the day we attempted playing royals: day trip to the palace of versailles
When someone say “You reminds me of Paris, France” I am not really sure if that’s a compliment and whether it is appropriate to reply with “Oh, Merci!”
Because when I saw Paris up close, I saw the face of a city that is not in the glossy pages of travel brochures, ain’t in the dreamy motion picture love stories and nowhere near the Belle Epoque images in our heads.
Yes it is pretty, but girl, it is trashy. So Rick Hilton naming her daughter after the city was somewhat prophetic.
In dire need to wash our palates saturated with city grimes, we escaped few miles south to the Grandest and gayest palace on earth—Château de Versailles [Pronounced as Vher-Sigh. Straight dudes would say Vher-say-less. LOL]
The most grandiose and luxurious palace in history officiated by no less than the “Sun King” himself, Louis XIV of France, the ultimate peg of every metrosexual men today—READ: Imported skin products, hourly wardrobe changes, romanticized meals, wigs and man-heels? Bitch, ‘sil vous plait! Ryan Seacrest is now squirming of envy.
We scoured for instruction on how to get there but the information bombarded us: Take the RER C line, it is outside the coverage of normal Paris Metro/Bus/RER Ticket, purchase a special ticket over the counter or guichet [Gee-Shay], expect a non English speaking staff [oh god], €4,10 and €8,20 for an Aller Rétour—Wait whuuut? <Panic> Yeah, we will drive.
Summer season isn’t really the best time to visit. We waited in line for more than an hour. Us being Asians in the middle of a sea of western tourists were cramped, pushed, squeezed as we basked in human steam, got smeared with strangers’ sweat and not to mention felt random bulges which we dared not to figure out what those were.
One of the queen’s chambers, where public viewing of her giving birth took place.
The world renowned Hall of Mirrors. It houses 17 large chandeliers and 26 smaller ones all made of 300 year old solid silver.
Driven from rooms after halls, salons after boudoirs, as much as we love to breathe and relive the grand lives and stories of Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette, we were breathing exhaled carbon dioxide and the my basic right to personal space was trampled on the marble floor to morsels. Literally.
We decided to exit the palace and to walk outside the garden the size of San Juan Metro Manila and even larger than Manhattan. Best decision made, we escaped the nauseating mosh pit of tourists before we even contracted herpes and candidiasis.
Despite the heat of noon-time sun, Monette and I channeled our inner aristocratic demeanors and slowly waltzed our way across the manicured gardens and royal fountains with a faux-idiosyncracy of regal cadence while we binge on our box of Ladurée Macarons.
“Wait, how much did we pay for this box of ‘cookies’?”
“Around… err… 2,000 pesos?”
I almost regurgitated the half-chewed macaron. I know it is the quintessential French dessert but it is just too expensive for eight bites.
Who cares if it is La crème de la crème of macarons? It will be a 60-dollar crème en mi rectum in few hours time anyway.
Oh well, it is not everyday one can walk the most opulent palace in history that can easily make Oprah Winfrey look so pedestrian.
So we seized the moment and enjoyed every clock tick of the day we attempted playing royals.