The only thing of note to really happen in the last couple of days is that I walked around Paris listening to An American in Paris on my ipod which I highly recommend to any American's out there. It's quite fun.
Anyways, today I met up with my friend Brenna and we went to the candleligh tour of Vaux le Vicomte. Brenna is a fellow costumer and studying fashion conservation so we had a great time talking shop, and just talking about all sorts of things in general. It was raining on and off all day, but by the time we got to the chateau about 45 minutes outside of the city all the rain had cleared and the sky was the most intense blue.
Vaux le Vicomte is a 17th century chateau which was the inspiration for Versailles. Basically Louis XIV saw it and was like "Hey, you're not allowed to have a better house than me!" so up went Versailles. That being an exact quote of course. Anyways, it's absolutely gorgeous. And every Saturday in the summer, the light the chateau and the grounds with candles. We toured the gardens first, as we wanted to wait until it was darker to do the house. The gardens are so beautiful, proper sculpted French gardens with fountains and beautiful designs cut into the shrubbery. One thing that was really nice was that all the stone hasn't been scrubbed clean, so it's all covered with lichen and stuff which gives it this really beautiful aged quality. We walked around the whole garden area, stopping for a bit to sit on this little pavilion by some speakers which were playing classical music. I recognized a Papageno aria within a few notes of course. Then this one gorgeous (19th century) aria came on and between that and the gardens and watching the sun set and the chateau I almost cried. It was just a beautiful experience.
Then we went to tour the house. It was like stepping back into history!! To see the rooms with flickering candles on the tables and in the sconces and chandeliers, it was how the rooms were meant to be seen. Since candles don't give off that much light, there were also artificial lights so we could actually see the rooms, but they were well hidden so it didn't ruin the ambiance at all. It was an amazing experience seeing something so old by candlelight. Very magical.
After the chateau tour we went back outside and got our glasses of champagne that we had pre-ordered and found a spot to watch the fireworks. Because there were fireworks. At this point it was fully dark and the gardens and house were just surrounded by all these little candles, it was kind of like a fairy land. They set off fireworks on the first and third Saturday of the month, so I made sure to go on a fiework night. The champagne was delicious and the fireworks were gorgeous and it was just so amazing I can't even put it into words.
The only problem with the whole affair was that the last bus back to the train station left before the fireworks, so we had a bit of an adventure getting back as we had to call a cab that took FOREVER to get there. We got back to Paris pretty late, but it was so worth it. I would definitely reccommend the experience to anyone.