Out of Paris, certainly! The tourists arrive; the Parisians leave. On August 1, when I walked off to the marche, I noticed more than 50% of the stores on my route (three blocks) were closed! Some for 2 weeks, many for all four weeks. See ya August 31.
I wrote to a CE friend Albert who is off in Normandy for 2 weeks. I told him next year in August I plan to be out of town too. He said, “There are too many tourists in Paris, especially in August. Generally those kinds of thoughts (that I would leave too) are expressed by Parisians. So I feel confident for your future in France.”
Turning into a Parisian. That’s a very good thing.
I did get out on three day trips. One on the train for 2 hours to Brittany to Nantes to visit the Dukes’ of Brittany chateau. (Not as exciting as I hoped.)
Another to Rambouilett – a chateau much closer to Paris. This is the summer home for the Prime Minister or Premier of France – no, that’s not Hollande. It’s Valls. But he wasn’t there. It was beautiful. But it was a stinking hot day and instead of 8 rooms, we only saw 2. Renovation time.
And lastly to Chateau Ecouen. This is now the Museum of the Renaissance. They took all the Renaissance stuff sitting around the Cluny museum – which is the musee of the moyen age (middle ages) and put it in a proper setting.
It’snot too difficult to get to – a suburban line train and then a bus. And if you followed the pedestrian signs and not the signs for the cars, you’d get to the chateau very quickly. Obviously, I know the way to the parking lot now. This may be my favorite chateau. Because you get to walk everywhere. It feels like the whole thing is open to the visitor – no off limits. And that gives you a sense of the building and how folks lived. I liked it.
It is under a flight path to CDG, however, so there was a plane overhead (low and noisy) every 3-4 minutes. It made me think of Berlin and the airlift – how a plane landed every 3 minutes.
Obviously, I am not moving to Ecouen any time soon.
I’ll add a comment about Lascaux. It was in Paris (although at the exposition center at Porte de Versailles which is on the border of Paris). It’s the traveling exhibit of the prehistoric cave drawings from the Lascaux caves in southern France. Pretty amazing story that I will let you look up. Discovered in 1943. But drawn in 30,000 BC. Closed to the public in 1963 due to mold and algae brought in by people. Now there is a facsimile near it you can visit and this traveling one and a new one to open next year based on computer measurements. I was disappointed that they didn’t have the most beautiful sketches on anything at the gift shop.
Interesting exhibit too – they had interviews with about 15 scientists about Lascaux and their role or interpretation. One paleontologist said a physicist suggested to him that someday it may be possible to measure the vibrations that happened when the artists carved into the stone. And maybe turn it into sound and hear what they were saying at the time. Wow. Now that would indeed be Good Vibrations.
And a quick closing comment on the Beach Boys – I saw Love and Mercy last week. (English with French subtitles) Did that bring back memories! Surfers in their madras. (You had to leave the back button unbuttoned on a collared shirt!) (And I was in Minnesota at the time! A surfer in Minnesota!) But I had moved to LA soon after and some of the party scenes from the movies were right out of my memories. Wild.