Friday, May 17, 2013

Paris Vacation - day 3

Day 3 was meant to be one of the trip's highlights and did not disappoint. I scheduled a Pariscityvision tour of both Vaux le Vicomte and Fountainbleau - a little out of the city.
 For the most part I can't recommend these bus tours highly enough; 'leave the driving to us' and enjoy your trip!  Vaux le Vicomte is an amazing 17th century chateau which led Louis XIV to create the Versailles we have today (and imprisonment for its' owner who dared build a greater palace than the sun king!)
 The interiors mostly have been brought back to this early creation but glimpses of the future styles to come still remain as well.  We were lucky with the weather and the chateau was astounding.
 On the way out of the chateau don't miss the large carriage museum and lunch at the cafe located in the stables; very charming.
 Next on the trip was Fountainbleau, country home to French Kings and later emporers for more than 7 centuries.
Fountainbleau will take your breathe away by sheer size and the number of styles included. Really though it is an architectural 'hot mess' that is delightful and magnificent.
 Napolean left the largest mark on the chateau perhaps because he was the last person to make significant changes. Above you see about 1/3 of a corridor showing his family portraits (big family!).
 Napolean's camp bed has been set up within a tented room - so chic!
 Napolean had a throne room set up within the apartments of king Louis XVI. cheeky.....
Which was set up next to Marie Antoinette's bedroom.  I will never understand the flow of these 18th century palaces and their enfilades. How do you live here? bedroom attached to bathroom attached to throne room.
The tour ends at the Hotel Regina across from the Louvre and I suggest you end the day with a drink in their elegant bar as I did.
After dinner at L'Ilot Vache on the Ile St Louis (one of my favorite retaurants I find myself at time and again), I was thankful to climb the million steps up to my own Paris Pied a terre just across the street. Long but fabulous days!


Unknown said...

lovely stefan- enjoy!

Deana Sidney said...

I think life in a palace was one without privacy. UGH. No matter how lux, never being without attendants would drive me mad. Very cool places. I love tented rooms too. Would die for that great Mornay apartment by Delecroix... you must be having a grand time... Have some ice cream at Berthillon for me!!

Unknown said...

So excited to hear that you're in Paris! And that you made it out to Vaux. It is truly magical there. Did you have time to tour the gardens? When David and I went they had all of the candles lit in the garden and in the windows at dusk. I was completely enchanted.

Lets get together when you're back so I can hear all about the trip.


Mark D. Ruffner said...

I once did a school essay on Vaux le Vicomte. The builder Fouquet not only built a larger, more beautiful palace than the king, he invited Louis XIV to the most spectacular of dinners, including gold plate, fireworks, dancing fountains and a play for the occasion by Moliere. It was quite evident that he had embezzled huge sums from the treasury, and Louis XIV had him arrested that very night.

Windlost said...

Sounds divine. I love the hot mess of Fontainebleu (best line ever). :)

So glad you are staying on the Ile St-Louis again.
xo Terri