The last few days have been very relaxing here in Germany. Although I miss life in Paris, it’s been nice living with a family and not having to take the metro, or cook, since I’ve been here. Yesterday, Clara and I went to the Burg Hülshoff, a small “water castle,” in the area, which is an old aristocratic estate, and family home of a famous female German poet, who lived in the 19th century. Today, it’s a very peaceful place, with immaculate lawns and gardens, a small museum, and an outdoor restaurant.
Today, I went to the nearby city of Münster (which is not related to the cheese, apparently), with Clara and her two sisters. Both of them also spent years abroad (one in America also, and one in New Zealand), and so they are very good at English, and we’ve all been spending a lot of time together. We visited Münster mostly for the shopping, but there is also a university, large cathedral, and beautiful town hall which is now a symbol of peace, as it is where the treaty of Westphalia was signed.
Ornate chandeliers, gold plating, immaculate lawns, complete visual overstimulation–today was spent in Versailles.
L'Orangerie, the orange garden
The palace was one of the few main Paris sights I hadn’t seen before this trip, and now I understand why. Not only is it at least a 45 minute trek from the city, but there is more to see than can even be properly done in a single day, and the admission is so high that it calls for another French Revolution. But I’m not complaining, because the palace and gardens were nothing short of spectacular. Boisterous string quartet music was pumped into the gardens through hidden speakers, so I almost felt like nobility, strolling around and commenting on the statues…if only it weren’t for the other tourists. The palace is ornate almost to the point of nausea (I seriously felt like I had a headache from all the shining gold after we left), and it’s so enormous its hard to imagine anyone actually living there.
Hall of Mirrors
Filed under France, Paris
Maymont Italian garden
We drove over to Richmond for a short day trip to see friends after our adventures in the country. Stopped by Maymont Park, one of my favorites (and free! although there is a suggested donation). Highlights: Italian and Japanese gardens.
The koi fish in the Japanese garden were massive, and swam over right away to check us out, before realizing that we had nothing to offer. Below, the view of the river at Belle Isle, where we spent the remainder of the afternoon.
Also, pictures from the past week are now up on my Shutterfly site, so be sure to check out larger versions of the above, and more.