Geo: 49.2442, 1.40731
Today we headed out on a road trip to visit two castles. Our first stop was in the pretty village of Le Petit Andely. We enjoyed our morning coffee at a sidewalk cafe with a great view of the castle we planned to hike to. We stopped at a local Boulangerie for some fresh pastries to go with our picnic lunch we are going to enjoy on the grounds of the castle. It was a nice hike up the mountain and we were rewarded with a lovely view of the castle and valley. The Chateau Gaillard is a ruined medieval castle with an interesting history. In 1197 Richard the Lionheart designed and built it. It sits on the steep Andelys cliffs with the Seine River below. It took 6,000 workers one year to build. It was the strongest castle of its age built as a challenge to the French monarchy. We enjoyed a delicious picnic lunch but unfortunately the castle keep was not open for us to tour.
From Le Petit Andely we enjoyed a lovely drive through the valleys to the village of Roche-Guyon. Here we visited Chateau de La Roche-Guyon. The first castle of La Roche-Guyon was
entirely cut in the limestone cliffs. Then during the 12th century the chateau was built at the bottom of the cliff and the keep was erected at the top of the cliffs. We wandered through the chateau but nowadays it is Home to a rather tacky chair museum. The stairways to the pigeonnier and tower, cut directly into the chalk cliffs, are still in good shape and were entertaining to climb. The tower provided us with a lovely view of the Seine River. We then explored secret caves that were built into the cliffs by the Germans to store munitions, in 1944 under the command of General Rommel. After our visit at the chateau we stopped for a beer at a sidewalk cafe before heading home.
In the evening we enjoyed a nice meal at a Creperie right across from the Palace of Versailles. After dinner we walked over to the palace gates and watched the sunset over the palace. A great way to end our day.
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