Sunday, September 25, 2016

Europe 2016: Trip Notes # 13

Europe 2016: Trip Notes # 13

A Few More Days

With hugs and kisses, we said our "Good-by's" to Lisa and Tom. Now on our own, the last few days would be used to check out some places that would not be on the typical tourist list.

Since Jerry did not have his California driver's license and I not being able to drive five hours to our next destination, we decided to leave the car in Roanne and take the non-stop, 90 minute TGV train to Paris and rent another car.

Arriving At Paris Train Station - Lots Of Excitement 

The rental car office was conveniently next to Gare de La Lyon. Within an hour, we were heading to a Paris suburb (Reuil Malmaison) and a hotel which would be close to what we wanted to see.

We've been to Paris countless times. As we headed out of Paris and tried to navigate around and to the other side of the Arc d' Triumph, we were in awe as to how this particular day was so spectacular. 

What a gorgeous day!

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Historically, Reuil Malmaison was a small village which continued to grow to the point that, now, it blends into the Paris area. Think in terms of the relationship between Santa Monica and Los Angeles. 

"Reuil" or "Malmaison" is quite close to charming villages or small towns often used as a backdrop for the Impressionist Artists.  

This town is the perfect location for doing day tours "West" of Paris. It has a picturesque town center as well as beautiful pedestrian walkways and bike paths situated along the Seine River.

City Center - City Hall

Saturday's open market was one of the largest.

When In Paris...

We had a grand time buying gourmet food for an evening picnic later in the day

Cheese Anyone? 


 Okay. If You Insist!

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All towns have a city center church. Josephine and Napoleon III are buried here.  

Relatively small church. still, quite moving!

Reuil Malmaison is also known for Josephine's chateau and at times Napoleon's "office." Although "steps" from Paris, hardly anyone was here. 

The chateau is filled with period and personal things. 

Statues And Statuesque!

Napoleon's Study. His Desk Is In The Background

            Is This The Kitchen? Please Prepare A Dinner For 24 Guests!"

                     Every Gold Plate Has a Different Design Or Pattern

                                             Josephine's Bedroom 

Two Of The several Displayed Napoleon Swords 

Guess Who? 

   Napoleon's Toiletry Kit 

The chateau has so much "stuff" that statues, artwork and other significant items are stored in an outdoor pavilion.

     Wagon Used To Carry Napoleon's Coffin. Notice The Railing Size Used                             To Hold The Coffin In Place. It's Not Very Long                                                             Napoleon Was A Small Man

Cover For Sewer Line

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Nearby is the Chateau Breteil - not well known, per say by its name but its famous for the relationship between the chateau owners and Charles Perrault.

Where Are The Tourists? We Are The Tourists!

Without "Googling, the Perrault name, we challenge everyone to figure out the importance of this person.

5...4...3...2...1...Time's Up!

To save time, Perrault is the author of many fairy tales: Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Mother Goose, Blue Beard, Puss in Boots, Little Red Riding Hood, etc.

Sleeping Beauty

Puss In Boots

Actually, there were a few other tourists - all French and all driving from Paris to spend some time in the countryside. The property has remained in the Breteuil family since 1610 when construction was completed. Our "tour" so to speak started with a greeting from an "older fellow" (probably our age), short, bent over and using a cane. 

We spoke to him for a few minutes. It turns out that he is the Chateau owner. His title is, Marquis de Breteuil. His English is perfect. In fact, he was a Los Angeles Lawyer for the well known firm, Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher. With the short time with the Marquis, we learned that his grandmother was Russian and his mother was American. Besides some Protestants and Catholics, there is also some Jewish background in his heritage.

It would be interesting to find out more about him because...

Original Painting: A Gift To Past Family Members From "Louis"

More current relationships between The Marquis and with other government leaders.

 Only Two Years Ago

French President Jacques Chirac

Throughout The Chateau: Many Original Documents And Other Amazing Artifacts 

One of 50 Known Sets Of Books/Drawings Of What Napoleon Saw While Campaigning In Egypt

The Chateau de Breteuil, besides filled to the rafters with original and historical items, the family made an attempt to incorporate "more life" into the visit by using wax figures representing significant historical people and situations - i.e. "royals" from different nations, advisers, Marie Antoinette as well as chateau staff:

Arlene Joins The Meeting

Working In Bed

Almost Like Downton Abbey

Music Room Untouched Other Than For Dusting 

The Famous "Teschen Table" Presented By Maria Teresa Of Austria. The Original Is In The Louve

Our plans for the day was to include visiting the nearby Chateau de Rambouillet which (historically) is important. Unfortunately, there was not enough time to do everything planned for the day. 

Next trip!

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