Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Rambouillet and it's romantic park

Today Nadia wanted to show us one of her favorite place around. It is Rambouillet which is located in the Yvelines department, part of the Ile-de-France, in the suburb of Paris. Well, it is the farest part of the suburb in fact as we feel already as being in the green country. It is just 20min from  Nadia’s village.

Rambouillet is well known for its castle, it is a presidential residence since the French revolution, it is used for hosting foreign delegations for example.  We didn’t visited it. We could but camera are forbidden in it so... Nadia had already visited it, it is really interesting because of the story of people who were living there like Napoleon 1er and some French presidents and one of the piece is amazing with marble all over the walls.

Nadia preferred to show us the Park of the castle because it’s a nice place to walk and so romantic - even in winter - with beautiful views on the castle... We were happy to have our hiking clothes and shoes as the wind was really cold.

We began with the “English Garden”. It is more a Park than a garden. There are small meandering streams, stones bridges and the nature is really quiet and looks like being wild (but we saw a lot of people working to clean though).

A forest is part of it with really old trees.

We found in this part a small house. First looking it had nothing special outside...  but it is a very and unique house: the Shell Cottage. It was closed but Nadia explained that all the walls, doors, mirrors and others decorations were made only with various shells. It is really precious and rare.

After we went along the Canals. We were surprised by colored lines on some trees.

Nadia explained those paths are part of the hiking path, called “GR655-O”, which leads from Brussels to St Jacques de Compostela via Paris, Chartres and Tours. There are many many “GR” in France...
The canals divide this part of the park in 6 islands which are totally independent, we can’t go on them. Then those islands are like refuge for many birds species.

Gradually the castle began to emerge from the park... on the other side of the islands...

We arrived to the Green Carpet side, we saw totally the castle from there.

There were some statues here. Rambouillet has been since the Royal times a hunting residence with a very large domain of forests, more than 200km². It is one of the most important around Paris with Fontainebleau one. It was even largest in the medieval time.

Then the statues are symbolised the Hunting with Deers... Do you see us ?

We continued along the other part of the canals to the castle.
This is the French Garden.

We finally arrived to the castle!

There is a nice pond in front of it with lots of ducks, goose and swans. We saw the other sides of the islands... Look, we were there at the bottom, it is the Green Carpet!

Taking some rest looking at the birds...

Let’s go back to the car! Nadia was lost within the “French Bosquet”! Hehe!

Finally we found a way to go to the other side of the canal on our path... to the Queen’s Dairy... No, this building is neither a mausoleum, neither a temple... it has been built for Marie-Antoinette, as a present from Louis XVI, like the one in Versailles... We couldn’t visit (camera still forbidden) but Nadia was able to explain that it is all decorated with white marble... with a beautiful statue... See us with this nice woman and at the top of one of the column (yes this building is big !)

Back to the car just before the rain...
We didn’t visit the National Sheepfold or the rest of the forest...

Waouh! What a long walk!