Welcome to Normandy.
Where there are always raindrops on the flowers and leaves.
Where the skies are grey but many old stones are to be found, for instance in Bellême.
Such a pretty, nasty-tempered swan... you wouldn't think just looking at it...
A little further on, Nogent-Le Rotrou with its medieval castle (too bad their pics are so tiny). Well, at least the keep and some of the walls were medieval. The entrance towers are young, dating back to the 1500s.
An arrow slit. And here I was searching for some really scientific word for the little arrow window in the fortifications. It's actually called an arrow slit, it seems. Seems you'd have to be a pretty damn good shot to actually hit anything.
The height of technology and hygiene at the time. A lavatory. People would go into a room at the top of the circled bit, there was a hole in the floor and they'd crouch there and do their business along the side of the wall, which might explain the state of the stone right there). Major ewwww. The middle ages might sound all romantic and shit, but all things considered I much prefer to live today.
Good thing she didn't use that particular lav. Ain't she cute though this Norman cow?
Now, let's leave Normandy (bye cow!) for Meaux, city of mustard (you have your Dijon, but you also have the old style Meaux mustard). I love these exposed timbers.
The cathedral is pretty much the only thing so see in Meaux though - St. Etienne. The side entrance
After Meaux, Fontainbleau and its palace. Nice enough place, but lordy is it overdone. Too bad they focus so much on how the royalty lived. I'd have loved to see the kitchens, servant quarters and have information on, for instance how many loaves of bread were baked each day, how many chickens were consumed, how many people fed, how many people were needed to keep the damn thing running...
This is the corridor the king had constructed for his own use to go from his private apartments to the public area of the palace. Eventually others than him were allowed to use it. Nice of him.
The empress Josephine's bedroom
The council chambers if I remember right.
Napoleon's bedroom. That's a teeny tiny bed he slept in.
Outside the palace.
The horseshoe staircase where Napoleon made his speech before leaving for exile.
And finally, the last lunch, the next day was back to Montreal, work, and thankfully, the World Cup.