Well - The visit certainly lived up to all expectations and was well worth the 4 hour drive to get there! The Chateau itself is magnificent, I really can't find enough adjectives to describe it! The presentation was superb and you can only imagine the amount of work that has gone into restoring it to its present state! The time spent tracking down furniture and other objects that were removed during the Revolution must run into millions of man hours, but the results speak for themselves,each room was a delight !!!
We were luck to have made the trip during the low season as it meant no big queues for tickets or entry. It also meant that we could take our time enjoying all there was to see without being hustled along , and believe me there is plenty to see!!
The parklands and gardens surrounding the Chateau are beautiful , and the views from some the courtyards make you catch your breathe as they tumble away from you ! Fountains, lakes, statues , avenues, groves of trees with even more treasures hidden away - I do believe that you could spend a week exploring and still not discovery everything! We hired a 'golf cart' type of vehicle to get to the furthest points and still didn't managed all of it!!!
My favourite though has to be Petit Trianon and Marie-Antoinette's farm! Even though the house itself is closed for major restoration work, the gardens and parkland surrounding it are just so lovely! Not as manicured as the Chateau gardens, but full of meandering paths leading to hidden temples and grottoes, and the most lovely old trees - bare at the moment, but I am sure they will be magnificent a little later on! Of course, it may not have been so lovely had the weather not been very kind to us and, except for a bit of a cold wind, we had sunshine and blue skies for all of the visit!
The shock came yesterday though when we woke up at home to temperatures of -4 degrees ( a bit of a drop from 17 the day before!!!), snow and hail storms - thankfully the sun came out very late in the afternoon and it did melt away!!!
Needless to say that I have HUNDREDS of photos and it is going to take forever to sort them out, some of them taken inside are a bit disappointing but all the outside shots worked very well.
These are just a few of my favourites, still needing to be edited I'm afraid, but I am sure you'll enjoy them just the same!
Petit Trianon and the Temple of Love
We found this beauty lurking in the grounds of Petit Trianon - I think from the bark & its height that it might be a giant redwood (but don't quote me!), it was certainly tall enough, couldn't get it all in the photo - just see how the lower branches have attached themselves to the ground!Unfortunately none of the specimen trees were labelled . The Magnolias in the background are just starting to pop open.
The Royal Avenue (Tapis Vert) which dates back to the reign of Louis XIII during the 1630s. In the foreground is the Fountain of Latona (mother of Diana & Apollo) protecting her children from the Lycian peasants. This leads you down to the Fountain of Apollo and the Grand Canal, in total more than 3.5 kilometres of uninterrupted view from the window of the King's bedroom !! These are times when I wish I had a better camera!!! (Hint to DH for my birthday perhaps !!!)Couldn't get quite central either as there were so many bodies in the way!!
Back to reality today though, catching up on the washing, ironing etc and , I guess, some sewing (what a chore !!) but at least the sun is shining even if it is rather nippy outside still!!!!