Thursday, October 11, 2012

A little glimpse into our village life...

We live in Essonne.  A very beautiful natural park area in France, outside of Paris.  We love the open air. I love the smells of the countryside: fresh bread, animals, grass, trees, rain.  You name it, it's here. 
People like walking and hiking here.  A short walk is to the local Chateau. 
We are 8km away from medieval history!

This is the story of how one gets to the Chateau de la Madeleine...Shall we begin?

You get to the train station and then start walking along the bicycle route.  The chateau is in the distance, above a field of goats. Ah, you can almost breathe the country air!
Views along the Bicycle route and pedestrian walk
Chateau de Coubertin
The path

Beautiful countryside

Cows in the distance along the Yvette river

Bonjour M. Cheval!

Pretty little vista, no?
Mr K strolling in the fields on our way
You keep walking and the bicycle route turns into a little dirt path through fields. Keep going.

 You then pass by a small street to go towards the chateau...

Hello, sunflowers!  You make this trek even more lovely!
 Walk through Chevreuse until you see the tea shop.  Turn right. You hike up the Rue Jean Racine (very famous here).  Notice the old lanterns, the cobblestones and the "meuliere" in the walls.  
This is a very old road.

 Smile! Mr K loves walking uphill for long periods of time.  They are his passion.  In fact, if you happen to see him next, suggest a walk that is nothing but uphills.  He'd like that.  Really.
We're good now, right?

Nope...still have to find the path to the chateau. Continue going along the road  until you see a signpost.  Follow what the sign post says.

At least we're going in the right direction.  Let's take the short cut...
Always take the road on your left after you see the sign post. That is the shortcut.  Everyone else will take the road to the right, even the old ladies and women with strollers.  You don't want to be where everyone else is do you?  Besides, you'll want time to look at the red squirrels and the "chataigniers" that surround you.

To the shortcut!
Okay....but we'll get there faster...right?
 Mr K is laughing at me now.  We can see it, but our shortcut just turned into a longcut...around the chateau.
No more stairs now! *grin*
 I can see it...but how do we get to it?

Keep walking around the chateau a few times following the path.  You're bound to get there by sunset. Just be patient.
Voila!  The Chateau de la Madeleine! We made it!

It's so cool.  A medieval fort with a tower and archer's windows:

These are a few photos of the courtyard and the grange where they housed everyone and the horses:

I can be an archer!

 Mr K is ready to head back now, before the sun sets, but he loves the medieval chateau.  Plus the view from the top was superb!

Our view from the top of the chateau over looking Chevreuse valley.  If you look off to the far left, the next village you see is Gif, where we live. :-)

Thus, our expedition to Chateau de la Madeleine draws to a close...good thing we can go visit it anytime we want (only 8km away!) for free.  I love this area! Until next time!

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