Yesterday I took a day trip to Versailles.
That is, perhaps, the most overwhelmed feeling that I've ever had. Gold, marble, silk-covered walls, ceilings, doors, floors...everything and everywhere!
The gardens are spectacular...I wish that I had spent more time wandering around them and less time in the palace itself.
I paid 20 euros for the full day pass, which got me into the King's Apartments, the State Apartments, the Queen's Apartments (all with audio tour), the Couch Museum, the Grand and the Petit Trianon (smaller palaces on the Versailles Estate), the Gardens, and the Queen's Hamlet. The King's, State, and Queen's Apartments all took about 3 hours, I think (might have been longer). And by the time I was done, I was ready to leave. But since I had paid so much, I hiked down to to the Grand and Petit Trianons and I'm glad I did. The gardens are beautiful, very landscaped as you might expect, but beautiful. The eighteenth century asthetic really shouts throughout. I was more than ready to leave after I finished walking through the Petit Trianon (Marie Antoinette's favored residence on the grounds), but a tour guide stopped me on my way out and asked me why I looked so solemn. I tried to explain what "numb" was (rather unsuccessfully) to him. He then proceeded to take me on a tour of the Queen's Hamlet, which turned out to be my favorite part of the day.
Marie was so self-centered to have had this place built and that amuses me. He showed me how the fish in the ponds fight for the bread that the tourists feed them and, even if you don't have bread, they congregate at the bridges in hopes that you will magically have something for them.
After the Hamlet, I left to go to the Coach Museum, a very small museum across the road from the estate. Then home to food and bed. Then I got woken up twice by my noisy neighbers. Grrr.