The building is immense and the gardens even more immense. The scale is mind-boggling, but what has really surprised me is how modern the gardens are...tall, clipped hedges form huge green walls, and everywhere there is a slight change in the slope of the ground. The grading is sublime and sophisticated...barely noticeable slopes up or down to fountains, into maze-like groves where Louis XIV's courtiers did who knows what, up and around the parterres so you can get a better view of the embroidery-like shaped shrubs, paths leading you from one place to the next with focal points and strong perspective. What a place for me to be!
All of a sudden, the fountains came alive yesterday afternoon--unexpectedly, as it wasn't the regularly scheduled day. It had been pouring rain earlier, but all of a sudden the sun popped out...I think the fountain gods decided to celebrate and coerced someone to flip the switch. The spouting fountains absolutely transformed the place--suddenly there was movement, the sound of water, and the sparkle of light.
I literally ran from fountain to fountain trying to snap photos of as many as I could reach or find, as many are hidden. Exhausted, I collapsed near one of my favorites, le Bassin de la Pyramide. I love how the water froths and turns white, it literally looks like a wedding cake with white, moving frosting. I had to attempt a sketch...
|Versailles, Bassin de la Pyramide. May 29|