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Kristen & Joe in Paris: A Lesson Learned in Versailles

Today was another important day for me. Joe and I went to the Palace of Versailles. I first studied it in Humanities in high school and have always wanted to go there. It started as King Louis XIII´s hunting lodge before it belonged to his son, Louise XIV, as a palace. In 1682, Louis XIV moved there as a way to keep his court far away from the French people and closer to himself. During this time, the French were struggling with poverty and the palace was built at their expense. It was extravagances such as this that eventually led to the French Revolution and caused the royalty to, quite literally, lose their heads.

The palace is the ultimate in opulence. The bedrooms of the king and queen are breathtaking and the Hall of Mirrors is indescribable. It´s one of those places that has to be experienced to be believed. It is truly beautiful, but I think it should be viewed with a lesson in mind. It is so easy for each of us to ignore the pain of others. I have found myself, many a time, associating myself with a group of people that I shouldn´t. It is so easy to forget about what is outside our social circle when the group we are in alienates others. I found myself getting sucked into a way of thinking  that really wasn’t me. I didn´t even realize it at the time. It is so important to be careful who your friends are. If they’re not interested in making this world a better place, then I don´t want to be closely associated with them. I don´t know if this makes any sense to anyone else but me, but that is the lesson I took away from Versailles.

Another lesson I learned is: when traveling, give yourself much more time than you think you need, and not just because of the lines. I went to Versailles thinking I just wanted to see the Hall of Mirrors and gardens, but there was much more there that I didn´t know about that I actually enjoyed more. I´ve learned in the past couple days that once you go to the ¨must sees¨, if you go away from the crowd there may be jewels right around the corner that are even better.

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