From late October to early November, one of my best friends from college came to visit me in France and we visited Paris, Dublin, and Amsterdam together. It was an amazing trip, but one of my favorite parts was the day we spent at the Chateau de Versailles. I had been there twice before (once in 2007 on a three week tour of select European cities, the other in 2010 when I was studying abroad), but this time was by far the best; the crowds were much smaller than my previous trips, and I was also thrilled to see the other buildings on the grounds besides the big palace (the smaller chateau, le Grand Trianon, where Napolean frequently stayed and Marie Antoinette’s private house).
Because we visited the two smaller buildings first, by the time we entered the main chateau it was nearing closing time and we were both shocked by how few people were inside. I feel so fortunate to have been able to see the palace in such peace; by the time we left the front courtyard was almost completely abandoned except for us. As two history majors, it was an incredible opportunity to very easily envision what it would have been like to have been one of Versailles residents back in the day.