Of the many, many trips to Paris, this one was a favourite, as it was during this particular visit that I took P to meet my favourite cousins on my father’s side of the family (everyone on my mother’s side lives in Lyon). They took us to the best cafés and restaurants, and wanted to show P the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, something they love to do for all new visitors to the City of Light. (As an aside, yes, the painting is much smaller that one would expect, and yes, it is very far away and behind glass and a million unruly tourists crowding each other trying to get a glimpse and a photo with selfie sticks in hand, but no matter how many times I see da Vinci’s most famous work, it is always and still a profound experience.)
The next day, after a very full day of sightseeing for P’s benefit, we took the twenty-minute train ride to the Château de Versailles, where we spent a long time wandering the palace: the incredible Hall of Mirrors and all the many other meandering and beautiful rooms with their many gold leafed and gilded things, soaring ceilings, grand chandeliers, and extravagant canopy beds. Afterward, we picked up a bottle of champagne, a crusty and freshly baked baguette and a selection of cheeses, and went on a picnic on the palace grounds for the rest of afternoon, before heading back to Paris. It was truly a magical (and impossibly romantic) day. Years later, we would actually consider moving to the town of Versailles, so enamoured were we on that first visit together.
These personal photos show the artists always at Montmartre and the red poppies in grassy fields on the way out of the city; the sun-dappled tree-lined streets in the Parisian countryside, the immaculate l’Orangerie de Versailles, a crystal chandelier and inlaid wood grand piano at the Marché aux Puces de Clignancourt, the iconic ornate and modern juxtaposition of architecture at the Louvre, and more…
Château de Versailles
l'Orangerie de Versailles
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