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Practically Perfect Paris Part 3c


Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet. —Jean-Jacques Rousseau

I told you I wasn’t a very good blogger. It’s been months since I sat down to write or even edit photos. I have a lot of excuses…er…um…reasons. But the bottom line is I just couldn’t get here mentally. Too many flights across too many time zones peppered with a significant amount of uncertainty – maybe it was just sheer exhaustion.

So…where were we?

Chantilly! As I mentioned, Clarice was completely enamored with chateaux. So our next stop was the very beautiful Chantilly. This time, Ron got to go with us because we went on a Saturday.

The details are getting lost to time, but I remember we went to Gare du Nord and had to find a specific train on a specific platform. None of us knew where we were going so after walking in circles and having a vague idea of where we were supposed to be, suddenly Clarice found it! Yay. Navigating HUGE train stations can be daunting some times.

Chantilly is about 60 km north of Paris. After the train from Gare du Nord, we had a nice walk to the Chateau. And by nice, I mean about a mile and a half. Chantilly is also known for their stables, horse shows and Museum of the Horse, but we didn’t see any of that! We did the audio tour of the Château and gazed at some of the gardens from a nice, sitting vantage point. At this point Clarice and I had been on our feet for 8 days; we were a wee bit tired.

Personally, I think it’s always a good idea to leave a little bit undone. It gives you a really good reason to go back!

Interested in a little Chantilly history? Read on! If not, skip to the photos and captions.

A Little Domaine de Chantilly History

The château was originally a fortified building that controlled the road from Paris to Senlis. Wars, uprisings, and a revolution saw the domain and the château fortified, acquired by other families, inherited, rebuilt, then destroyed. In all of that, guess who designed the gardens? No, really. Guess?! Le Nôtre! The garden designer to the stars! The Who’s Who of the 17th century had gardens designed by Le Nôtre.

A Change of Lineage and a New Grand Château

In 1793, the Grand Château was demolished and in 1804 the Duke of Enghien, Prince of Condé, was executed. In 1830, his father, the Duke of Bourbon and last Prince of Condé named his grand-nephew, Henri d’Orléans, Duke of Aumale, as his heir. However, in 1848, when the monarchy was abolished, the Duke of Aumale was exiled to London until 1871. While exiled, the Duke of Aumale amassed a remarkable collection of precious books, paintings, and decorative art objects. His plan was to expand the family domain in Chantilly when he returned to France. In 1875, the Duke of Aumale rebuilt the Grand Château to house his art and literary collections. The Duke of Aumale had no heirs when he died and he left the entire domain to the Institut de France. In 1898, the domain opened to the public as the “Condé museum”.

TLDR? Start Here!

First Uber Ride!

Living in the mountains near Yosemite is not exactly the Uber hub of the world. We don’t live under a rock though; of course, we know about it. But we never had an opportunity to use it. Until now. I mentioned we were tired, right? My-shoes-feel-like-they’re-full-of-pebbles tired. The walk back to the train station was not, shall we say, enticing. Clarice to the rescue! She whipped out her phone, ordered up a ride and within minutes we were off our feet and cruising in the luxury of a big sedan with A/C and bottled water. Nice! Why are there no photos of this momentous event? Maybe it was sheer exhaustion. 🙂

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