The gardens at the palace of Versailles

©Stella Kalaw

From a distance—and especially if contemplated on an axis—Le Nôtre's universe may appear to be static. But this is merely an illusion of formality, dispelled as soon as the spectator moves into the space and begins negotiating the complex shifts in level, the visual tricks at play and the everchanging relationships between volumes.

—Eric T. Haskell
from Michael Kenna’s Le Nôtre Gardens

So many things have been written about the gardens of Versailles and how magnificent it is. But for T & I, being there renewed our appreciation for architectural sight lines—your experience of a space in one spot can be completely different from your experience of it a few feet away in any direction. We walked the grounds for two hours or so. For lunch, we sat on a bench under a shaded tree and ate pastries we bought from a local boulangerie near the hotel earlier in the day. From the palace, the gardens stretched as far as the eye could see. We wanted to go on but had to catch the train back to the city.