Today was a great day!!!  We woke up early to meet our landlady, so she could print out our Eiffel Tower tickets, then we caught the Metro to Gare du Nord to get to Chantilly.  American credit cards do not have chips yet, so we had to use the old Amex to get train tickets. We got the SGNF tickets to Chantilly, which we were able to get the senior  discount.  For 2 tickets round trip, it cost us 24 euros.  We were early for once and stopped by the patisserie to have some coffee and some croissants.  We also picked up some sandwiches for lunch later, which turned out to be a good idea.  The train took us about 25 minutes to get to Chantilly and then we decided to walk to the Chateau.  Our friend, Rick Steves, sort of recommended it.  We noted that he really didn’t do justice to Chantilly, as we were thinking about doing Chartres instead, until our landlady dissuaded us.  We took his advice on the trail to take and it went through the woods into an open area that was a race track, of all things.  We realized that hippodrome meant “race track” in French.    It was beautiful, as it was all grass. — not like the US dirt tracks.  We walked to what we thought was the Chateau and found out that it was actually the horse stables.  We showed them our museum pass and they gave us tickets to the Chateau.  We walked across the street and then down a lane to the Chateau.  It was obvious, then, where we were going.  We walked around the chateau to the front and went in.  They gave us an audio guide for free, which was really nice.  It helped us to understand what we were seeing.  We saw several Raphael paintings, which we could have touched, if we wanted to be difficult.  We saw the  apartments and the rooms full of fantastic paintings, gems, books, etc.  It sounds boring, but was really wonderful.  There were walls of ancient books all the way to the ceiling, which was probably 30 feet tall.  These items were collected during the period of the revolution in France, when the elite fled to other countries.  Apparently, the chateau was trashed and had to be rebuilt 20 or more years later when the duke/prince (not sure) returned with all his treasures that he had collected while away.  It sounds terrible, but now is a national treasure that was bequeathed to France with the condition that the collection be kept intact.  We walked out to the great expanse of lawn in front of the chateau and found a bench to sit on and eat lunch.  We then proceeded to the stables to see the horses and the horse museum, which we had to race through to see the dressage exhibition at 2:30PM.  in time to watch a dressage exhibition.  The horse museum was actually quite good, surprisingly.  The dressage exhibition was in French, unfortunately, but we still enjoyed the exhibition, which lasted for about 30 minutes or so.  We went back through the museum again, since we had to quickly go through the first time to catch the exhibition.  We then decided that the walk over was so nice that we would walk back.  The walk was very level, but I would not advise it, if you don’t like to walk.  We passed lovers lying in the grass and people stopping to rest, but I would say that this place was the least touristy place that we have been other than the neighborhood we are staying in.  We validated our tickets at the train station and took the train back to Gare du Nord.  We then took the Metro back to our neighborhood and, as usual, went through the open air market and picked up some food to cook.  We are having shrimp, zucchini, salad, left-over asparagus and Bordeaux, again.  As I said before, the Bordeaux is very cheap.    We came home, relaxed with some bread and some wine,, then cooked our meal.  Tomorrow, we will be back in Paris, but the rain will be coming in, I think, tomorrow night.  We shall see.  I hope we can sleep in a little.

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About lynntclarke

I am an attorney by trade, but love to travel. I am in my "golden" years and decided to blog about some of my trips, mainly to keep a diary of my experiences, so that I can do picture books for my travels and remember what I did each day. When you travel, you tend to forget the day before as you are having such wonderful new experiences. The blog will be there forever, I suppose, but memories fade fast. I hope you learn something worthwhile as you read. If not, then that is okay, too. Enjoy your own travels!!!

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