Published: July 16th 2012July 16th 2012
It has been a little while since the last update - primarily due to the hectic pace. We walked pretty much all across Paris over seven days and are now in Ypres, Belgium for a visit to the WW1 battlefields tomorrow.
Some of the highlights in Paris included fireworks on Bastille Day at the Eiffel Tower starting at 11pm, visit to the cemetry Pere Lachaisse where many famous people are buried including Chopin, Oscar Wilde and Edith Piaf; and to the Pantheon where the greats of France are interred including Victo Hugo, Voltaire, Curies, and Alexander Dumas. The tour to Versailles was good although it was incredibly crowded and felt like we were pushed through a sausage machine. However we did feel it was more interesting that in 1988 mainly due to the fact that we know a little bit more about French history.
Yesterday we pick up the hire car from Charles de Gaulle airport and in trying to avoid getting into the middle of Paris ended up "geographically challenged". What should have been a 1 and half hour trip ended up taking more than three hours to get to Monet's garden to the west of Paris. It was really worth it with the most beautiful gardens and village. In spite of it being a tourist site is was very tasteful, relaxing and enjoyable. From there we went to Chateau Gaillard by Richard the Lionheart in 1198 as a defence against the French. The ruins sitting about the River Seine and the village of Andelys was truly breathtaking.
Leaving the chateau we travelled through the beautiful French countryside to our accomodation at Chateau du Landel near Bezancourt, near Gournay-en-Bray. It was a beautiful chateau set in the forest and was quite exquisite as was the food and the serenity of environs.
Tomorrow will be a very different experience - anticipated but confronting.