Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Trains, Chateau at Fountainebleau, & A Walk in the Forest

The French rail system is quite amazing. Trains are always on time and handle many many travelers. Train stations in Paris are very busy places with thousands of travelers moving every direction, connecting to suburban trains and urban subways. It is quite efficient and a great way to travel. There is no need to have a car. A person can get anywhere they want to go.

We all went our separate ways today on a free day: some to the great gothic cathedral in Chartres, others to various sites in town. I took a train to Fountainebleau, a little shack that Henri IV put up out in the woods about 30 kilometers east of Paris. Walked around the gardens and then took a hike in the Fountainebleau forest, a favorite subject for French artists of the Barbizon school of landscape painters. It was a beautiful day as you can see.

Formal gardens with Chateau in the background.

Take a close look at the dog sculptures on this fountain featuring Diana, the huntress, and you'll see the kind of sense of humor the French have always had.

A few shots from my walk in the Fountainebleau forest.

This old overgrown cottage was back in the woods along a trail.

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