My second day in Paris and it was pouring with rain and there was no sign of it giving up for anytime soon. My plan of spending the day at the Louvre were scuppered when I arrived there and discovered that it was closed on Tuesdays. At that point I decided I’d just have a wander around the city, perhaps visit another gallery.
It turned out to be a…hmmm interesting day, (?). I had numerous scams attempted upon me, was nearly swept into the Seine as I was walking next to it and as several boats passed they caused the already swollen river to rise higher, quickly. I moved to avoid the wave and slipped in the process, nearly into the river.
On the bright side, the rain did create mirrors on the pavement and the depths of the puddles made them look like portals to another world, and as I spent most of the day hiding under an umbrella, I noticed them more than before.
It’s a wet day for a nice wedding…
Wandering through Paris I came across a small wedding party, too happy to let the weather ruin their day.
I took this while on a ghost tour in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The legend is that the silhouette you see in the glass is that of a Reverend of the church from the mid 18th century, and that it began to show after the explosion Dec 1917. Or it’s that the head, (and partial torso), of the Reverend in 1917, or the organist who was practising that morning, or one of the sailors from ground zero blown through the window, or the image was a result of the intense light and heat generated by the Halifax Explosion. The image re-appears each time they have replaced the glass over the past 96 years. http://www.cbc.ca/halifaxexplosion/
Next up is one of my favourites, taken at Hampton Court Palace. I’ve been here a couple of times and one of the things I love about it is that I can wander about, taking my time as I explore the buildings, (Tudor and Baroque) and grounds at my leisure. Plus there are live interpretations of past events, (costumed as well), that are a lot of fun to watch, and you can participate as well.
I took this photo while wandering the corridors as the autumn light was just about to fade.
Paris, I’ve been here a few times, and I’ve got several photo’s of it’s iconic buildings, (unfortunately they look like the millions of other photos that others have taken), but this time I decided to look at them in a different way. A different way, as it turned out was that I spent a lot of time looking downwards, as luck would have it, it rained during most of my stay which gave me puddles and slick surfaces that allowed me to capture some different views. The above photo is of a window at the Louvre.
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You know when you’ve heard about a place, you’ve listened to countless people talk about its beauty and grandeur, and you’ve seen so many pictures of the place that you wonder if you should even bother going? I’ve been to France, and in particular Paris, many times and had yet to venture to Versailles, so last month I finally made the time to visit there.
When I arrived there, I expected to be wowed the moment I saw the palace as often the image caught in a snapshot rarely captures the magnitude, but I’m afraid I was instead underwhelmed. Perhaps its because I’ve been to so many stately and grand palaces that I’ve become a bit jaded, the palace didn’t look that big. That was until I went in and soon realised just how massive the palace and the estate itself truly is.
Once inside the palace I wondered about the many, many rooms, the first few seemed very similar to other grand buildings I’d been to, then it appeared to be a series of endless rooms dedicated to the history of Versailles. I already knew some of it so I didn’t spend too much time here and eventually I found myself in some truly spectacular rooms, including the Hall of Mirrors, the one place I was certain I’d not be impressed by, but the moment you get a glimpse into the room you can’t help but be awed by the room.
I noticed most people there ignored much of the beauty of the rooms, instead they took most of their time taking pictures of those they came with, standing next to a fireplace, or by a massive portrait, completely unaware of the stunning paintings that lay above them.
A few hours later and I had seen what was possible in the palace and decided to have a wander through the gardens on my way to the Grand and the Petite Trianon. I got lost in the garden, so my arrival at the Grand Trianon was a bit later than I had planned. I had greatly underestimated the size of the garden, and the distance between the palace and the Trianon.
I’d spent over six hours here, and I saw perhaps half the estate, if that. I had wanted to see the entire of the Petite Trianon estate, especially the hamlet but I was running out of time, as well as at this point I was feeling very tired, and it had started to rain hard, so I began the long walk back to the exit.
Along the way I thought about what it would it be like to live here, to have a dance in the Hall of Mirrors, but one idea kept coming to mind and it can be summed up with the feeling I got in one of the first rooms I came across, grand, quite beautiful in its own right, yet cold and empty.
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