Roughing it in Versailles
I had the opportunity to go to Paris for the entire Fall Break. Our group of 8 was loving Paris and had spent the past 3 days soaking up as much of the City of Lights as possible. We adopted the “no monument left behind” policy and by Wednesday, we were pretty museum-ed out! We thought some country air would do us well, so we hopped on an early train and headed for Versailles. Versailles is a short train ride out of the center of Paris, and is famous for being the home of the French royalty. Let me tell you: the French were not kidding around here. The palace of Versailles is the most lavish “house” I have ever seen! The rooms are adorned in gold and beautiful tapestries. As I walked through the palace, I felt as though I had been transported back in time – I could imagine the Sun King strolling through the house, talking about politics over a delicious meal in the royal dining hall.
Our next stop on our royal tour was the garden. After spending so much time in the bustling Parisian streets, it was wonderful to stroll through the gardens and spend some quality time with nature. The gardens and fountains are bursting with life, and we felt like royalty as we toured the spectacular grounds. My favorite part of the gardens was the orchard of oak trees that we came across on our walk. They were bursting with the most gorgeous fall colors, and golden leaves blanketed the perfectly manicured lawn. The sight was just too much to resist! We ran onto the grass and began a pretty intense leaf fight. Some of the other tourists walking by also joined in. I’m pretty sure Louis XIV would not approve of our behavior in his orchard, but it was a great end to a glorious day in Versailles!
– Mary Lewis
Over Fall Break I went first to Paris France and then to Geneva Switzerland. I flew straight to Paris from Pisa where my friend Deborah picked me up from the middle of the city and took me to her house. She lives just outside of Paris and studied at my University in America last semester. For the first half of the trip I was enjoying the fun touristy sights during the day and getting home in time for a traditional home cooked French meal. Staying with a French family was a great way to experience their culture.
I then went to Geneva to meet up with a friend I made here at the Accademia. She has family there that I stayed with, including an Uncle that is the ambassador of Panama. He gave us a private tour of the U.N. in Switzerland and so, needless to say, we took goofy pictures behind some important podiums. I also ate a lot of chocolate 😀
– Stephen Craig