This Paris day was hot and muggy and the metro ride to the Chatelet station was oppressively crowded and steamy. The hotel's location is perfect, especially its close proximity to the metro station.
We napped for several hours then took a nice walk by Notre Dame, Isle Saint Louis, and to the Bastille. Afterward we had dinner on Avenue Beaumarchais at a delightful seafood restaurant. Great oysters from Brittany and Normandy and then a nice light Dourade fish. At 11 pm we ambled through the Marais with its little alleyways. There were quite a few Hasidic Jewish men and boys hurrying home from the synagogue. Back to the hotel for a good night's sleep and I awoke in the morning feeling fresh and jet lag free.
“Ou le Chateau?” we ask the man with the briefcase as he boards a taxi. He directs us straight ahead and to the right “You can’t miss it.” He is right, there it is just ahead and it is gigantic and consists of many buildings, several obviously very old castle, newer ornate structures that resemble apartment buildings, and crumbling forts from long ago. The assemblage of buildings seems more like a town than a single chateau. A tall wall and empty moat encircle it. We enter over a drawbridge past an unmanned ticket office.
This building was the original seat of power for the French kings. Originally it was a hunting lodge for the King in 1100. Later it was a castle and then eventually a more modern chateau. It was well located quite some distance from Paris as it was easier to defend than it would have been within the City. There are four stories to this castle, many rooms including the King’s closet, latrine, and bedroom. There is also a prison that held many famous political prisoners.
Later there is a concert which we listened to briefly but it was rather “new age” jazz and quickly put us to sleep. The afternoon is hot and muggy. We need to head back to the hotel as we are meeting our friend Marielle and her friends for a picnic on the Seine this evening.