Day 57 (3.11.17): Camelot! Ice Cream! Snails???

On Saturday, we got up and started getting ready for a day trip outside of Paris.  We had told Lydie and Cassie that we needed to drive to a nearby town for a meeting for me.  In actuality, we planned to surprise the girls with a trip to Château de Pierrefonds, which features prominently in one of the television shows that Team Hubbard likes to watch called “Merlin,” which depicts the early years in the lives of Merlin and Prince Arthur, who is not yet king in the show.  Pierrefonds is the castle that is used as Camelot.

First, Julie and I needed to go pick up a rental car.  On our way, we stopped by a local outdoor market, where we picked up some bread, cheese, and olives.


Julie and I then headed to the train station to get the rental car.  While we were there, we peeked in at the lockers where we stored the lion’s share of our luggage, and the doors to those lockers were still closed.  With any luck, our luggage was still inside.

We picked up the girls from our flat and headed out of town.  The trip took us a little more than an hour, and included some smaller roads through some beautiful forests.


When we arrived and the girls saw the castle for the first time, they were overjoyed.  It is a gorgeous castle.


In the town, we stopped at the information center.  What’s that?  It’s a big poster from the TV show!


Fully informed now, we bought some warmed quiches and some lemon cake, and then headed to the castle for a picnic.  On our approach we started seeing lots of familiar scenes from the show.  Arthur and his buddies usually go barreling through here on horses…

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We stopped for our picnic just outside of the main castle.  We all agreed that the quiches were the best of the whole trip!  We also ate the olives, cheese, and bread from the market in Paris.


After lunch, we went into the castle.  Really, this is a lot more meaningful if you’ve watched the show.  It’s on Netflix.  Just watch a few episodes and come back to this post.


In we went to the main courtyard.  In the show, there always seems to be something happening here.  You know, knights getting ready to ride, townsfolk begging for aid, someone getting burned at the stake.  No stake burning when we were there, thankfully.


Inside, we found one of the main staircases where the characters always seem to be doing a lot of running back and forth.


After thoroughly exploring the castle, we headed outside again.  On the way, Cassie stopped by the gift shop to get a small wooden dagger.  Thank goodness!  I felt safer already.


With a great castle visit under our belt, we headed back to Paris, where we encountered horrible, soul-sapping traffic.  Sacré bleu!

Eventually, we managed to return the car at the train station.  Next, we set off to find some ice cream and to explore the area around Sacré-Cœur, which is yet another famous church in Paris.


Fortunately, there was a Haagen-Dazs shop just around the corner, where we could get cool fuel for the troops.


We climbed the hill and were rewarded with great views of Paris.  Then, the Eifel Tower began its nightly strobe light display.  We were in a great place to see it all!


We wandered around the area and found ourselves at the Place du Terte, a nearby square that is packed with artists.


We found a lovely French restaurant on the square.


Inside, there was live music, consisting of a pianist and a very talented female vocalist singling almost exclusively in French.

It was cozy and intimate, and the food was great.


We also tried escargot!  That’s right…snails.  Lydie declined, but Cassie had two!


Julie had French Onion soup, or as the French call it, “Onion Soup.”  It was a wonderful meal and a great cap to a great day.


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