14.10.2017 - 17.10.2017 75 °F
Our last breakfast with this beautiful view
I was very glad I had booked the driver round trip as there was a transit strike that day and the local train was not running. Strikes are a common occurrence in Italy and usually last one day or even hours. Our driver dropped us at the train station in Naples with plenty of time to catch the train. This would be a rather long day - 4 1/2 hours to Milan then 5 hours to Nice.
We changed to the French TGV train in Milan and met a new friend. He was wearing a lapel pin and tie tack of a bunch of grapes. Ray asked what they were for, turns out he was a Master International Sommelier - one of 16 in the world at his level! He was heading home after teaching a class in Italy. Antonato is a very charming man - we had a great conversation which made the trip pass quickly. If you even need a container load of wine I can hook you up!
On to Paris
After a quick sleep in Nice we caught the TGV to Paris. Originally we planned to head to Barcelona from Nice but that would have meant another long travel day to get there and then a super long day to get from Barcelona to London since we had to go through Paris to pick up a bag we stored there before we left the first time. We'd been to Barcelona before so it wasn't a must, add to that the current uncertain Catalan independence we decided to go straight to Paris - my favorite city anyway.
The French Riviera
We arrived in Paris, settled in to our hotel and went to dinner at our favorite La Terrasse.
Next day was a chill day, laundry, cat food shopping but we did find time for wine & nibbles
A Trip to Chateau Fountainebleau
I had wanted to see Fountainebleau on our first stop in Paris but we ran out of time so today we are headed there. We left from Gare de Lyon - just a 38 minute train ride away.
The chateau was begun in the 1100's and was added to or renovated through the hundreds of years following - it has more than 1500 rooms. It was home to Medici's, all of the Louis', and the Napoleon's among many others.
The Plate Gallery - 128 porcelain plates depicting historical moments in history - these were fitted into the woodwork in the early 1800's.
The Chateau houses numerous works of art
The bedchambers were amazing
The Chapel Vestibule
The Chapel of Saint Saturnin - the Chateau's first Chapel
The Abdication Room - where Napoleon signed his abdication in 1814
The Clock with Nine Dials - each dial displays a different period - signs of the days of the week, moon phases, days of the week, day of the month, equinoxes & solstices, months, leap years, phases of the sun. The arc across the top displays the current zodiac sign.
The lower floor of the Chapel
The Palace from Above - the only real way to appreciate the true size
Waiting for the bus back to the train station
Dinner that night at Cafe Roussillon - I had the Boeuf Bourguignon and Ray had a lovely chop. Delicious and the wine devine!
Last Day in Paris
Today we would retrieve the bag we stored here when we left the first time, look for cat food, and do some laundry - not necessarily in that order. We took the subway to a laundromat near the place we stored the bag and got that out of the way first. Next we walked toward the agency that had the bag stopping at several markets along the way until we found the right cat food. By then it was time for lunch - we found the wonderful Le Compas where we shared one of the best burgers I've ever had washed down with a lovely Crozes Hermitage.
After retrieving the bag we took a cab back to the hotel passing some familiar landmarks on the way
Obelisk on the Place de la Concorde
We chilled for while
Then headed to dinner
The ravioli was so good it almost did not make the photo!
We then shared a French Classic - Bavette with Shallots washed down with an exceptional Pinot Noir
Thus ended another spectacular visit to Paris.
In the morning - crossing the channel to England!