Paris Day 1: The Grand Ball at Versailles

We arrived in Paris early Friday morning, and after making it through customs and finding our baggage, boarded the RER for Chatelet. From there we transferred to Rambateau and made our way over to the property manager’s office. Ruth was waiting for us and helped us move in to our apartment (meaning, she helped carry our luggage and made sure all our linens and whatnot were ready).

After Ruth left, I immediately took a nap knowing that I was about to spend nine hours at the Grand Ball at Versailles. Bug, meanwhile, ran to the grocery shop and did a few other house errands. When I woke, we decided to go for a walk and not shop…which means I came home with new shoes, a new dress/tunic, and new leggings. We stopped off at our favorite Middle Eastern restaurant and gorged on schwarma and falafal.

And then it was time for me to lug my dress to my friend Veronica’s house to get ready for the night. At 8:45, our car picked us up and whisked us back in time 250 years.

Before the party, enjoying the water show
Before the party, enjoying the water show

d and a chateu

After the firework display, we made our way through the extensive gardens to the Orangerie.

vd and the duke
This is the Count. He liked us.
vda gardens good
My friends and me in the gardens
d and a on stairs
Arnita and I making our way to the party

There were so many people. I was actually surprised, and at times, a little claustrophobic.

The crowd slowly entering. It was hard to manage stairs in those gowns.
The crowd slowly entering. It was hard to manage stairs in those gowns.

Inside, a grand spectacular awaited. Tigers, mermaids reading dirty fairy tales, bed dancers, shower dancers, and my favorite: the bathtub dancers.

 

tigers
White tigers
shower dancers
shower dancers
werewolf
Werewolves
dirty mermaid
The dirty mermaid who greeted us.
bed dancers
Bed dancers…the beds became a favorite place for many of the ball-goers once the dancing was done ;D
bath tub dancers
This was the most erotic show I’ve ever seen. Very beautiful.
arial dancers
The whole thing had a Cirque du Soleil feel.

The inside was packed to the point that walking was near impossible, and if you did manage to go a foot or two, someone stepped on your dress. Dancing was tough, but we made the most of it.

 

party girls

Later, when it became too hot inside, many attendees made their way outside into the gardens where a giant fire pit awaited. The dark corners became favorites for those looking for some privacy…Or me just hiding.

fire pit

hiding in the garden
Not a good hider. I fail hide-and-seek.

The moment I sat down, I dozed off. But it was five in the morning!

sleepy me

Finally, the sun came up and we headed to the after-party in the amphitheater.

ampithetre

After the breakfast – which we skipped – it was time to head back to the 21st Century. Our taxi awaited.

going home

*** thanks, Veronica, for playing photographer all night! (All photos property of Veronica Kugler, 2013).

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