So last weekend, C and I got to do something pretty darn amazing
. We got invited to a private event at the Château de Versailles
. Meaning the Palace and its gardens had been bought out for the night and we had it all to ourselves! (Well, us and about 100 other people, but hey, normally that number is like 20-30,000, so 100 isn't too bad). And I have to say, it was probably about one of the coolest things I have ever done. I cannot even describe how amazing it was to be able to wander through those beautiful rooms on our own. To be able to sit there in silence and just appreciate the sheer beauty of it all. To think about everything that had taken place there and who all had stood in the very same places we were standing. It was just incredible - utterly incredible.
The night started out with us being able to drive right up through the gates.
I was kind of nervous and saying to C - "Are you sure we are supposed to drive right on up in there??" But we did and were able to park right out in front of the château:
And then we got out and looked at this - I told C to pinch me. I mean, how often does one get to see the courtyard this empty?
We were welcomed into the Château and after a short speech, we were sent on our merry way, free to wander through the rooms until the RDV time:
Just look at how empty it is!
Before arriving, I wasn't quite sure how much of the Château would be open, but we seemed to have free reign to visit almost all of the rooms.
And then finally we got to the hall of mirrors
. I waited until those few people cleared out and then C & I had it all to ourselves for about five minutes. It was crazy - almost dream-like to be in such a famous place without no one else around. What I wouldn't have given to be able to swish around that hall in a big ol' Marie-Antoinette dress.
This is also one of my favorite rooms in the whole place - the Coronation room. One whole wall is taken up by "The Coronation of Napoleon" painting, which is 10 meters long and six meters tall (30'x18'). Normally there are crowds
of people in front taking pictures, so it was incredible to have
a full view of it from all directions:
Even though we didn't go outside much because of the weather, it was
pretty neat to see the gardens empty, minus a few security guards here
And then we got to the final room, where the reception was being held. I didn't take too many pictures out of respect for the people there, but the food was amazing and the champagne free and unlimited. (Y'all know how much I love me some good champagne).
Then out came the fantastic desserts, one after another, served by men in fancy chef hats:
There was also a table full of fabulous chocolates on sticks. This one was my fave because it had our initials and was filled with my favorite candy - gooey salted-butter caramel. It was like it was made especially for us.
I had a 6am train to catch the next day, so when the bells tolled, it was time for me to head home, taking in one last slightly-buzzed glance at all the glory and splendor that is the Château de Versailles:
And then it was back out through the gates and into the real world for us:
It was one of those nights that I will never forget. My "old life" has been on my mind a lot as of late as it's been almost exactly four years since I left Bretagne for Paris, so I went to bed that night thinking of just exactly how much things have changed. I've gone from being on a farm in the middle of nowhere surrounded by cows to private soirées at the Château de Versailles. You can't get much more opposite than that!
Labels: Châteaux, Life in Paris, Museums, Versailles