Saturday, July 22, 2017

30 years ago today: Exterior memories of the Palace and Park of Versailles.

Versailles, here we come. 

Previously: 30 years ago today: Chartres by day, couscous by night.

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Day 98 ... Wednesday, July 22

Paris. Versailles. More couscous across the street.

Listen, I know we took the suburban rail twelve or so miles out from Paris to the Palace and Park of Versailles.

The Palace of Versailles was the principal residence of the French kings from the time of Louis XIV to Louis XVI. Embellished by several generations of architects, sculptors, decorators and landscape architects, it provided Europe with a model of the ideal royal residence for over a century.

Looking at these photos, I'm getting the strong impression that we didn't enter the palace and chose instead to walk the grounds. There are no interior shots.

Perhaps we paid our way inside but there was some sort of "no camera" edict, or a photography licensing fee (yes, this sometimes occurred). Maybe I didn't bother taking photos because I'd already been to the palace, two years before.





Except that my photos from 1985 (below) also were entirely outdoors, and a ticket in my scrapbook proves that I actually went inside.





Beats me. Could the amassed reflections from all the gilded and mirrored opulence have overwhelmed the light meter on my primitive Pentax camera?

It may have been simple, encroaching fatigue. At some point during my travels, the palaces started blending together into one coddled image of royal privilege. I no longer can tell them apart. Things can get only so posh.

Which is to say: memories of Versailles in 1987 are exceedingly scarce. I can remember buying sandwiches and beers at a shop and consuming them outside the palace grounds. I'm drawing a blank otherwise.

My cursory trip diary informs me that we returned to Paris and found ourselves yet again on Rue Xavier Privas, although evidently we feared being seen too often at Yasmin and dined at a North African place across the street -- literally an arm's length away, given the narrowness of the alley.

It was our last night in Paris. On Thursday, we were off to Bayeux to visit the D-Day beaches.

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