"Where should we go?" I said to Sue - "Why not back to France!", "Oh yes please", she said.
Once she has a "bee in her bonnet" beware. Researching began with the force of Niagara Falls.
North of Paris - return to the Loire - drive over Burgundy to Dijon, Lyon and then drop off the car and TGV it back to Paris for a week. "Lovely", I said. "Lets do it".
She said, "But how" - I said, "We'll find a way - we're dead toooo long".
Before we knew it, we were in the queue at the airport to book in with our luggage. Sue had pre-booked our seats and to her dismay, Emirates had changed our allocated seats. Dismay and disappointment - that is until they told her that we had been upgraded to business class for the first leg of our journey.
A glass of Moet Mrs Sims and Happy Birthday, hope you have a nice flight. She did enjoy the lobster tails.
She was in heaven literally, that is until Dubai by which time we were back to cattle class. By the time we arrived at CDG Paris we were ready for bed. We'd booked a room at the airport for the first night because the leased Citroen office was located there and we felt a good night's sleep was conducive to safe driving after 26 hours in the air.
|We'd just come from the airport hotel after picking up our leased Citroen and then drove to Senlis which is in the region of Oise only 40 kms from Paris.|
Our first real night in France was Senlis, 40 kms north of Paris. Senlis came to my attention in a cycling novel I'd read a few years back and its history intrigued me. In the Roman Imperial times it was known as Augustomagus and there are still remains of the amphitheatre not far outside the ancient city walls.
The very first King of the Franks, Hugh Capet, eldest son of Hugh the Great was elected there in 987 AD before being crowned. Senlis was the home of subsequent French Monarchs due to its closeness to the Chantilly forests where the hunting was the main sport of the day. Chantilly would be the next stop for us on the following day.
With a population of around 17,000 Senlis wasn't going to be too difficult for me to navigate on our first day of driving on the right hand side. I always get a little nervous on the first few days.
Senlis is worth a visit for its Cathedral which was constructed between 1153 to 1191. The old city is well preserved and walking along the curved narrow cobbled streets on a spring morning was delightful.
|Sue reads the maps and absorbs herself in the history of Senlis.|
|Senlis' Cathedral Notre Dame|
|We entered those huge wooden doors and as we walked down the central part of the cathedral, we turned to see the light shining through the Rose window above and the many stained glass leadlight windows.|
|She's every where in the north of France - Jeanne D'Arc. From Chinon to Senlis.|
|I could be wrong and most probably am when I guess that this may be Saint Denis who walked from Paris to Montmartre holding his head in his hands after being decapitated.|
|The craftsmanship of the ceilings within Senlis Cathedral are certainly worth taking time to appreciate.|
Starting on January 1, we will be posting a daily picture series of French scenes for the following 365 days from our collection of the four trips to France and possibly from the impending May 2012 trip.
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