You know, go to Europe is not something that you daily able to do. At least for me. My trip to Europe was such as an amazing miracle for me. Finally, my visa had been approved by the French Embassy! Finally, the thing that previously only in my dream, now become a reality. Maybe that thought also ever came to Marie Antoinette’s mind. A dream becomes reality.
Talk about Marie Antoinette, do you know her? Or ever heard about her name? Or maybe, have you ever seen the movie? Kristen Dunst played as Marie Antoinette in that movie, her perfectly beautiful blonde hair makes the image of young Marie Antoinette almost seems perfect. If for me, come to Paris as part of a dream come true, maybe for her – being a queen of France in age of 19th also a dream come true. Only the bad thing is, about what she did by end of her life which cause so many French people suffered and make her die in very rough way, guillotine.
Anyway, why am I talking about Marie Antoinette? Because once I was in Paris, I had a chance to visit her beautiful garden. Called as the Garden of Versailles, a part of Chateau of Versailles (Palace) and situated in west of the palace. This garden is so huge! It covers 800 hectares of land. I was truly feeling in awe with the beautiful architecture and the garden.
In a very fine Saturday morning, my brother in law drove us (my sister and their daughter) to Versailles. Versailles located in the Île-de-France region of France, a wealthy suburb, 17 km from the center of Paris. It’s not that far, around 40 minutes driving. We had a plan to do a simple picnic, so my brother in law bring a bottle of rose wine – a pink wine that really good for summer – and usually only available in summer time. Because my sister was breastfeeding her baby, so she can’t join us in drinking wine. But she had her juice also to enjoying the idea of picnic together. For the baby, it was her first picnic. How exciting!
People in France love to have a picnic like this, well the place is so lovely, isn’t it? 🙂
Our first time picnic together, first time also for Chloe, the baby ❤
Swan! A perfect creature for a fairy tale place like Versailles!
It was a summer time. Paris and places surrounding always full with tourist in summer time. Prices also tend to be more expensive in this peak season when everyone going to Paris and lots of French people going away from their country and go to visit another country. Such a funny exchanging situation. I think so many Asians that visit Paris as well on summer.
I wish we were able to visiting the chateau as well, but the line is so long. Once I was in Paris, I can’t enter into many places cause the line was too too long. That made me feel to not visit Paris in summer time again, maybe autumn or early spring is a better time. Because it was impossible to visit the chateau, we only see that gold building from outside, I am really curious what inside! The chateau itself so huge and shinning. It’s 51,000 m2, has 2,153 windows and 67 staircases. The construction of the palace cost around 116,438,892 livres (French currency at that moment) or approximately 2 billion dollars for now. It is truly an impressive building!
The garden also impressive just as the palace, covering 800 hectares in a structured French Garden style. It has 200,000 trees, 50 fountains with 620 jets of water and 210,000 flowers planted every year. The entrance fees for coming to the garden separated as some area and performances. They had musical garden and musical fountain shows. We chose to go to musical garden which cost us around Euro 8 per-person. The garden open from 8 am until 8.30 pm in high season, while in low season it’s only open until 6 pm.
The garden has so many great walk sides. You can see the royal walk and imagine yourself as the lord of France or duchess or part of the royal family who has their morning walk every sunny day. There is also a water walk that has 22 groups of bronze holding marble bowls. Flora and Ceres walk is another impressive side that symbolizes the summer and spring. The last one is Bacchus and Saturn walk, which symbolizes as autumn and winter. My fave was the chestnuts room and the colonnade, a beautiful place that for me looks more like Italian architecture style with their marble pillars and beautiful marble stone statues.
With many sculptures in the garden, you can see some of beautiful works as the Rivers statue, the season statues, the sun vase and the america – which at that moment, European was seen America as the country of Indians. And while you walk further, you can see many groves as well, such as the queen’s groves, the ballroom as the open-air cascade and some other groves.
I was feeling so amaze with the garden. Not only because of the huge land, also because so many beautiful flower everywhere. Even the gardeners maintain the size of the trees, they won’t grow out of size and be weird. The beautiful palace also very outstanding, even I didn’t come to the inside yet. I wish another time I will be in Paris, I have a chance to visit it and fill my curiosity about the life of the corrupt French royal family at that moment. The silent witness of dramatic history in France.
Overall, the palace was built to impress. As Valérie Bajou, a modern-day curator at Versailles, in her book “Versailles” said, “Versailles is a mirage, a sumptuous and theatrical entertainment. It is also a manifestation of glory and power imposed to a great extent by art, luxury, and magnificence” (Abrams, 2012). I think she was so right!