The first weekend after arriving in Paris, my newly made friends and I decided to travel out the iconic Palace of Versailles, a short trip outside of the city of Paris. Working together, we were able to understand better all the connections and routes that we had to follow to get to Versailles and the palace. After transferring through several trains, we were able to arrive to the countryside town that once used to be a marsh, completely different than the bustling city of Paris that we had called our home for the past few days. The town combined historical pieces alongside modern touches, as seen through the giant McDonalds and KFC signs.
After following signs (and Google Maps), we were able to see the enormous palace grounds, even though it was a bit of a struggle as we couldn’t entirely rely on our phones to provide us with all the information necessary. After formulating a plan of attack, my friends and I raced to the palace, eager to see what all the hype was about.
A little insight into me: I absolutely love learning about Versailles as well as Louis XIV, and it has always been my dream to visit the beautiful palace that once served as a hunting lodge.
The Palace of Versailles was BEAUTIFUL. The grandeur that is decorated throughout every room in the palace represents the baroque fashion of the time, and visitors are constantly surrounded by remnants of 17thcentury France. Each room looks like an image straight out of a book, complete with old-fashioned furniture and priceless artifacts.
The most amazing part of the entire palace was the Hall of Mirrors, easily one of the most notable rooms out of hundreds in the Palace of Versailles. It combines exquisite forms of artwork and craftsmanship into a hallway that replaced the outdated and deteriorating terrace leading to the gardens. The 17th century work exemplifies the success of the French monarchy under one of its most recognizable kings, Louis XIV, also known as the Sun King.
It was interesting to notice that while we were working together as a team and came into Versailles with a large group of people, the locals were often few in number. I think that the French culture is more independent then the American culture, and that is definitely something I want to work on. For example, I often see people traveling alone or eating at restaurants by themselves, which is not commonplace in the United States. Since I often have a difficult time trying to do things by myself, I think my time abroad will ensure that I am more comfortable with being even more independent. I have already made efforts to work on this goal, and have learned to enjoy the time I spend alone in this beautiful city.