I woke under the heat of the tardy French sun. Disoriented for a moment, I observed the square trees, the swans and rowboats in the Grand Canal. I listened as children spotted fish (poison) or ran through grass chasing a ball. A picnic and a nap should be a part of every day—especially in surroundings like this.
The view from the Palace to the Grand Canal gives some idea of the breadth of the grounds, but there is so much more here. Labyrinthine as a whole, Versailles’s gardens also feature labyrinths and fountains depicting animals from Aesop’s fables (to entertain the children in the past).
Bees and birds (and cats and rats, but not as many) thrive here even as tourists swarm. Two-hundred and ten thousand flowers (and nearly as many trees) seduce us to trek deeper into these colossal woods in search of the Belvedere, the Grotto, and the Temple of Love.