noticed at one of the stations:
" La terre est a tous. Les frontieres sont dans nos tetes."
" The earth is for everyone. The frontiers are in our heads."
The very first thing that I noticed upon arriving at Versailles were the crowds-- masses and swarms of crowds at the front of the palace waiting for their opportunity to see the famed hall of mirrors and the vast gardens. The crowds were diverse, coming from a variety of different countries and speaking a multitude of different languages that I could not recognize.
The palace itself was beautiful, filled with tapestries and sculptures and paintings and highly adorned ceilings. Everyone had to crane their heads in order to continuously admire the intricate ceiling paintings, the hard labour of so many craftsmen. While walking about the castle and seeing its many luxuries, I began to understand why Marie Antoinette and her family were so brutally executed-- they were living in this splendor while the common people were starving-- it is so hard for me to imagine that nobility once lived such a lavish lifestyle.
The gardens were lovely, especially when the fountains were activated and a delicate mist could be felt with the hot, summer air. I took great pleasure in eating an ice cream and exploring the vast gardens, sometimes feeding the ducks by the fountain with pieces from my ice cream cone.