Well, it’s been a busy week! On Tuesday, David had to go to the Bibliothèque Mazarine, which is France’s oldest public library! You’re not allowed to take pictures inside the building, but here’s one I found online.
We sat at the table on the right! David had his nose almost right to the page, reading the text closely. No wonder he needs glasses.
On our way to the library, we passed the Pont des Arts. It was in the midst of deconstruction. In case you haven’t heard – the Pont des Arts (Love Lock Bridge) is no more. After complaints from locals due to its inherent safety hazards (those locks add a lot of weight to the bridge, and pieces have been known to fall off, into the water), it has been removed!
They were taking it apart, piece by piece, when we walked by.
After a day home, relaxing, we went to Château de Fontainebleau on June 7, which was great. We took our first train ride in Paris, from the Gare de Lyon, pictured below. It was about a 40 minute ride, which we thoroughly enjoyed.
When we arrived we decided to walk, much more of an adventure! And what a lovely walk it was!
I took a lot of pictures of trees. And flowers. It was really pretty! David, at one point, stood in front of me, his head tilted to the side, his hand on his hip and sighed before saying – “You’re just like your Dad.” Hahaha, oh my. We love you Dad ;).
Also, the first Sunday of every month Fontainebleau is free, and while I imagine it’s far busier in July and August, it was very quiet when we were there. There were lots of families and couples picnicking in, and strolling through, the gardens.
That’s a lot of greenery.
After spending a fair amount of time in the gardens, we circled around to the front for the entrance.
Doesn’t it look super quiet? Seriously, I was shocked.
Pope Pius VII’s bedchamber! He was Pope during Napoleon’s reign.
The weirdest statue I’ve ever seen. It’s a marble statue by Niccolo Pericoli, called Tribolo (ca. 1500-1550), commissioned for Francois I in 1529 in order to support a bowl. It was later placed in Fontainebleau.
I have no idea why it’s covered in boobs. But I guess this is what happens when a French king commissions an Italian artist to create a stand for a bowl.
The Gallery of Diana.
An eighty-meter (242.4 feet) long corridor now lined with bookcases, was created by Henry IV at the beginning of the 17th century as a place for the Queen to promenade. The paintings on the vaulted ceiling, painted beginning in 1605 by Ambroise Dubois and his workshop, represented scenes from the myth of Diana, goddess of the Hunt. At the beginning of the 19th century, the gallery was in ruins. In 1810 Napoleon decided to turn it into a gallery devoted the achievements of his Empire.
The King’s Throne Room.
This was the King’s chamber from the 17th century until the Revolution. It was a state bedroom which commanded the deepest respect from courtiers, even in the king’s absence. Napoleon I maintained this function as a symbolic place of power, converting it into a Throne room. The room was furnished in accordance with the commands of imperial etiquette, seeking a revival of the ceremonial style of the Ancien Régime.
From the description at Château de Fontainebleau
It was at this very pedestal table that Napoleon I signed his deed of abdication on April 6, 1814!
There was a lot more to see at Fontainebleau, but I think the gardens and exterior were my favourite.
At the end of the day, David and I walked back to the train station (which was very crowded). Although, you can’t really tell from the picture below.
We decided to go out to eat, but close to home.
The restaurant is about a 5 minute walk from our apartment. It was super cheap, but had a really nice interior and, most importantly, the food was delicious. It had the best Indian food I’d ever tried! We’ll definitely be going back before we leave. We each had a three-course meal for a grand total of 25 euros! Pictured below is the main course.
Top left – artichoke; top center – mashed lentils and chickpeas; top right – green beans. Served with curry chicken and Basmati rice! DELICIOUS! I had cheese naan bread for an appetizer, while David had a beef samosa.
And for dessert, David had their homemade mango ice cream. I just had a coffee (have I said how much I love coffee?).
We sat on the terrace and watched as a group of boys (and one young girl) played soccer in the square right in front of us. Three had Messi shirts, while one had a Suarez shirt. Pretty cute! We ate around 8:00 pm, so the sun was just starting to go down. The kitchen staff and waitress were pretty awesome, too. They have family living in Toronto!
As it got later, more and more people were coming to visit for a quick bite or coffee.
All in all, not a bad day, right?