Sunday, September 14, 2014

Honeymoon: The Palace - The Royal Chapel

Once we reached the front gates of Versailles, we headed to the ticketing office to get the admission tickets. There are 3 types of tickets available; namely The Passport, The Palace and Trianon Palaces & Marie-Antoinette's Estate. The Passport (€18) allows you to discover the Versailles estate in all its glory, enabling you access to all places.
Since we came all the way here, I argued that it would be more worthwhile to get the Passport. This way, we'll get to visit the whole Palace and the surrounding compound. However, the entire compound span over 2014 acres of land. Thus, we had to time our visit to each destination, taking into consideration traveling time between the places of interest. 
An audio-guide in 11 languages (included in the ticket price) is available as well. With the map in hand, we began our journey through the Palace :)
The Royal Chapel greeted the visitors as soon as you enter the Palace. This two-storey palatine chapel is designed based on the model of the Holy Chapel in Paris. The construction of the Chapel first started in 1687 by Jules Hardouin-Mansart. Unfortunately, Jules did not live long enough to see the end of the construction for he died in 1708. His brother-in-law, Robert de Cotte took over the job and ended the work in 1710.
The Cliquot organ is placed above the alter. Played by the greatest maestros like Francois Couperin, the Music of the Chapel - renowned across Europe - would sing motets each day throughout the entire Church service. Throughout history, all the kings (regardless of Chinese/English/Indian kings) are known to be the Chosen One by God. In French monarchy, the King was chosen by God and through his coronation, the king became God's "lieutenant" on Earth. As such, the paintings and sculptures in the Chapel evoke that idea in a series which start at the nave and ends at the gallery where the king would seat.
Since Leecher took charge of the camera, I decided to utilise my then-newly-bought iPhone 4S and took tons of pictures, lol! Well, I admit that I did attracted a lot of attention with the Hello-Kitty cover, haha! The angmohs seemed to be surprised that such handphone cases existed!
I loved all the lights that are found in this Palace! These gold-rimmed lamps lit up the arched passage way, which I think will be an astonishing sight during night time. Then again, we never got to stay till night to witness this :( Perhaps, they would switch of the lights to conserve electricity, lol!
As we forgot to bring the extra memory card out for this day trip, Leecher had to make sure the camera had sufficient memory to contain the pictures that we'll be taking for the day. Thus, he carefully scanned through the pics to decide what to keep or delete.
OK, no matther what, pictures of the dear wifey will NOT be deleted. 
We came across actual documents that lasted through history! I tried to read a few lines but soon gave up. I do admire the cursive handwriting :)  We continued to explore other aspects of the Palace, which I will share more in future posts. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Honeymoon: Journey to Palace of Versailles

It has been a long while since my last honeymoon post. Well, I sort of cheated by putting in a travel guide to Paris in between, so it doesn't seem that I have neglected our honeymoon trip. Truth is, I think I'm slowly morphing into a true-blue procrastinator :) Before I sink further into procrastinating mode, I decided to sweep off the cobwebs of the honeymoon folder, sort out the pics and blog about our day trip. We embarked on a day trip outskirts to visit the Palace of Versailles, which has been on UNESCO's World Heritage list for 30 years.
In order to save time, we packed breakfast from Pomme De Pain, a French fast-food chain serving traditional French sandwiches and pastries. We grabbed a couple of bread, sandwiches and drinks to consume along the journey.
 The RER C train will take you directly to the Palace of Versailles. Since the palace is located at Zone 4, ticket "t" or carnet can't be used for the journey. Instead, we had to purchase a "Paris-Versailles Rive Gauche" ticket at €4.10 each (one-way) to get there.
 I'm the official navigator since Leecher is useless with directions. I have to admit that at one point, I was rather confused with all the train lines, esp when it crossed over to RER trains. Being in the city, we just need to pay attention to metro lines most of the time. There is always a first experience in everything, so we went along on our journey. Worst come to worse, we'll just end up in a different place heh.
As RER C line forks at a certain point, I had to make sure that we board the right train heading to the right direction. On board the train, we overheard that this group is also making their way to Palace of Versailles! We decided to follow them since they seemed to know their way around much better than us. 
During the train journey, I was too distracted to eat any food for I wanted to make sure that we are moving in the right direction. Now that we met the group of travelers, I heaved a sign of relief. While we were waiting for the last train that head directly to the destination, I felt hungry!
  Cute packaging!
 While we munched on the bread, we slowly arrived at our destination. We caught a glimpse of the countryside as we traveled outskirts, as the RER is the line which serves Paris and its suburbs.     
Once you arrive at ‘Versailles Rive Gauche’, it will take around 5 min to walk to the main gates of the Palace. There are plenty of signs to guide you around, so fret not about geting lost. P5093983 
Ending the post with a "scary" pic of Leecher, who set the camera to dramatic mode to capture this. 
Palace of Versailles
Place d'Armes - 78000 Versailles 
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