Day #138 in lockdown Mumbai, India hotel…More photos from Paris in 2014…Part 2 of the Palace of Versailles!!…

The famous Hall of Mirrors. This project was carried out by architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart and painter Charles Le Brun between 1678 and 1686.

Note: To all of our readers visiting our site via a smartphone, please click the “View web version” tab under the word “Home” at the bottom of the page to access the web version enabling you to access all of our archives on the right side of the page. We’ll be updating our site shortly, making these extra steps unnecessary. Thank you. 

Today’s photos are from the post from August 8, 2014, while in Paris, France. See the link here for more photos.
The stunning artwork is found on almost every wall in the palace.

News is distressing: the explosion in Beirut; the Air India plane crash in Kerala, India; the ongoing increase in cases of COVID-19 throughout the world, all resulting in horrific loss of life, livelihood, and a sense of well-being can easily spin any of us into a flurry of worry and concern.

This is a statue of Marie Antoinette who lived in the famous palace with her children.

This morning, dear friend Kathy (and Don), currently at their home in Oahu, Hawaii, texted that the island is going back into extreme lockdown after an increase in cases when their numbers had been dwindling only weeks ago almost down to zero.

In the 40 years, it took to build Versailles, thousands of workers were employed to participate in the process. Louis XIV not only lived in the palace but was instrumental in its massive renovation. 

Their previous relaxed lockdown that allowed outdoor exercise and activities and some restaurant dining has resulted in a rapid increase in cases. As of today, they are in a complete lockdown until the end of the month.

This portrait of Louis XIV.

This has been the case worldwide as more and more reduced lockdown measures have precipitated increases in cases and subsequent loss of life. There’s no easy answer. It all boils down to personal responsibility and caring for our fellow humans.

It was challenging to aim the camera toward the ceilings when there wasn’t enough elbow room for properly aiming the camera.

In our old lives, before COVID-19, if we developed a severe cold or virus, we wouldn’t go to work, to public places, or spend time with friends and family. That is to say, most of us wouldn’t, preferring not to infect others. 

We believe this portrait was of Louis XIV when he was young.

Why would this virus cause any less concern when in fact, based on its easy transfer from one person to another, you’d think one would tend to exercise even more caution. So, we’d think. 

Louis XIV had this statue made of himself dressed as a Roman Emperor to enhance his image.  He was of short stature and wore tall wigs to improve the appearance of his height.  Others in his court were forbidden to wear a wig as tall as his.

Well, you’ve heard enough about this today and much more over the past many months, from us, from the news, and friends, family, and neighbors. We are all in the same spot, unable to predict what the future holds and how we can best protect ourselves and our loved ones, especially amid varying opinions from medical professionals.

King’s chamber and bed in the King’s apartment.

On another matter…our photos today are those taken from our post on this date, August 8, 2014, at this link. With more photos than we can post, we’ve selected a handful of our favorites from the interior of the Palace of Versailles in Paris, France. If you’d like to peruse the balance, please click the above link.

There were many photo-taking tourists in the Hall of Mirrors.

As for today, not much is different than yesterday and the previous days. We’re healthy, safe, and relatively content, considering these ongoing unusual circumstances.

The Queen’s bed.

Stay safe, stay healthy and stay diligent.

Photo from one year ago today, August 8, 2019:

Our final photo from Ireland was posted on our last day. Goodbye, Ireland. Thanks for welcoming us and for being so beautiful! For more, please click here.

Day #137 in lockdown Mumbai, India hotel…More photos from Paris in 2014…Part 1 of the Palace of Versailles!!…

This is my favorite spot in the gardens of Versailles. We stood in the pouring rain without an umbrella for 90 minutes during the garden tour, keeping our camera in a plastic bag to stay dry. By the time we entered the interior of the palace, our clothes were soaked through. It was worth every moment.

Note: To all of our readers visiting our site via a smartphone, please click the “View web version” tab under the word “Home” at the bottom of the page to access the web version enabling you to access all of our archives on the right side of the page. We’ll be updating our site shortly, making these extra steps unnecessary. Thank you. 

Today’s photos are from the post from August 7, 2014, while in Paris, France. See the link here for more photos from Part 1, Versailles. Tomorrow, we’ll share photos from Part 2.
Statue of Louis XIV at the entrance to the Palace of Versailles.

