Versailles is definitely the height of grand excess. The main Chateau is enormous, the grounds are expansive, and even the secondary buildings are opulent.
But in the winter, Versailles is quieter and more personal. In contrast to the throngs of visitors we encountered last June, February tourists seem more reverent...or perhaps just muffled by heavy coats and wool hats. This Versailles is still glittering inside, but the rooms are more accessible, allowing us to spend more time envisioning the life of the occupants.
Outside, the ornamental gardens sit awaiting spring plantings. The famous fountains and Grand Canal are still. The sculptures stand covered--protected from the elements.