It’s hard to believe it was six years ago that we spent an entire day at the Palace of Versailles exploring as much of the stunning setting and property as we could in the pouring rain.

In the pouring rain, we walked all the way forward toward the palace only to discover we had to go to a side street to meet up with the tour group, another 10-minute walk. Also, the walk from the train station to the entrance was another 10-minute walk in the pouring rain.

We boarded the train across the road from our boutique hotel on a sunny morning with little concern with the weather. The reports looked good for a mostly sunny day.

The ornate gold embellished gates to the entrance to Versailles.

No sooner than we began the walk from the train station to the palace, it started raining. In no time at all, it was pouring and continued to rain for the remainder of the day, including the walk back to the train station and our hotel later in the day. 

Louis XIV had installed numerous fountains throughout the gardens when water was not readily available to turn them on. An intricate system was installed to facilitate the running of the fountains at a huge sum of money. Then again, all of Versailles depicts vanity spending in excesses beyond one’s belief. 

Although we were wearing lightweight rain jackets with short hoods, we hadn’t brought along umbrellas, which proved to be useless when they soaked through to our clothes.

The gardens went on and on for miles. On a nice day, it would have been marvelous to walk further into the garden independently.

We’d booked a small group tour through Viator, which would ensure we’d avoid long lines to enter the palace. No doubt, this was achieved when we didn’t have to wait in long queues. 

The flowers were the most exciting part of the garden for me and the sculpted gardens shown here.

However, with thousands of visitors at the palace, even on the rainy day, once we entered the exquisite property, it was shoulder-to-shoulder tourists slowing the pace to a near crawl.

The flower gardens were interspersed with neatly trimmed evergreens.

We toured the gardens first, per our tour guide’s instructions for our small group, but sloshed in our clothes and shoes for the several hours it took to see everything indoors and eventually get back to our hotel.

Astounding view! The crane in the photo is in an area where the palace is under renovation.

We put aside the discomfort of our heavy wet clothing with water dripping down our faces from our damp hair and relished every single moment.

The colors in the garden were a treat to behold.

In essence, in looking back now, the rain added an element that, now as we look back, made the experience all the more memorable. A sunny day indeed would have been more beneficial for the garden photos. 

Various pools adorned areas of the gardens.

We did the best we could under the circumstances, thrilled for the experience which ultimately proved to be one of our three favorite touring events while in Paris in this order: Palace of Versailles; gourmet cruise on the River Seine; and tour of Le Louvre, the most famous museum in the world. 

It took 45,000 workers many years to develop these gardens.

Photos of our other favorites, as mentioned above, will appear in future posts in the next several days. No doubt, Paris was an exceptional experience. Often, our readers assume we’re only enthralled with wildlife and nature. But, over the past almost eight years, we’ve often been in awe of many places we’ve visited without a single animal in sight. 

There were more areas to experience than the rain allowed us.  One could easily spend hours in the gardens weather providing.

Now, on day #137 in lockdown in this hotel in Mumbai, we’d enjoy seeing a tree, a market, or a flower, when in isolation, we only see these four walls and the walls in the corridors.

The tour guide explained that all of these plants in pots are brought inside the palace into one of the largest greenhouses in the world during the winter months.

A special thank you to many of our readers who sent us photos and stories of their visits to Paris. We love hearing about your experiences. If we haven’t responded to you yet, please bear with us. We will soon as we work our way through the countless numbers of email messages.

Can you imagine the kings and queens walking this path while chatting?

Today, it’s raining again. The ceiling at the end of one of the corridors is falling due to constant rain during the monsoon season. They keep repairing it to no avail. Surely, they’ll have to wait until the lockdown ends and construction workers can come to the property to make the necessary repairs. This doesn’t impact us one way or another.

Our tour guide explained that the design of this statue was poorly designed when the marble and bronze didn’t age well, resulting in constant maintenance.

It’s time to get back out in the corridor for my next walk when I’m sticking to my 5-mile, 8-kilometer goal most days.

Have a pleasant day!

Photo from one year ago today, August 7, 2019:

In Connemara, Ireland, as we wound down our 89-day stay, we spotted this pretty cow and her horns. For more final photos and tally of total expenses, please click here.